Category Archives: Defense AT&L Add-Ons

AT&L Workforce—Key Leadership Changes

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Flag Officer Announcements

The Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus and Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John M. Richardson announced today the following assignments:
• Rear Adm. (upper half) Ronald A. Boxall will be assigned as director, Surface Warfare Division, N96, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Washington, District of Columbia. Boxall most recently served as commander, Carrier Strike Group THREE, Bremerton, Washington.
• Rear Adm. (upper half) Peter J. Fanta will be assigned as director, Warfare Integration, N9I, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Washington, District of Columbia. Fanta is currently serving as director, Surface Warfare Division, N96, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Washington, District of Columbia.

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Acquisition & Logistics Excellence

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Call for Nominations for the 12th Annual Secretary of Defense Performance-Based Logistics (PBL) Award

Bill Kobren
DAU Director, Logistics & Sustainment Center (April 27, 2016)

DoD has issued a call for nominations for the 12th Annual Secretary of Defense Performance-Based Logistics (PBL) Awards in an April 25, 2016, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics (AT&L) memorandum.
According to the memorandum, “Performance-Based Logistics (PBL) is a key Department of Defense strategy
for delivering integrated, affordable, performance-based product support solutions designed to deliver
warfighter requirements and reduce cost. The tenets of PBL support Better Buying Power by incentivizing
productivity and innovation in industry and government.” The department instituted the PBL Awards to enhance PBL awareness and encourage PBL excellence. Prior winners have achieved superior performance for the warfighter while controlling cost growth, addressing long-term affordability, and promoting industry competition and innovation. Through the PBL Awards, the department recognizes organizations responsible for outstanding achievements in PBL development, implementation, and execution. The awards honor outstanding PBL performance in three categories: System Level, Subsystem Level, and Component Level. The winners in each category will be acknowledged at the Spring 2017 Office of the Secretary of Defense Product Support Manager Workshop, followed by formal presentation of the award at their command.

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Conferences, Workshops & Symposia

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2016 IEEE 8th International Conference on Biometrics Theory, Applications and Systems

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 8th International Conference on Biometrics Theory, Applications and Systems (BTAS) will be held Sept. 6–9, 2016, at The Conference and Event Center Niagara Falls in Buffalo, New York. The theme for the 2016 conference will be “Technology Management for Social Innovation.” BTAS 2016 is a premier research conference focused on all aspects of biometrics. It is intended to have a broad scope, including advances in fundamental signal processing, image processing, pattern recognition, and statistical and mathematical techniques relevant to biometrics. Areas of coverage include biometrics based on voice, fingerprint, iris, periocular, face, handwriting, gait and other modalities, as well as multi-modal biometrics and new biometrics based on novel sensing technologies. For more information, contact Richa Singh at Register online at

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Career Development

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Acquisition Writing Award Opportunity

Principal Military Deputy to the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology Lt. Gen. Michael E. Williamson has announced the third annual Maj. Gen. Harold J. “Harry” Greene Awards for Acquisition Writing competition to encourage critical writing focused on U.S. Army acquisition issues. Authors may write articles, opinion pieces, or essays from 500 words to 1,800 words on U.S. Army acquisition in one of four categories including acquisition reform/Better Buying Power; future operations; innovation; or lessons learned.
The deadline for submissions is Sept. 19, 2016. Additional information is on the ASA(ALT) website at https://

Army DACM Office Announces Training, Leadership, and Educational Opportunities for FY16
Susan L. Follett

FORT BELVOIR, Va.—Open up your calendars: The Office of the Army, Director of Acquisition Career Management has scheduled a host of Army Acquisition Workforce (AAW) education, training, and leadership development opportunities for FY16.

A handful of AAW leadership development opportunities are on the schedule, including four sections of the Acquisition Leader Challenge Program, a series of seminars that focus on developing leadership skills for civilians, identifying challenges for new leaders, and incorporating individual talents into a cohesive workforce. Applications will be accepted in August for the Competitive Development Group, a threeyear developmental program for board-selected applicants that offers expanded training, leadership, experiential, and other career development opportunities. Civilian workforce members can also take advantage of the opportunities offered through the Defense Civilian Emerging Leaders Program and the Senior Service College Fellowship, both of which will open for applications next year.

Ready for your next career challenge? Announcements open in mid-September for the Centrally Selected List/Centralized Selection Board, which fills billets for project and product managers as well as product directors. Maybe a hands-on experience is what you need for this stage of your career. Military members of the Army Acquisition Workforce might consider the Training With Industry program, which places competitively selected officers in corporate assignments, giving them extensive exposure to managerial techniques and industrial procedures. The program announcement opened July 23. Programs for 51C NCOs and FA-51 officers include Advanced Civil Schooling, which offers a number of sessions through FY16, and the Degree Completion Program, which opens for applications a year from now.

Looking for tuition assistance programs? The Student Loan Repayment Program opens in the fall, and applicants will be selected early next year. Further down the road, the Naval Postgraduate School Master’s Degree Program, which allows participants to earn an advanced degree in program management or systems engineering, will open for applications in early 2016.

A complete list of the FY16 programs, including opening and closing dates, is below, and additional information can be found on the online calendar.

