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Task Management Tool (TMT) – Seven Months Since “Go Live” at HQDA

By PD Enterprise Services Public Affairs

February 15, 2018 - In June 2017, the Program Office, Army Enterprise Staff Management System (AESMS) replaced the Headquarters, Department of the Army (HQDA) Tasker Tracking System with a proprietary, commercial-off-the-shelf Task Management Tool (TMT) system for both Non-Secure and Secure Internet Protocol Networks. TMT is automated, enabling the end-to-end tasker lifecycle to be completed electronically within a single application. Not only has TMT increased tasking efficiency, the tool provides transparency and accountability of works in progress and completed assignments.

More than 11,000 trained users at every level have contributed to the tools success—equaling more than 25,000 unique taskers and more than 100,000 tasker assignments on Non-classified Internet Protocol Router (NIPR). TMT has provided a mechanism to handle the volume of assignments apportioned to HQDA. As a result, HQDA has experienced a 33 percent decrease in late taskers and a 14-day reduction in completion time.

AESMS TMT also helped the U.S. Forces Command, Korea manage their tasks and achieved the following:

  • More streamlined business processes
  • Downtime reduced by 40 percent due to Army
  • Logistics Technology Enterprise Systems and Services (ALTESS) hosting
  • Increased staff productivity by more than 25 percent.
  • Central Hosting at ALTESS reduced costs by $2.2 million

To date, Enterprise Tasking Service (ETS) has completed more than 1,300 taskers, allowing HQDA to exchange tasks across the DoD. Moreover, ETS enables HQDA to transfer taskers with other TMT tenants, including the U.S. Forces Command; U.S. Army Reserve Command; U.S. Army European Command; the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Correspondence and Task Management System (CATMS). The TMT allows AESMS to move towards realizing its vision of an enterprise-wide service and task management solution for the Department of the Army.

The TMT allows AESMS to move towards an enterprise-wide, software as a service and task management solution, realizing its vision of becoming a program of record for the Department of the Army.

Additional TMT benefits:

  • Currently deployed at more than 30 organizations and used by approximately 75,000, TMT has increased staff collaboration from 10 percent to 40 percent in every organization measured
  • TMT has capabilities designed specifically for large enterprises, assigning tasks to teams or individuals, creating levels of sub-assignments as needed and ensuring all staff sees task information and deadlines in one location.
  • As situations change, information updates can be provided immediately. TMT assignments can be changed at any time and email notifications are sent automatically to affected parties. As staff members respond, real-time status and responses are visible across the entire organization.

About PD Enterprise Services

In 2016, the U.S. government passed the Modernizing Government Technology Act to streamline, protect and modernize information technology (IT) assets. Project Director (PD) Enterprise Services (ES) supports the Army’s network modernization efforts and strives to enable a globally responsive and regionally aligned network designed to meet the needs of joint force commanders across the full range of military operations. PD ES is responsible for acquiring, fielding, and performing lifecycle sustainment of enterprise level services supporting many of the Army Chief Information Officer’s highest priority enterprise initiatives. The project director provides leadership to a staff of more than 300 government and contractor personnel across six product offices, in three geographic locations.
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Posted February 16, 2018

PdM I3MP visits Ft Leonard Wood as part of the TDM-IP transition

By Mr. Scott Sundsvold, I3MP Strategic Communication Support


Fort Leonard Wood is the first Army installation in the continental United States to complete a migration from a legacy analog telephone system to an Internet Protocol-based voice architecture.

To mark the historic event, Soldiers, Civilians, and Contractors gathered at the Network Enterprise Center, “cutting the ribbon” on the installation’s upgraded voice architecture on December 13, 2017.

Click on the images below to view:

Posted February 02, 2018

Army Cyberspace Real-time Acquisition Prototyping Innovation Development (C-RAPID) Process and Consortium

By LTC Scott Helmore, PdM DCO

1.0 Purpose: The purpose of the Cyberspace Real-time Acquisition Prototyping Innovation Development (C-RAPID) process is to expedite development, demonstration, and delivery of prototypes to increase Warfighter readiness. The Army plans to manage this process via a Consortium Management Firm (CMF) and plans to insure innovative and collaborative industry engagements via use of Consortiums.

2.0 Overview:
  • 2.1 The C-RAPID process will be utilized to develop cyberspace related prototypes directly relevant to enhancing the mission effectiveness of military personnel and the supporting platforms, systems, components, or materials proposed to be acquired or developed by the Department of Defense (DoD), or to improvement of platforms, systems, components, or materials in use by the armed forces.

