RCAS Exhibits at the Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the U.S. (EANGUS) Annual Conference in New Orleans, LA from August 21-23, 2016
By Robert G. Medley, RCAS Public Affairs Officer
New Orleans, LA – Members of the RCAS team had the opportunity to meet face-to-face with Soldiers and personnel from the Army and Air National Guard across the 54 States and Territories who attended the EANGUS Conference. The event was a huge success and provided the RCAS Team with the ability to get first hand user feedback to help make RCAS Products and Services better. For more information on how RCAS may be able to support your organization, please contact Mr. Jim Cook, Chief, Software Sustainment Division for RCAS phone at 703-806-3071 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted September 14, 2016
By Robert G. Medley, RCAS Public Affairs Officer
The Defense Acquisition University (DAU) is endorsing the Reserve Component Automation Systems (RCAS) Agile Solution Factory (ASF) as an experience-based best practice across the DoD including the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps. On 9 August 2016, members of DAU’s Foundational Learning Directorate (FLD) and Capital and Northeast (CNE) Region met with members of the RCAS program to conduct deep-dive discussions into four specific areas of the RCAS ASF: RCAS Agile transformation approach (including the RCAS Innovation Engine); implementing Agile at an enterprise scale (including optimizing Agile); integrating Information Assurance across the Agile lifecycle and implementing Earned Value Management (EVM) within Agile (Agile EVM). This meeting was a follow up from a previous session with DAU on 11 May on how RCAS transformed to Agile; this provided an overview of the RCAS ASF and its workings, and a tour of the RCAS ASF with the RCAS product family scrum lanes. DAU is working with DoD on advancing agile in government and has advertised RCAS’s work as a prime example of Agile transformation.
Mr. Robert Reid, Senior Program Director for the RCAS Prime Contractor, explained that RCAS successfully transitioned from a waterfall methodology to an agile methodology within the first 45 days of the contract (during the contract transition phase). Robert talked about the transition to agile methodology within 45 days and how the scrum teams went through storming-norming-performing phases in the new agile development methodology. As the team began to implement automation (including test automation and continuous integration), the RCAS ASF started showing optimal performance within the first 6 months. The Agile approach focuses on quick and responsive software development designed to optimize the use and effectiveness of the RCAS suite of applications for Soldiers. The implementation of Agile has had far-reaching effects across the Army National Guard (ARNG) and the U.S. Army Reserve (USAR) by enabling RCAS to release high-quality products and services more frequently to meet stakeholders’ requirements on time and on point.
Having stabilized the operation within the Agile Solution Factory, RCAS is driving towards DevOps and further optimizing and measuring the performance of the ASF. At a cultural level, DevOps is a set of tools that breaks the wall between operations and development and molds a uniform team which results in an optimal solution for the warfighter. It focuses on automating as many tests as practical, provides early feedback, and includes security from beginning to end. This is an example of the constant innovation within the RCAS program.
DAU looked at the RCAS ASF model to see how other programs can use the agile approach to shape their future in a more effective and efficient manner. The key to RCAS’s success is transparency with the stakeholders and a trusting relationship with its contractors. RCAS’s Agile management tool, VersionOne, provides a single, user-friendly system for planning and tracking all of the “epics” (ongoing implementation initiatives), sprints, user stories, defects, tasks, tests and issues. Being able to responsibly empower teams and create high trust/quality delivery environments has yielded significant benefits for RCAS as software is released every quarter to accommodate ever-changing operating environments that demand innovative, adaptable information technology solutions. It also allows developers to satisfy key requirements through close collaboration with end users.
RCAS is excited to work with DAU to promote Agile solutions and looks forward to sharing Agile successes in the future. If you would like more information about the implementation of Agile in Government please contact any of the individuals below: Mr. Dennis J. Lujan, RCAS Product Lead at 703-806-3095 or email@example.com Mr. Bob Skertic, IT Learning Director, DAU at 703-805-5281 or firstname.lastname@example.org
RCAS is a world class information technology program that leverages Government acquisition and industry technical expertise to successfully empower the citizen Soldiers of our nation with integrated web-based enterprise software solutions and support services that enhance the efficiencies of the Army National Guard and the U.S. Army Reserve by providing multiple automation capabilities to the over 500,000 Soldiers serving in the Army’s Reserve Component.