ACS 17-02 [FA-51 Officers]
• Announcement opening: o/a Aug. 7, 2016
• Announcement closing: o/a Nov. 5, 2016
• Applicant selection notification date: o/a December 31, 2016
• Announcement opening (FY 17): Aug. 8, 2016
• Announcement closing: Nov. 30, 2016
• Applicant selection notification date: January 20, 2017

More information will be posted at web/dacm-office/.
• Announcement opening (spring): Aug. 1, 2016
• Announcement closing: Oct. 14, 2016
• Applicant selection notification date: Nov. 18, 2016

DoD Ramps Up Training on Blended Retirement System

(JUNE 1, 2016)
Karen Parrish
WASHINGTON—The Defense Department’s new retirement system will affect some 2.2 million people who all need to get smart on what it will mean.

Two subject-matter experts from the department’s personnel and readiness branch described the issues involved to DoD News: Army Sgt. Maj. Luther Thomas Jr., senior enlisted advisor to the Defense Department’s Manpower and Reserve Affairs Division, and Wayne Boswell, DoD’s director of financial readiness.

Thomas described the four-phase overall training program planned for the Blended Retirement System, or BRS, as “a very comprehensive financial education strategy.” The leader training module will be available starting today, June 1, on the Joint Knowledge Online portal and the MilitaryOneSource website, and on DVD at deployed, shipboard and other remote locations. Thomas, who has reviewed the module, said he’s impressed with the tools available in the training.

“I’m going to have service members whose situations are all different. … I can go up online to JKO, click ‘launch the class,’ and then look in the glossary and get the specific information I need to be able to talk to my service member one on one,” he said. Thomas said that while leaders are required to take the first round of training, it’s also available to those who aren’t yet in leadership roles. Boswell noted that the online availability also will help family members learn about the new retirement system.

“We know a lot of these decisions will be made around the dinner table, with families’ input in terms of the impact of lifelong financial decisions,” he said. The training is designed to inform leaders about BRS “to be able to translate this for their members,” Boswell said.

Modules and Milestones
The learning strategy for BRS includes four separate modules:
• Leader training starts June 1;
• Training for installation and command financial counselors rolls out in the fall;
• Opt-in training for current service members begins in January 2017; and
• Service members who join after January 2018 will receive training during their first months of service.

Everyone serving as of December 31, 2017, will be grandfathered under the current retirement system. Service members who have served fewer than 12 years on active duty or accrued fewer than 4,320 retirement points in the reserve component will have the option of remaining covered under their current retirement system or enrolling in BRS. Those with greater than 12 years on active duty or more than 4,320 retirement points in the reserve component will stay under their current system.

Both men emphasized that while training will happen at all levels, the decision on whether to opt in belongs to the individual. Leaders will be informers of—not advocates for—the new system, they said.

Service members who join on or after Jan. 1, 2018, will automatically be enrolled in BRS. Members eligible to opt into BRS will have until Dec.

More Benefit for More Troops
“Under the current system only about 19 percent of service members actually leave with some type of retirement benefit, and 81 percent of service members don’t,” Thomas said. “We believe under this new system, about 85 percent of those who serve, if they serve two years or longer, will be able to leave with some type of portable retirement benefit that they can take with them to a future employer.”

I__OPVAP_DATL_2016_5 - Sept-Oct_Web_OO_Career

The “blending” in BRS comes from the combination of the Thrift Savings Plan and an annuity provision for those who retire after 20 or more years. BRS will use the annuity formula currently in place: the average of the service member’s highest 36 months of basic pay times 2.5 percent of his or her years of service—but the 2.5 percent is adjusted downward by half of a percentage point, from 2.5 to 2 percent.

The Thrift Savings Plan is currently offered to service members without government contributions, but under BRS several changes take place. After their first 60 days in the service, all members will be enrolled in TSP and receive an automatic government contribution of 1 percent of basic pay into their account each month. Additionally, the service member will be automatically enrolled with a 3 percent contribution from their own pay. After two years of service, the government will match the member’s contributions up to an additional 4 percent. In total, members can get up to a 5 percent government contribution on top of what they contribute each month.

BRS also includes a mid-career continuation pay at about 12 years of service, as a further incentive to continue serving toward the traditional 20 years to qualify for monthly military retired pay.

Congress enacted BRS following upon the recommendations of the congressionally mandated Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission, Boswell said, adding that the commission heard from “a vast swath” of stakeholders and subject-matter experts who “are very interested in the military and are connected to the military” when making this recommendation.

Taking Part of My Pay?
So while those in BRS may see part of their pay deducted for TSP contribution, Thomas said, “what’s happening is they’re going to have to help contribute to their retirement, just like in the civilian world. … It’s still the service member’s money.” The new system offers the potential for a greater retirement income than the current system for “disciplined savers,” Thomas noted, adding that with DoD’s 1 percent contribution plus matching contributions, members who contribute from their own pay, even in amounts as small as the cost of a pizza or movie each week, could end their careers with potentially sizable savings for retirement. And those who don’t retire won’t walk away with empty pockets.

“When they go into a new job in the private sector or public sector at [age] 24, 25, 26, they don’t start with zero,” Thomas said. “They start with the retirement savings they accumulated [starting] 60 days after they joined the military.”

Boswell said the new system will add to the benefits of military service.

“I think lifelong success comes from self-investment and self-preparation,” he said. “I think service members who leave after four years leave with a lot: they leave with skills, experience, [and] education. They’ve had their mettle tested to some degree.”

With BRS, those leaving service will have skills, education, and financial resources, he said.

Product and Project Director Centralized Selection Board Update
The Army Director, Acquisition Career Management, approved a centralized product and project director (PD) selection process in FY15 to identify high-performing acquisition civilians with leadership potential. The annual centralized selection board mirrors and immediately follows the centralized PM board.