  • 2.2 The Government will use the CMF to foster meaningful collaboration between Government, Industry, Consortiums, and Academia to identify and develop enabling technologies necessary to broaden capabilities on the Cyberspace domain and to ensure the highest level of readiness for our nation’s Warfighters. C-RAPID will provide the Government an agile mechanism to iteratively refine critical technologies in order to inform future materiel procurement requirements through structured operational user feedback.

  • 2.3 Potential technology objectives to be addressed under C-RAPID may include, but are not limited to:
    • Forensics and Malware detection
    • Deployable and static Hardware infrastructure
    • Cyberspace Situational Understanding
    • Offensive Cyberspace capabilities
    • Threat Discovery and Emulation
    • Advanced Sensors
    • Cyberspace Tools
    • Cyberspace mission planning and execution
    • Advanced network components
    • Insider Threat detection and prevention
    • Artificial Intelligence and Patterns of Life for cyberspace analytics
    • Cyber Training

3.0 Consortium Management Firm (CMF) – The CMF will be responsible for managing a rapid prototyping process. This includes providing expert opinions on potential solutions as well as recommendations for future prototyping events and technologies. Due to the responsibilities of managing the consortium and in the interest of maintaining fairness, the selected CMF is prohibited from performing under any contract/agreement with any direct or indirect influence or impact on a known or potential consortium prototype project or follow-on effort.

4.0 Consortium Members – Industry members will make up one or several consortiums which will be utilized for the C-RAPID process. These consortiums shall be open to new industry members and have a relatively easy process to on-board new members. All Consortium members will be offered the opportunity to provide white papers to Government issues, as well as recommend new technologies to the CMF for Government consideration in a future C-RAPID event.

5.0 30 Day Prototyping Process – The intent of the 30 day rapid prototyping process is to quickly find potential solutions to Cyber requirements. This process is different than traditional Other Transactional Authority (OTA) processes by placing decision makers into a consolidated location and giving them a suspense to work to award. Consortium members that show up to C-RAPID events are expected to be empowered to negotiate on behalf of their companies. The Government contracting, programmatic, resourcing, and technical teams will be onsite at events and empowered to make decisions up to $13M without additional reviews. The process will utilize the following Steps:

  • 5.1 White Paper - The process begins with the CMF receiving a Cyber Capability Drop or Cyber Needs form. The CMF will then recommend a consortium and request 2 page highlight concept papers from consortium members. Industry representatives have 5 calendar days to respond. These papers will be reviewed by the Subject Matter Expert (SME) Panel. The Panel will consist of two to four members from the CMF, two (2) Operational user personnel, and two (2) Government program office personnel. Papers will be reviewed within three (3) Calendar days and industry will be informed of down select.

  • 5.2 Shark Tank – Down selected industry members will be invited to pitch their ideas in front of the SME panel in a “Shark Tank” like environment. Demonstrations will be done at commercial CMF, other facility, or potentially over a remote video capability. The SME panel reserves the right to recommend teaming or refinement of the idea as well as a white paper (up to ten pages) of the idea. The SME panel will decide upon conclusion of all pitches which industry members will be invited to the final “Crucible” event. This event will last no more than three (3) calendar days with two (2) additional days for SME recommended re-pitches.

  • 5.3 Crucible - The crucible event will take place at a Government location or Cyber Range and is limited to the best industry concepts (likely no more than four (4) industry representatives per requirement). The event focuses on testing the concept and its potential impacts to other Government cyberspace capabilities. During this phase industry refines their products to best meet Government requirements and provides a final capability demonstration. A final selection is made by the SME panel and a contract is awarded on the spot. The Crucible will last no more than three (3) calendar days with two (2) days for negotiations.

  • 5.4 Award/User Assessment - Concluding the selection and contract award industry provides a prototype for up to 30 days for user assessment.

Visual Graphic of C-RAPID Process C-RAPID Process

 

6.0 60 Day Risk Management Framework Process – As a part of the C-RAPID process an expedited Authority to Connect process will also be utilized. This process will include a group (RMF Assistance Team) within the C-RAPID CMF community that will be dedicated to helping non-traditional DoD Businesses understand the DoD RMF process and documentation that is necessary to connect commercial capabilities to DoD networks. The RMF Assistance Team will work with industry members to provide templates and understanding of documentation for their products. This is key since status of documentation may be taken into account for down selection to the crucible event.

7.0 DCO Development sandbox – The CMF is responsible for providing access to Defensive Cyber Sandbox locations throughout the United States. These locations will provide consortium members with an environment to develop and test their capabilities prior to C-RAPID events.