Posted September 14, 2016
By Public Affairs Office
Mr. Richard Kendig assumes the Charter for the Product Director Aviation Logistics from COL Harry Culclasure, Project Manager, AESIP, in a ceremony held July 19 in Huntsville, Alabama.
Posted August 25, 2016
By Joshua Prible, PL EC
The Product Lead for Enterprise Computing (PL EC) announced that it will host a workshop from 0800-0900 on 3 August 2016 at the AFCEA TechNet Augusta 2016 conference. The workshop will cover two of PL EC’s initiatives: Army Application Migration and the Army Enterprise Service Desk (AESD).
Speakers include Ms. Johanna Curry, Project Officer for the Army Application Migration Business Office (AAMBO) and Mr. Dennis Kelly, Product Lead for Enterprise Computing.
Workshop topics will include:
- How the Army will rationalize its portfolio of systems and applications
- The Army’s migration process and AAMBO’s role in tracking and reporting the movement of applications across the enterprise
- Discussion on FedRAMP and DoD’s Provisional Authorization processes and how the Army leverages this existing data for assessment and authorization
- Discussion on cloud services contract requirements and how to manage the risk of using non-DoD federal contracts for DoD cloud
- Plans for shared support, common/utility services implementation, and security services for all enterprise environments
- What is the Army Enterprise Service Desk (AESD) Federation and who does it serve?
- Various initiatives under AESD
- Discussion of AESD Strategic goals for the near term
One hour of Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are available for participating in this workshop.
About PL EC
PL EC provides future-focused solutions that modernize and optimize enterprise information technology activities through cost-effective and policy-compliant delivery of cutting edge infrastructure and services. PL EC is identified as the lead for cloud initiatives identified by the Department of Defense and Army as they are develop and are matured to a point requiring program management support. One of PL EC’s key initiatives is The Army Application Migration Business Office (AAMBO). AAMBO is the Army’s central office for application migration, providing planning support for the movement of approximately 12,000 applications to enterprise environments.
AESD provides the single point of contact for all LandWarNet (LWN) IT service requests, issues, or inquiries. The AESD provides round the clock support services to Army sites and functional organizations. It is the primary point of contact for LWN IT service consumers in CONUS and is integrated with the Army NetOps facilities providing IT service operations within each of the theaters. The AESD provides the focal point for coordination with DOD and Army support organizations.
Posted July 14, 2016
By Mr. Robert G. Medley, RCAS Public Affairs Officer
Mr. Dennis J. Lujan was introduced as the new Reserve Component Automation Systems (RCAS) Product Lead (PL), during an Assumption of Charter ceremony hosted by the Project Manager, Installation Information Infrastructure Communications and Capabilities (I3C2), Mr. Michael Padden on July 11, 2016, at Fort Belvoir, Virginia.
Mr. Lujan assumes his new position as the 11th RCAS PL after serving as the Division Director and Information Security Officer in the Office of Technology Solutions under the Office of the Chief Financial Officer for the Environmental Protection Agency. Mr. Lujan started his federal career in the U.S. Army in 1992 serving 20 years of active military service in operational and generating force units-culminating in an Honorable Discharge in 2012. Upon retiring, he continued his federal service as a civil servant with the Department of Veterans Affairs and most recently with the Environmental Protection Agency in Washington D.C.
During service with the Department of Veterans Affairs, Mr. Lujan served as Senior Program Manager overseeing corporate initiatives such as the Integrated Acquisition Program, Construction Management, Software Integration and Business Process Improvements. Mr. Lujan was later assigned to the Veterans Health Administration as the principle interagency liaison to a Joint Department of Defense / VA integrated electronic health record program. He also served as a principal advisor to the interagency Clinical Informatics Board and provided executive oversight of all joint business requirement packages going to the board for executive decision.
Among Mr. Lujan’s many military decorations are the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal and the Army Commendation Medal. Mr. Lujan is a graduate of the Command and General Staff Officer Course and holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration from the Florida Institute of Technology and a Masters in Criminal Justice Administration from Oklahoma City University.
Mr. Lujan’s awareness and understanding of both the military and civil service will help shape RCAS now and in the future. We welcome him as part of the RCAS Team.
Mr. Sajjan (Saj) M. George, continues his role as the RCAS Deputy PL after serving the past seven months as the Acting PL; he received the Army Achievement Medal for Civilian Service during the ceremony.