The initial product director board (GS-14 level) was in December 2014 and again in January 2016; the initial project director board (GS-15 level) was conducted in February 2016. Over the past two years, 26 acquisition civilians have been selected to fill positions throughout Army Program Executive Offices. The next PD boards will convene in December 2016 and will select product and project directors for the summer of FY17. For more information, go to

Carter Unveils Next Wave of Force of the FutureInitiatives
Karen Parrish
WASHINGTON—Defense Secretary Ash Carter today announced the next steps in his Force of the Future initiative to modernize the rules and regulations that govern how the Defense Department recruits, develops, and retains service members and civilian employees.

These are the third and fourth steps he’s announced since a snowy week in February 2015, his first week in office, when he spoke urgently during an all-hands meeting here about one of his top priorities: building the force of the future.

“Generations change, technologies change, labor markets change. That’s why one of my responsibilities now—and a job for all of us in the years ahead—is to make sure that amid all this change DoD continues to recruit, develop, and retain the most talented men and women America has to offer,” Carter said during remarks today in the Pentagon courtyard.

“It’s critical we do so to meet and overcome the five challenges we face today—from Russia, China, North Korea, Iran, and terrorism—especially [the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant],” he added, “and to be flexible and agile in preparing for … unknown dangers we can’t anticipate today.”

Today’s proposed changes—which the secretary called “the capstone of how the department is building the Force of the Future”—for the uniformed military services, focusing on giving them room to make common-sense improvements to the officer promotion system, and for DoD civilians, focusing on continuing to attract and retain the best talent, Carter said.

Landmark Changes
The department is proposing four landmark changes to the 36-year-old Defense Officer Personnel Management Act, or DOPMA—all of which Congress must approve.

Today, DOPMA governs the 100-year-old military “up or out” promotion system involving promotion boards, minimum time-in-grade requirements, and maximum age limits that still mean officers have to be good enough to advance or they have to retire, the defense secretary said.

“Together, these stand to be the most consequential changes to our officer promotion system in over 30 years, if not more,” Carter said, “and they’ll improve that hundredyear- old system and help bring it into the 21st century.”

The proposed DOPMA changes include:

  • Adjusting Lineal Numbers: DOPMA limits how many personnel are allowed in each grade, so officers chosen for promotion must wait for an opening in the grade above them. When there is an opening, the order in which they advance is determined by line numbers based on seniority. This might mean an assignment goes to the senior person on the list, even if someone lower down would be better in the job, or that high-performing officers chosen for promotion ahead of their peers have to wait in line behind everyone who is more senior.

“That’s why we’re seeking to change DOPMA to let the Services adjust lineal numbers based on superior performance,” Carter said. “It’s a key part of good talent management, and it’ll help us recognize and incentivize the very best performers.”

  • Deferring Promotion Boards: DOPMA has specific timelines for officers coming up for promotion. Everyone in a year group is considered when the system says they’ve stayed long enough at their current grade, and they’re considered in competition with their chronological
    peers. To advance, officers must meet experience and knowledge requirements within a specific amount of time, and the system can penalize deviations from the typical career path.

“The second change we’re seeking—to ensure our force doesn’t lose or penalize talented officers who wish to broaden their careers—is the authority for the Services to be able to temporarily defer when those officers are considered for promotion,” Carter said.

  • Expanding Lateral Entry: Civilian doctors can become commissioned military officers at grades commensurate with their skill and experience, Carter said, but in most other specialized fields, there’s no way for the Services to recruit a properly skilled and experienced civilian who wants to serve in uniform without having to start at the lowest ranks.

In situations where, for example, a network defense or encryption expert from a tech company feels a call to serve and is willing to contribute to the DoD mission as a reservist or on active duty, the department needs a way to harness their expertise and put it to use, the secretary said. “Allowing the military services to commission a wider segment of specialized outside talent … who can meet our standards, who provide unique skills we need and who are willing to serve in uniform will help fill critical gaps in our force and will make us more effective,” he added.

  • Enduring Flexibility: Under certain conditions the Services must be able to waive select DOPMA constraints to quickly build up expertise in a critical career field, the secretary said. This will enable them to respond to an uncertain future in ways that can be tailored to their specific capability requirements and personnel needs without casting off a system that still largely meets department needs for most officers across the force.

“Here we’re seeking enduring flexibility for future defense secretaries to let the Services make needed tweaks to DOPMA-related policies down the line, for purposes of improving the force,” Carter said. “While the other three changes are about providing specific solutions to specific problems, this change will help us be prepared for what we can’t anticipate.”

Other Military Efforts
The department also is proposing other measures to improve military recruiting efforts, Carter said.

These include moving to an all-digital system for recruiting and processing new personnel into the military, and expanding work being done by DoD’s Joint Advertising, Market Research and Studies program to leverage advances in data science and microtargeting, to build a precision recruiting database and making sure the department has access to the nation’s entire population.

“Rather than identifying geographic and demographic groups that already have a higher propensity to serve and sending recruiters to find people like them—which is what we do now—we’re going to build and use this precision recruiting database to identify those who’d be a great service member, but might not know it,” the secretary added.

Changes for DoD Civilians
For DoD civilians, the department is proposing three changes to current policies. These include:

  • On-Campus Direct Hire Authority: Today, if a DoD recruiter meets an undergraduate student, a graduate student or a recent graduate who is a perfect candidate for a particular job, the candidate must go to the USAJOBS website and start a 90-day or longer process of applying for the job, not counting the time it takes to get a security clearance.