8.0 Next Steps – The Government plans to select a CMF in March, a Government Crucible location known as the “Forge” will be stood up by March 2018, a commercial location for the “Shark Tank” will be stood up by May 2018, and the first C-RAPID requirement will run NLT June 2018.

Posted February 01, 2018

Awards Honor Acquisition’s Finest

By asc.army.mil


WASHINGTON—The U.S. Army Acquisition Executive’s (AAE) Excellence in Leadership Awards were announced at a ceremony Jan. 18 at the Pentagon, with this year’s honorees representing excellence across such fields as missile defense, workforce development, rapid fielding, logistics and Soldier equipment.

Hon. Bruce D. Jette, assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition, logistics and technology (ASA(ALT)), hosted the awards ceremony, which was also attended by Dr. Mark T. Esper, secretary of the Army, and Jeffrey S. White, principal deputy to the ASA(ALT). Among the multiple award winners were the Program Executive Office (PEO) for Missiles and Space (MS), which received three individual awards, and PEO Aviation, which received an individual award and a group award.

Billy R. McCain, product support manager for the Product Manager for Global Combat Support System – Army (GCSS-A) within the PEO for Enterprise Information Systems (PEO EIS), was named Logistician of the Year for his work to lead the organization’s Deployment Division. GCSS-A is an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system that replaces aging and stove-piped tactical logistics systems with a web-based, integrated logistics and financial solution. Its fielding represents the largest ERP deployment in Army history, and thanks to McCain’s leadership, the program office migrated more than 20,000 units from legacy systems to GCSS-Army and improved property accountability of more than $92 billion in assets.

Continued...

Posted January 24, 2018

Army Opens First-of-its-Kind Training System for Wideband Satellite Operators

By asc.army.mil

Sgt. Roy Dilworth III, an instructor at the U.S. Army Signal School in Fort Gordon, GA, demonstrates how students will benefit from the modular, interactive training and simulation system.
Sgt. Roy Dilworth III, an instructor at the U.S. Army Signal School in Fort Gordon, GA, demonstrates how students will benefit from the modular, interactive training and simulation system.

Fort Gordon, Ga.—The U.S. Army’s Cyber Center of Excellence (USACCoE) unveiled the Army’s first-of-its-kind Wideband Training and Certification System (WTCS) here on Jan. 11. Students attending the USACCoE’s Satellite Systems Network Coordinator Course will use WTCS to apply classroom learning to simulations generated from real-world events.

Soldiers training on WTCS will soon staff the Army’s Wideband Satellite Communications Operations Centers (WSOC) located at five military installations worldwide. At the WSOCs, operators perform satellite payload management tasks for the Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) constellation of satellites, delivering world-class, resilient, assured, secured, and reliable strategic communications capability worldwide for the U.S. Army, all of DoD, other government agencies and the National Command Authority.

The WTCS allows instructors to build tailored scenarios to support specific training objectives. The WTCS reacts in real time to student input, allowing each scenario to develop realistically and simulate an unfolding situation. The first class of WSOC operators to use the WTCS is already underway and will graduate in February 2018.

Col. Enrique Costas, the Program Manager for Defense Communications and Army Transmission Systems (PM DCATS), says WTCS enhances the Army’s operational readiness.

“Army SATCOM enables satellite communications for carrier strike groups, deployed air wings, special operations task forces, intelligence assets, and strategic forces, providing them a decisive advantage to fight and win in any environment against any adversary,” said Costas. “By using WTCS to ‘train how we fight,’ WSOC operators will be better prepared to deliver their 24/7, no-fail mission to enable satellite communications for our Warfighters. It is all about operational readiness; the Army’s number one priority.”

PM DCATS selected the Program Executive Office for Simulation, Training and Instrumentation (PEO STRI) to develop and field the WTCS. It is PEO STRI’s first training and simulation system for space hardware. Brig. Gen. William E. Cole, program executive officer for PEO STRI, said that “creating a complex virtual training system from the ground up which provides high fidelity and an immersive experience is second nature to PEO STRI. WSOC operators have the responsibility to ensure satellite communications are always up and running. The WTCS will be an integral part of meeting that responsibility by providing training that prepares the WSOC operators to handle basic operations and more importantly, to be able to handle anomalies and threats. WTCS offers realistic training at an accelerated pace and a very reasonable cost.”

The WTCS is a modular, interactive training and simulation system to be used by the Army’s Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) 25S, Satellite Systems Network Coordinator Course, Additional Skill Identifier (ASI) 1C. The USACCoE WTCS consists of two classrooms including 12 student and two instructor classroom workstations, six realistic, high fidelity laboratory training workstations, and two instructor lab workstations. Each WTCS supports up to 12 simultaneous running simulations, each representing a “mini WSOC”.