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Posted July 13, 2016
By Robert J. Butner, Strategic Communications, Project Director Enterprise Services
On June 17, 2016, Sergio Alvarez was named Product Lead (PL) for Enterprise Content Collaboration and Messaging (EC2M) during a ceremony held at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. The ceremony was hosted by Thomas Neff, Project Director for Enterprise Services (PD ES). Mr. Alvarez received the charter from outgoing PL John Howell.
"Sergio, today we welcome you into the family of PMs. I have been lucky enough to have known you and your wife for over a decade. You are part of that ever expanding list of PM J-AIT alumni that have gone on to running EIS programs. Who could ever have guessed that program was going to turn out to be an incredible incubator for future PMs,” Mr. Neff remarked during the ceremony.
As head of EC2M, Mr. Alvarez will manage a team of over 100 government and contractor personnel acquiring, fielding and performing life cycle sustainment of technology and services for some of the highest priority Army Chief Information Officer Enterprise technology projects and initiatives including Army Knowledge Online (AKO), DoD Enterprise Email (DEE), DoD Enterprise Portal Service (DEPS), and Unified Capabilities (UC).
“I am humbled to have been given the opportunity to lead what I believe is one of the best organizations in the PEO. My predecessor built an exceptional team and I look forward to working with everyone as we continue to support the Army,” said Mr. Alvarez.
Formerly the EC2M Deputy, Alvarez was instrumental in the fusion of the separate legacy project teams of Army Knowledge Online (AKO), Defense Enterprise Email (DEE) and Unified Communications (UC) during the formation of EC2M. Mr. Alvarez has held many other leadership positions throughout the PEO EIS portfolio of programs, as well as serving six years active duty as a U.S. Marine. He was joined at the ceremony by his wife, Sandy, and their three children.
Posted July 11, 2016
By Billy Cody, CHESS Public Affairs
The Computer Hardware, Enterprise Software and Solutions (CHESS) team bid farewell to Ms. Sammi Foong on June 9, 2016, at Burton’s Grill in Alexandria, VA. Mr. Tom Neff, Project Director for Enterprise Services and former Product Lead (PL) of CHESS, awarded a director’s coin and meritorious plaque to Ms. Foong for her dedicated service to CHESS.
Ms. Foong served as Deputy Product Lead at CHESS for more than three years, providing management and leadership in support of the PL. As Deputy PL, she oversaw day-to-day operations and activities essential to providing flexible procurement strategy for Army users procuring IT hardware, software, and services. Ms. Foong was also instrumental in expanding CHESS’s training and outreach efforts and developing its public affairs strategy.
“Her ability to forge effective partnerships with industry, the Army CIO/G-6 and Army Contracting Command was instrumental in ensuring CHESS was able to support the Soldier with the solution they needed, when they needed it,” Mr. Neff read from the plaque. “Sammi's commitment to excellence set the standard for the entire CHESS team to emulate. Her professionalism and unwavering commitment reflect great credit upon herself, PEO Enterprise Information Systems and the United States Army.”
Ms. Foong will continue her service in the PEO EIS family as PL of Force Management Systems (FMS) where she succeeds Dr. David Powers, who retired in March 2016.
Posted June 23, 2016
A safe place among the KaSTARS: NASA considering surplus Army satellite antennas for asteroid detection
By Anthony Castranova, Telecommunications Management Specialist, WESS
On Feb.15, 2013, an asteroid estimated to have been only 55 feet in diameter plunged into Earth’s atmosphere at many times the speed of sound. Friction with the air soon heated the falling rock until it became white hot and finally exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia, shattering windows and damaging buildings. More than 1,500 people were injured by the blast. Luckily, the Chelyabinsk asteroid exploded in the air rather than crashing into the ground — the impact of a rocky asteroid the size of a shopping mall could easily raise a dust cloud that would block out the sun for decades, causing an unending winter and possibly wiping out all life on Earth.
Asteroids consisting of rock, iron and ice are constantly traveling through space, and many of them cross the Earth’s orbit every week. Some of these asteroids are no larger than a grain of sand while others are miles long. A collision with larger asteroids could spell doom for the planet, so, to counter this threat, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is developing a network of Ka-band radar antennas that will scan space for objects on a collision course with Earth to provide sufficient warning for NASA to take defensive action. The extremely high radio frequencies used by the Ka-band will allow NASA observers to determine the size, direction, speed and, in some cases, the composition of the approaching object. NASA has dubbed this project Ka-band Object Observation and Monitoring (KaBOOM).