In this change, Carter said, “we’re seeking authority from Congress to directly hire civilian employees from college campuses. … This has potential to be a real game-changer for us. Our civilian recruiters will be able to go to a campus job fair, do some interviews, and if they find someone who’s the right fit, they can make a tentative offer on the spot, pending security clearance.”

  • Two-Way Talent Exchange with the Private Sector: In this change, the department proposes to create a new two way talent exchange program for DoD civilians with the private sector.

“Right now we only have one such program, and it’s limited to information technology-related fields,” Carter said. “If we want to send a civilian from the Defense Logistics Agency or the U.S. Transportation Command to spend six months at a place like Amazon or Federal Express to see what we might be able to learn, there’s no formal mechanism for that.”

  • Paid Parental Leave: For this change, the department is calling on Congress to authorize paid maternity and paternity leave for DoD civilians.
Defense Secretary Ash Carter announces new “Force of the Future” initiatives at the Pentagon, June 9, 2016.

Defense Secretary Ash Carter announces new “Force of the Future” initiatives at the Pentagon, June 9, 2016.

“Parental leave is fully paid for military personnel, and the same should be true for their civilian colleagues. … We can’t afford to risk losing civilian talent just because private-sector companies will pay them during their maternity and paternity leave and we won’t,” Carter said.

Other Civilian Efforts
The department has other proposals that will help build its civilian force of the future, the secretary said, including to better leverage existing authorities to directly hire more highly qualified experts across the department. A highly qualified expert is an individual, usually from outside of the federal government, who possesses cutting-edge skills or world-class knowledge in a particular technical discipline or interdisciplinary field beyond the usual range of expertise. The expertise and skills of such personnel are generally not available within the department and are needed to satisfy emerging and nonpermanent requirements.

“Today,” Carter said, “we only have about 90 such experts … across DoD, including some really talented and innovative people like the director of the Defense Digital Service, the head of DoD’s Strategic Capabilities Office, and the Air Force’s chief scientist, … so we’re going to use this authority more often and increase our number of highly qualified experts by 10 percent a year over the next five years.” The department also will increase participation by 10 percent a year over five years in the dozens of career-broadening programs now offered to civilians, and expand by 10 percent over five years DoD’s decade-old scholarship-for-service program, which brings in graduates in mission-critical science, technology, engineering, and math fields to build the next generation of DoD science and technology leaders, Carter said.

Defense Assistive Technology Program Reaches Milestone

Karen Parrish
WASHINGTON—The Defense Department’s Computer/ Electronics Accommodations Program recently celebrated the 20th anniversary of its Technology & Evaluation Center, known as CAPTEC. Located in the Pentagon, CAPTEC allows people seeking solutions to accessibility challenges to view available assistive technologies and compare different solutions. Stephen M. King, the Computer/Electronics Accommodations Program’s director, described how CAPTEC is an essential part of CAP’s mission.

Promoting Inclusion, Increasing Productivity
“The accommodation solutions provided by the Department of Defense through CAP remove barriers for employees with disabilities and service members, promote inclusion, and increase productivity,” King said. CAP, the largest centrally funded reasonable accommodation program in the federal government and the largest assistive technology program in the world, continues to have a unique impact on the federal government’s ability to be inclusive, officials said, adding that CAPTEC plays an essential role in that impact.

Mike Young, manager of CAPTEC, describes the center as a “place where our customers realize possibilities.” “Matching tools to an individual’s job requirements and limitations, and giving that individual the opportunity to try the tools on the spot, allows them to maximize their capabilities,” he said.

Since non-DoD agencies began using CAP services in 2000, the Defense Department has provided more than $21 million in assistive technologies to support, equip, and empower federal employees at 69 partner agencies. “Through CAP and our Technology and Evaluation Center, the Department of Defense demonstrates its unwavering commitment to, and investment in, its people and to individuals with disabilities across the government,” King said. “It is an investment that has paid huge dividends for taxpayers and serves as a shining example of the federal government at its best.”

Competitive Development Group/Army Acquisition Fellowship Program Announcement Opens Today

Ashley Tolbert
FORT BELVOIR, Va.—Applications for the Competitive Development Group/Army Acquisition Fellowship (CDG/ AAF) program, a three-year developmental program offering expanded training through a series of education, leader development and broadening assignments for members of the Army Acquisition Workforce (AAW), are now being accepted
through September 28.

AAW professionals at GS-12/13 (or bandwidth equivalent) who apply must compete for a slot in the program and be selected by a board of senior acquisition professionals. The results of the board are scheduled to be announced late December.

And while this program does not guarantee a promotion, it does strengthen desired skills, providing a competitive edge for those who compete for senior acquisition leader positions. Since the first class in 1997, 225 AAW professionals have participated in the program, of which three have been selected for the Senior Executive Service, 98 have been promoted to GS-15, and 51 have been promoted to GS-14— roughly a 68 percent promotion rate. In addition, 14 fellows have been selected as program managers, with two currently serving in those positions. These positions are centrally selected, or selected by a board of acquisition professionals to ensure that the best qualified officers and civilians are chosen to serve in key acquisition roles, including directors and product or project managers. This very competitive process results in a selection rate just under 10 percent.