The ribbon cutting marks the delivery of the first two of seven WTCS trainers which PM DCATS and PEO STRI will field at WSOC facilities.

Posted January 19, 2018

Brigadier General Patrick W. Burden Relinquishes PEO EIS Charter

By Ms. Ellyn Kocher, Public Affairs Office, 703.806.3156

January 8, 2018 – On January 8, 2018, Program Executive Officer Enterprise Information Systems (PEO EIS) Brigadier General (Promotable) Patrick W. Burden relinquishes the PEO EIS charter in a ceremony at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. The ceremony will be hosted by Lieutenant General Paul Ostrowski, Principal Military Deputy to the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics and Technology) and Director of the Army Acquisition Corps. Current Acting Deputy PEO EIS Ms. Cherie Smith will serve as the Acting PEO.

Prior to assuming the charter for PEO EIS in November 2016, Brigadier General Burden held the position of Deputy PEO Ammunition and Senior Commander of Picatinny Arsenal from October 2014 to November 2016. In this role, he led the mission to develop and procure conventional and leap-ahead munitions to increase the Warfighter's combat power.

Before his arrival at Picatinny, BG Burden served as the Deputy to the Deputy for Acquisition and Systems Management for the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics and Technology). Prior to that position, BG Burden was the Project Manager for the General Fund Enterprise Business System (GFEBS), an enterprise resource planning system within the PEO EIS portfolio.

Ms. Smith previously served as Deputy PEO Simulation, Training and Instrumentation (STRI) and Deputy PEO Soldier, and she is a former Program Manager for PEO EIS’ General Fund Enterprise Business System (GFEBS) -- a program she brought from its initial concept phase to its system development and demonstration phase.

“Ms. Smith is a highly experienced Army Acquisition Corps professional who over the past several years served as the Deputy for PEO STRI,” said Burden. “She will be an outstanding leader for the PEO EIS team.”

BG Burden is the first military officer and first general officer to serve as PEO EIS.

Ms. Cherie Smith biography

Posted January 05, 2018

Ms. Dawn Bare Named FCW Rising Star

By Ms. Tricia Shelley, Public Affairs, CHESS

Ms. Dawn Bare
Ms. Dawn Bare

Federal Computer Weekly(FCW) recently named Ms. Dawn Bare as a 2017 Rising Star, an award that recognizes outstanding individuals within the IT community that are making a difference today and establishing themselves as future leaders. Ms. Bare serves in Computer Hardware, Enterprise Software and Solutions (CHESS) as a product management specialist and Army enterprise software initiative lead and manages software contracts valued over $802 million that support a customer base of over 17,000. Ms. Bare, in coordination with Army Contracting Command – Rock Island, was imperative in the awarding of the Minitab ELA, a $2.8 million agreement executed against the Navy’s Enterprise Software Initiative Blanket Purchase Agreement. With Ms. Bare’s efforts in gathering the required research and negotiating with the vendor, the Army was able to reduce the overall license cost per user for Minitab from $1,595 to $240 annual, per subscription.

Of the 21 awardees, Ms. Bare was the only Army employee selected for the notable award, open to individuals working in the federal IT community. “Dawn is an exceptional member of the CHESS team and I’m happy to see her hard work publicly recognized by FCW” said Mr. Doug Haskin, product lead, CHESS. “This year has seen many great examples of her highest quality work, to include the Minitab Enterprise License Agreement award and the IT Services – Small Business contract ceiling increase. CHESS and the Army are lucky to have her on our team!” This year’s Rising Stars were honored at the Government Computer News Dig IT Awards gala on Oct. 19.

Posted November 14, 2017

Team AHRS to the Rescue

By Mr. Malanio Lipscombe, Business Management Division Team Lead, AHRS

The AHRS team.
The AHRS team.

Army Human Resources Systems (AHRS) provided a local church and shelter within the Baytown, Texas, and Orlando, Florida, areas with donated supplies in support of relief efforts for families displaced by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Personnel from AHRS gathered after work and donated their time and money to buy supplies to fill 10 boxes of items including toiletries, clothing and non-perishable food.

AHRS is an organization whose primary function is the procurement and sustainment of systems designed for the accountability of U.S. Army personnel, training and equipment. While the well-being for the Army Solider is the organization’s focus, answering the call to those in need was done without question. “Here at AHRS, our moral and civic responsibility to communities in need are an extension to the daily support we provide to the Soldiers and their families here and abroad,” stated Mr. Malanio Lipscombe, business management division team lead, AHRS.