To aid in their effort, NASA contacted Defense Communications and Transmission System (DCATS) requesting two surplus Ka-band satellite earth terminals. NASA will use the antennas for feasibility testing and, eventually, to provide initial space observation and monitoring capabilities. The surplus antennas are part of DCATS’ Ka-band Satellite Transmit and Receive System (KaSTARS) program, which provide enterprise-level satellite communications services for DOD users world-wide. The two terminals requested by NASA are currently in storage, as the Army has recently approved the disposal of surplus terminals. Since KaSTARS is being replaced by a new DCATS program, the Modernized Enterprise Terminal, the KaSTARS terminals are no longer needed. Transferring these terminals to NASA will save the Army the expenses of storing and eventually disposing of the surplus equipment.
NASA personnel recently inspected the KaSTARS installation at the Joint Satellite Engineering Center in Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, and also visited the warehouse in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania, to view the terminals. NASA plans to ship the terminals to the Kennedy Space Center in Titusville, Florida, for assembly and testing. Once operational, the KaSTARS antennas will become the initial project KaBOOM antennas, scanning the sky for threats from outer space.
Transferring the surplus KaSTARS terminals to NASA will provide project KaBOOM, which is in the early stages of development, with valuable equipment for the proof of concept, initial testing and startup phases at little cost. NASA, the Army and the entire planet will benefit from this transfer as NASA develops a radar system that will alert them of potential life-ending cosmic threats.
Posted June 16, 2016
By Billy Cody and Tricia Shelley, CHESS Public Affairs
The Computer Hardware, Enterprise Software and Solutions (CHESS) Consolidated Buy (CB) - 23 is open for ordering and now offers Windows 10 compliant devices!
CHESS offers two CB periods yearly. The CB-23 ordering period opened June 13 and runs through September 30. CB-23 is open to all Government agencies and employees eligible to buy through CHESS, and is the mandated source for Army desktop and notebook computers. Organizations that utilize the CB, regardless of the quantities secured, net significant savings.
The migration to Windows 10 is part of the DOD's effort to ensure a more secure computing environment for end-users and includes the deployment of essential security features. As part of the effort, CB-23 devices come pre-loaded with Windows 7 Army Golden Master (AGM) for desktops and notebooks and Windows 8.1 AGM for tablets and slates, and are able to support Windows 10. When Windows 10 AGM is pushed out, CB-23 devices will be ready for the upgrade.
In conjunction with this migration, the NETCOM Technical Authority (TA) "Implementation Memorandum for Army End-User computing Environment" has issued Trusted Platform Module 2.0 as a new requirement for Army users. While TPM 2.0 platforms are being offered under various categories within CB-23, customers are encouraged to use the CHESS CB Compare Tool that will classify which versions of TPM each device has. Some offerings may include TPM 1.2 with firmware that is upgradable in the future to TPM 2.0. Other offerings may only include a TPM 1.2 chip that is not upgradable.
Additional information about CB-23, Windows 10 migration, and TPM 2.0 can be found on the CHESS website at https://CHESS.army.mil.
Posted June 13, 2016
By Ms. Megan Quick, DLS Communications Team
On 16 May 2016, the Distributed Learning System (DLS) team bid farewell to MAJ Mike Alabre. MAJ Alabre was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal and the DLS Certificate of Appreciation for his support and contributions toward the training of Soldiers and DA Civilians. For the past four years, MAJ Alabre served as the Assistant Product Manager (APM) for DLS. As the APM for DLS, MAJ Alabre was responsible for the program’s life cycle sustainment, planning, and execution. He served as the military conduit for the Soldiers in the field for all matters dealing with the fielding of the Deployed Digital Campus. MAJ Alabre also served as the Army Learning Management System Contracting Officer Representative. These systems provide education and training access to Soldiers, units, and organizations by using web-based and video tele-training capabilities supporting the Warfighter. MAJ Alabre will continue his distinguished military career as the APM for Combat Engineer and Material Handling Equipment (CE/MHE) for the TACOM Life Cycle Management Command (LCMC). He will be responsible for providing the primary mission equipment to the Army's combat engineer brigades and material handling equipment to all Army organizations. CE/MHE is the life-cycle manager for over 200 various type-classified systems covering a worldwide fleet of approximately 20,000 vehicles. These programs support the current engineer forces within Stryker (Heavy) and Infantry Brigade Combat Teams, engineer support companies, vertical and horizontal companies, asphalt and concrete teams, and multirole bridge companies.
Posted June 02, 2016