CDG/AAF Fellow Lauren Johnsky started her rotations in 2014, and has held several positions, including acquisition management specialist, contracting specialist, and technical planner. “The ability to rotate through positions with the CDG/AAF program has given me the chance to fill in gaps in my resumé while preparing for positions of increasing leadership through amazing training opportunities,” she said. Those selected for CDG/AAF have their choice of two distinct tracks: program management or acquisition leader. Participants who pursued the acquisition leader track came from the fields of systems engineering, contracting, and logistics. The acquisition leader track offers largely broadening assignments within their acquisition career fields (ACF) and opportunities to gain experience in other ACFs. The program management track offers an opportunity for developmental assignments as well as posts as an assistant product manager, Department of the Army systems coordinator, and other developmental program management positions. “I now have a strategic perspective of not only the Army, but the Department of Defense as a whole, that I did not even have a hint of prior to the program,” said Stephen Roberts, a 2015 CDG/AAF graduate. Roberts recently took over as the new product director for Field Artillery Launchers in Redstone, Alabama.

The program incorporates developmental acquisition assignments in program executive offices, the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology, the U.S. Army Materiel Command Headquarters, and other functional organizations.

Additional program information can be found on the CDG/mAAF website at

Blended Retirement System Training Now Available

Air Force Tech. Sgt. Bryan Franks
WASHINGTON—Online training designed to educate airmen about the new Blended Retirement System, the Defense Department system with changes on the current military retirement system, is now available via Joint Knowledge Online course number P-US1330. The course is also available to those without a Common Access Card—to include family members—via an alternate website at courses/brs/leader_training/Launch_Course.html.

The BRS was enacted into law in the Fiscal Year 2016 National Defense Authorization Act, and will go into effect Jan. 1, 2018. All currently serving members are grandfathered into the current military retirement system. However, those with fewer than 12 years of service as of Dec. 31, 2017, or Air Force Reserve component members with fewer than 4,320 retirement points may choose to “opt in” to the BRS during the designated opt-in period from Jan. 1, 2018, through Dec. 31, 2018. “The BRS is a major change for our airmen,” said Brig. Gen. Brian Kelly, the Military Force Management Policy director. “Although the majority of airmen serving today will not fall under BRS, it is important for all airmen, either as leaders today, or as leaders tomorrow, to understand the changes that will impact airmen in the future.”

The BRS Leader Training is a 30-minute course designed to provide basic familiarity with the key components of the upcoming retirement system and the timeline for implementation. It is designed primarily for Air Force leaders at all levels, but is also open to all airmen and others who wish to learn more about BRS.

“Education is key in providing airmen the information they need in order to make informed decisions about the BRS,” Kelly said. The Defense Department is on track to provide three additional courses with more detailed information within the next 18 months. An “opt-in” course is targeted at those eligible to opt into the new system. This course will provide eligible active and reserve component members an understanding of both the current and new systems. The course will be available in January 2017.

A “train the trainer” course for personal financial managers, counselors, and retirement services officers is targeted at those experts who serve in an advisory role to commanders, airmen, and their families. This course should be ready by fall of 2016. A new accessions course targets individuals who enter military service on or after Jan. 1, 2018. It is intended to provide those members who enter service under the BRS an understanding of their blended retirement benefits and personal options.

The Air Force is taking a comprehensive approach to BRS education. “Online courses are designed to provide basic knowledge and understanding,” Kelly emphasized. “In addition to the aforementioned courses, airmen will receive in-person education at various points in their career, starting in basic training, and professional counseling will also
be available.” To learn more about the Blended Retirement System, visit

Department of Defense Publishes Phased Retirement Program Guidance

(JUNE 22, 2016)
The Department of Defense has released a departmentwide policy on the Phased Retirement Program. As more employees become eligible for retirement, this program will assist DoD components and agencies with the transfer of knowledge and provide continuity of operations on a short term basis.

The DoD Phased Retirement Program is an exciting new human resources tool that allows retirement-eligible, fulltime employees to request to work on a part-time basis while receiving a portion of their retirement annuity. It offers eligible employees the opportunity to transition into retirementwhile providing mentorship and development for the next generation of emerging subject matter experts.

Participation in the DoD Phased Retirement Program is voluntary and requires the approval of an authorized DoD component official based on written criteria that comply with the Office of Personnel Management regulations. DoD components may opt to develop implementation guidance specific to their organizational structures and establish timeframes for accepting phased retirement applications. For more information, please view the Department-wide policy at

Training for New Civilian Performance Management Program Now Available

Air Force Tech. Sgt. Bubba Franks
WASHINGTON—Educational training is available to civilians and their supervisors in advance of the Air Force’s April 2017 transition to the new Department of Defense-wide Performance Management and Appraisal Program. A phased implementation of DPMAP, part of the DoD’s collaborative labor-management effort, New Beginnings, began in April 2016 with a limited number of Army, Navy, and defense agency civilians. Department of the Air Force civilians are part of phase II with the first annual appraisal period beginning April 1, 2017, and closing March 31, 2018.

“Our airmen, including our civilian airmen, are critical to accomplishing the Air Force’s mission,” said Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James. “New Beginnings focuses on institutionalizing a culture of high performance through greater employee-supervisor communication and accountability, increased employee engagement, transparent processes, and improved capabilities in recruiting, developing, and rewarding our workforce.” Training options include either the six-hour web-based training via Joint Knowledge Online, a 14-hour in-resident class, or a combination of the two. Training must be complete for transition into DPMAP. The online JKO training is available under course numbers PM101A for part one, and PM101B for part two. While the online training is available now, employees will receive further information when DPMAP training is scheduled for their base.

“The new program will bring some administrative changes, but the key tenet of our current civilian evaluation system will be retained—individual performance will be linked to organizational mission and goals,” James said. Additional Air Force training related to DPMAP and New Beginnings, expected in the fall, includes a performance management coaching program that will provide short, facilitated, interactive learning opportunities. Performance management coaching will be implemented in group or individual sessions on topics such as active listening, holding critical conversations, and developing performance standards. For more information on the Air Force implementation of the DPMAP, visit the myPers website at; click on Career Center.