Posted November 14, 2017

I3C2 Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

By Ms. Brittney Brown, Strategic Communications Specialist, P2E, & Ms. Rosalie Fehrmann, Strategic Communications Specialist, I3C2

Ms. Bibi Aponte, MAJ Alex Mora and his dance partner 
represent Colombia.
Ms. Bibi Aponte, MAJ Alex Mora and his dance partner represent Colombia.

Each year Hispanic Heritage month is observed from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15 in honor of the anniversary of independence for Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua (Sept. 15), Mexico (Sept. 16) and Chile (Sept. 18). During this time, the U.S. celebrates the contributions, histories and cultures of the Hispanic and Latino Americans. On Oct. 11, Installation Information Communication and Capabilities (I3C2), combined with their subordinate programs, Power Projection Enablers (P2E), Information Installation Infrastructure Modernization Program (I3MP), Defensive Cyber Operations (DCO) and Allied Information Technology (AIT), hosted a Hispanic Heritage Celebration in honor of all the Hispanic Americans that support the mission.

With a theme of “Contributions to the U.S. Armed Forces,” the event paid tribute to the Army’s 65th Infantry Regiment based in Puerto Rico, also known as the Borinqueneers. Similar to the Tuskegee Airman and Montford Point Marines, the Borinqueneers were a segregated unit for Soldiers of Hispanic descent. The Borinqueneers fought in World Wars I and II and played a significant role in the Korean War. The 65th Infantry Regiment was honored with the Congressional Gold Medal in 2016 and, one of the driving forces of the Borinqueneers’ congressional recognition efforts, Mr. Samuel Rodriguez, attended I3C2’s event as a guest speaker.

After the Borinqueneers presentation, I3MP’s MAJ Alex Mora performed the Cumbia, a traditional Colombian dance. Following the lively presentations, attendees enjoyed a walking tour of exhibits featuring the cultures of Colombia, Cuba, Mexico, Panama and Puerto Rico. Each exhibit was created and manned by volunteers from I3C2 and included food and interesting facts about the contributions of those countries to the U.S. armed forces. Mr. Edgardo Edwards, acquisition lead, P2E, was one of the representatives for Panama, along with I3MP’s Mr. Richard Slattery. Together, they introduced a variety of cultural aspects to visitors. “It was great being an ambassador for Panama because it gave me an opportunity to provide insight into my culture,” said Mr. Edwards. “I was able to share some Panamanian history and serve some authentic cuisine.” Other ambassadors included Ms. Ana Marron for Cuba, Ms. Aleida Aponte for Colombia, Mr. Fernando Marquez and Ms. Patricia Van Vloten for Mexico, and Mr. Victor Santiago and Mr. Richard Rivera for Puerto Rico.

“I am truly thankful that I had the opportunity to participate in the Hispanic Heritage Celebration within this team and be part of the celebration of our diversity and strength,” said COL Chad Harris, project manager, I3C2. “I saw a team of professionals proudly share their culture and heritage with their fellow teammates [and] fellow professionals who took a genuine interest in the culture of their teammates. This was truly a great event!”

Posted November 13, 2017

RCAS Trains at Fort Belvoir

By Mr. Robert G. Medley, Public Affairs, RCAS

Mr. Longoria (left) and SFC Phelps (right) train soldiers on RPAM. Photo by Mr. Robert Medley.
Mr. Longoria (left) and SFC Phelps (right) train soldiers on RPAM. Photo by Mr. Robert Medley.

During the last week of September 2017, the RCAS training team supported a classroom event at the D.C. Army National Guard (ARNG) 260th Regional Training Institute on Fort Belvoir, Virginia. RCAS instructor Mr. Steve Longoria joined SFC Marty Phelps, Retirement Points Accounting Management (RPAM) Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO), Maryland ARNG; MSG Jennifer Iudicello, retirement services NCO, National Guard Bureau (NGB); and Ms. Althea Wilson, RCAS personnel applications functional manager, NGB, for the weeklong RPAM training event. There were 24 students in the class from across the country, including Hawaii and Guam.

RPAM is a vital application that calculates all retirement points, such as those earned through individual training drills, active duty training and correspondence courses. In class the students learned to use RPAM to calculate and perform reporting of Soldiers’ retirement points, including how to correct errors in Soldier records. In addition to calculating and reporting on points, the RPAM application generates 15-year (medical) and 20-year (standard) retirement point letters. Students also had the opportunity to learn about the features and capabilities of new RPAMNext application which is being tested at Maryland, New York and Ohio ARNG sites.

Posted November 13, 2017