AF Moving Forward with Restructure of Missileer Career Field

(JUNE 28, 2016)
Carla Pampe
BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La.—The commander of Air Force Global Strike Command directed a review of the nuclear and missile operations career field earlier this year, with the goal of creating a self-sustaining career field. The review was recently completed, and over the past week Maj. Gen. Anthony Cotton, 20th Air Force commander, briefed members of the 13N career field at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana; F.E. Warren AFB, Wyoming; and Minot AFB, North Dakota, on some of the upcoming changes they will see starting in fiscal year 2017 as the Air Force begins to implement the 13N restructure.

“As we move forward with this restructure, we’re going to be making changes that will grow nuclear experience and expertise at the wing level, developing our missile operators into the nuclear ‘go-to’ experts needed across the Air Force and the nuclear enterprise when it comes to policies and procedures,” Cotton said. The first step in the restructure will reduce the number of
accessions into the 13N career field, balancing accessions with retention to eliminate virtually all crossflows. In the past, more 13Ns were accessed than needed, with the knowledge that 30 to 40 percent of the officers would crossflow into other career fields after their initial four-year commitment.

“In recent years, efforts to reinvigorate the nuclear enterprise have led to more missileers wanting to stay in the career field,” Cotton said. “The Air Force has also made an overt
effort to do more recruiting at the [U.S.] Air Force Academy and other universities informing cadets about the missile career field, and those efforts have been very successful.”

As the 13N restructure progresses, adjustments will be made to grade structures across the entire career field to ensure a more senior crew force at the wing level. This redistribution, combined with additional leadership opportunities following completion of the 3+3 primary operations tours, such as being a flight commander, provides increased nuclear expertise at the unit level. Simultaneously, nuclear-related billets across the Air Force will be reviewed to determine if they are well suited for inclusion in the 13N career field, to ensure nuclear experts are where they are most needed. “You are also going to see assignment opportunities at other nuclear-related [major commands] and bases,” Cotton said. “Missile officers will provide these units with corporate knowledge or subject matter expertise about the nuclear enterprise they may not have had in the past.”

Gen. Robin Rand, the AFGSC commander, said the changes will help normalize the 13N career field with the rest of the Air Force. “However, the biggest and most important benefit will be the level of expertise we’ll grow across the nuclear enterprise,” he said.

Navy Leaders Prepare Proteges for Civilian Careers at ‘Flash Mentoring’ Event

John Joyce
DAHLGREN, Va.—”How can I positively affect black employment at Dahlgren?” “It’s one of two questions I constantly ask myself,” said Michael Hobson, Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) Special Emphasis Program manager, as he spoke to seasoned mentors and their protégés gathered at NSWCDD’s sixth ‘Flash Mentoring’ event, June 7. The engineer’s second question: “What issues prevent my demographic from obtaining employment or advancing in their employment?” Hobson and the Black Employment Special Emphasis Program sponsored the colloquium held at the University of Mary Washington Dahlgren campus to foster collaboration, communication, and mentoring opportunities for Dahlgren’s
future leaders.

Two years ago, NSWCDD engineer Gaurang Dave had similar questions. He was looking for a way to boost the careers of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Navy civilian professionals and increase their representation in “highgrade” government positions. Dave, the command’s AAPI Special Emphasis Program manager at the time, didn’t have to look far. He heard about “flash mentoring” success stories and quickly made the connection. This year, Hobson made the identical connection to enhance an environment that assists, promotes, and invigorates the careers of the command’s African American personnel. Consequently, the event’s discussion topics supported the objectives of NSWCDD’s Black Employment Special Emphasis Program and the NSWCDD Mentoring Program.

“Mentoring is a necessary process for employee development and growth,” said Hobson. “Many of our newer employees are eager to define their career paths and to advance beyond the current stages of their respective careers.” NSWCDD officials believe the dialogues will significantly impact mentees throughout their careers as they advance and engage in the process of mentoring to achieve mutually defined goals.

“The flash mentoring event introduced employees to quality mentors and gave them the opportunity to interact with all levels of leadership,” said Hobson, regarding the discussions between employees and command leaders, which focused on employee development.
“I’m proud to work in a place that has so many leaders interested in mentoring its workforce,” said Lorna Tebrich, NSWCDD Mentoring Program coordinator. “The flash mentoring events are incredible opportunities for employees to meet others outside of their organization and have quality face-time with senior leaders across the command. Attendees are encouraged to bring questions and challenges specific to their career goals and receive advice directly from a mentor who may have experienced those same challenges.” In small groups, employees discussed their challenges with mentors. In turn the mentors, including NSWCDD department heads, division heads, and program managers, shared their perspectives and experiences, providing guidance to mentees on how to overcome challenges and advance in their careers.

DAHLGREN, Va.—Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) mentors and mentees discuss various aspects of employee development during the command’s flash mentoring event held at the University of Mary Washington Dahlgren campus in June. Mentors guided conversations on three topics: increasing success in your current position, development opportunities, and advancing in your career.

DAHLGREN, Va.—Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) mentors and mentees discuss various aspects of employee development during the command’s flash mentoring event held at the University of Mary Washington Dahlgren campus in June. Mentors guided conversations on three topics: increasing success in your current position, development opportunities, and advancing in your career.

“This was an excellent opportunity to introduce employees to another level of leadership,” said Tebrich. “We focused on providing a roster of mentors that is more representative of the career paths here at Dahlgren, line, and technical. Mentoring event discussions often skew toward line management, but there is a whole host of people at Dahlgren who want to be senior technical leads or program managers. It’s important to us that they’re introduced to mentors who can provide guidance and advice on those goals.” In all, 66 employees, mentors, and mentees, engaged in roles which included task lead, group lead, branch head, project manager, and program manager. Mentors guided conversations on three topics—increasing success in your current position, development opportunities, and advancing in your career.

Moreover, the mentees networked with other employees in similar roles to learn about best practices and success stories. They engaged each other in conversations about challenges and development opportunities within and outside of their positions. “Our mentoring strategy is to provide a number of events and activities to introduce people to potential mentors and educate them about the benefits of establishing thoughtful mentoring partnerships,” said Tebrich after the sessions. “Mentoring is such a critical piece of career development. Mentors can be guides, career counselors, and sounding boards. They can be ears and eyes for new opportunities. They can be wingmen by introducing you to the right people. There’s no need to go it alone when there are so many leaders on base willing to support an employee’s career journey.” NSWCDD, a Naval Sea Systems Command warfare center division, is a premier research and development center that serves as a specialty site for weapon system integration. The command’s unique ability to rapidly introduce new technology into complex warfighting systems is based on its longstanding competencies in science and technology, research and development, and test and evaluation.

For more information, visit, www.facebook. com/usnavy, or For more news from NSWC Dahlgren, visit local/NSWCDD/.

AFMC Successfully Transitions to Acquisition Workforce Personnel Demonstration Project

Stacey Geiger
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio—Some 12,500 Air Force Materiel Command civilian employees have transitioned to the Acquisition Workforce Demonstration Project, or AcqDemo, pay system effective June 12. Under AcqDemo, employees no longer carry their general schedule, or GS, designation and numbered grade. Instead, they have been placed in one of three broadbands comparable to their previous grade and salary.

“AcqDemo is enabling us to do what is most important for us to accomplish our mission, and that is hiring, developing, and caring for our civilian workforce,” said Gen. Ellen M. Pawlikowski, AFMC commander. “I am personally committed because it is critically important to the success of this command.” AcqDemo allows greater managerial control over personnel processes and functions, and expands opportunities for employees through a more responsive and flexible personnel system. The new pay system retains, recognizes, and rewards employees for their contribution rather than performance, and also supports their personal and professional growth.

To sync up with the AcqDemo appraisal cycle of Oct. 1 to Sept. 30, the current appraisal cycle for transitioned employees has been modified to three months and will end on Sept. 30. During the beginning of each appraisal cycle, employees and their supervisors will complete an employee contribution plan to project an employee’s impact on the organization’s mission. At the end of each appraisal cycle, employees will complete their self-assessments to measure their contributions and also create new contribution plans for the following cycle. Pay pools will be conducted from October through December and, where applicable, employee raises and award pay-out in January. AcqDemo covers mainly non-bargaining, supervisory, and professional series employees. The command will continue to explore expanding AcqDemo to all AFMC civilians.

Face of Defense: Chinook Pilot Turned Acquisition Officer Shares Insights

Tara Clements
FORT BELVOIR, Va.—Veteran Chinook helicopter pilot Army Lt. Col. Al Niles Jr. changed course and became an Army acquisition officer, and instead of take-offs and landings, he’s working on acquisition and contracting. Also a maintenance test pilot, Niles has 19 years of flying experience with multiple combat deployments. For the last year he has been a fellow in the Army Acquisition Corps’ Training with Industry program, working with Lockheed Martin in Orlando, Florida, and gaining experience on everything everything from program management and business development to capture management, finance, and contracting.

“I’ve had the opportunity to participate in the integrated process for several commercial aviation and international programs, for which I was able to provide helpful viewpoints,” Niles said about his experience with TWI. His technical expertise in aviation, he said, provided him the opportunity to work with several teams charged with resolving complex aviation challenges. TWI is designed to give selected Army commissioned and noncommissioned officers the opportunity to work with industry to see how the private sector works, and to then use that perspective to help improve Army acquisition, Niles said.

“My experience [with TWI] has been very positive,” Niles said. “In this profession, I’m continuously developing my business expertise by being involved in major acquisition programs. I’ve been able to gain an in-depth understanding of the Lockheed Martin organization and how it relates to the Army from a business perspective, and I was also able to participate in domestic and international business operations.”

For Niles, the biggest surprise was “the vast amount of knowledge and support we [the military] get from our national laboratories and collegiate partners. When you’re in the Army Acquisition Corps, you get to see that we collaborate with many organizations to develop equipment for soldiers. There are a tremendous amount of people and other experts outside of the military who put resources into developing a boot, a helmet, a weapon system, et cetera. It’s not just one or two people.” For those considering the program, Niles had this advice to offer: “Know exactly what you’d like to learn while you’re in TWI. Know what you expect to get out of the year of experience— there won’t be a program laid out for you when you get there.”

Employing Talents
With a background in special operations forces acquisition, Niles is set to take command in July as the Product Manager for Special Operations Forces Training Systems within the Program Executive Office for Simulation, Training, and Instrumentation, and he plans on taking some of the lessons he’s learned from TWI and his other assignments to his next post.

Dedicated to giving back to the community and inspiring a younger generation, Army Lt. Col. Al Niles Jr., an acquisition officer, speaks to a kindergarten class at Saint Cloud Preparatory Academy in Saint Cloud, Fla. He logged more than 250 hours of community service during his time with the Army’s Training With Industry program, supporting veterans’ organizations, schools, and youth programs. Courtesy photo by Tamara Carpenter

He highlighted one of those lessons: don’t focus on the equipment—focus
on the people who make
it happen.
“I had the opportunity to observe talent management techniques from a
different perspective during my TWI experience,”
Niles said, “which solidified [for me] that finding and keeping skilled talent takes coaching, tracking and investing in the right training and education opportunities for the workforce. People first!”

Niles has served as a company commander for an aviation unit in Iraq, a Chinook aviation operations officer in Afghanistan, the assistant product manager for Product Manager Air Warrior in Iraq and Afghanistan [within PEO Soldier], and as the chief of aviation accident investigations for Afghanistan. “Through the years and several deployments, I think the acquisition community has gotten better at providing the warfighter with the equipment and services they need anywhere in the world,” he said. “As the mission has transitioned, so has the ability of the Army Acquisition Corps to be more agile, effective, and efficient.”

Giving Back
In what spare time he can muster, Niles said he makes sure he finds time to be involved with the Orlando community, whether it’s with veterans’ organizations, schools, or youth programs. He has racked up more 250 hours of community service during his time in the TWI program, he said. “I think that it is very important that we give back to the community and inspire our future leaders, the children, whenever it’s possible,” Niles said. “Many of us have experienced challenges or moments that have shaped us into who we are today. I feel as though the time that I dedicate to give back to could result in another individual to achieve greatness.” His intent to serve the community didn’t start with TWI. For the past several years, he has taken an annual trip to his alma mater, Tuskegee University in Alabama, to speak to students and ROTC cadets and to connect with junior soon-to-be officers, pointing them to the resources and information he didn’t have as a lieutenant. What motivates Niles to make community service a priority? “A sense of duty and responsibility to something bigger than myself,” he said.

SECNAV Announces Implementation of Full and Inclusive Review (FAIR) Program

WASHINGTON—As part of ongoing efforts to enhance the professional growth of leaders in the Navy, Marine Corps, and Department of the Navy (DON) civilian workforce, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus recently directed the development of policies and procedures for the implementation of a Full and Inclusive Review (FAIR) program. Core to the FAIR program is the use of a multi-rater assessment, more commonly referred to as a 360-degree review, for all military and civilian supervisory personnel. Government agencies and the private sector routinely use these types of assessments as a developmental tool to provide personnel with relevant feedback designed to help them evaluate and use their strengths while also dedicating attention and resources to skills they may need to improve.

“Effective implementation of FAIR, and the feedback provided by these reviews, will hone the skills of our future leaders and foster continued growth and excellence in the execution of our mission,” said Mabus. “This program is a further example of our existing efforts to modernize our personnel processes and strengthen our Navy, Marine Corps, and civilian leaders.”

FAIR implementation plans and policies for DON civilian supervisory personnel are overseen by the office of the Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Manpower and Reserve Affairs) (ASN[M&RA]), while the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) and Commandant of the Marine Corps (CMC) will oversee the implementation of FAIR in their respective Services. The program is designed for use across the DON by personnel in positions of increasing scope of leadership and responsibility such as civilian supervisors, senior enlisted leaders, or officers assigned as department heads or higher. The feedback provided via FAIR will address core leadership and innovation competencies, and be discussed during a developmental discussion with a supervisor during which the reviewed leader’s plan for continued growth will be addressed. The DON has already launched a dedicated portal site to provide information to and register civilian senior executives for 360 assessments. Further development of policy and training for those who will be using the program is underway and continues through the end of 2016.

Advanced Degree, Experience Programs Open to Eligible AF Officers

Kat Bailey

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas—Eligible active-duty officers interested in 2017 advanced academic degree and experience broadening opportunities can now apply for various developmental programs, Air Force Personnel Center officials announced. As part of the force development construct, Advanced Academic Degree/Special Experience Exchange Duty (AAD/ SPEED) programs provide targeted developmental education and broadening developmental assignments for officers in eligible career fields. These career broadening opportunities are available through AAD programs such as the Air Force Institute of Technology, AFIT faculty pipeline, U.S. Air Force Academy Faculty Pipeline, and National Reconnaissance Office. SPEED programs include Acquisition and Intelligence Experience Exchange Tour, Acquisition and Logistics Experience Exchange Tour, Comptroller Operation Logistics Tour, Education with Industry, U.S. Marine Corps Expeditionary Warfare School, and more.

A full list of all AAD/SPEED programs, along with their application procedures and deadlines, is available on the myPers website at; click on the Career Center
link. For more information about Air Force personnel programs, go to the myPers website at; click on the Career Center link. Individuals who do not have a myPers account can request one by following the instructions on the Air Force Retirees Services website at

Army Senior Leader Invests in Interns

Kara Wall

Running the gamut from high school to Ph.D. students, 42 Army Materiel Command Summer Hire Interns gathered here to hear from the command’s top leader July 28. Gen. Dennis L. Via, AMC commanding general, spent two hours answering the interns’ questions, taking photos and giving them his personal keys to success. “There are tremendous employment opportunities in the federal government,” Via said to the students. “This summer, we hope we exposed you to a possibility you may not have given any consideration otherwise.”

More than 40 Army Materiel Command Summer Hire Interns meet with Gen. Dennis L. Via, AMC commanding general, to discuss opportunities in the federal government and hear advice for future success, July 28, at Redstone Arsenal. Photo by Army Sgt. 1st Class Michael Zuk

More than 40 Army Materiel Command Summer Hire Interns meet with Gen. Dennis L. Via, AMC commanding general, to discuss opportunities in the federal government and hear advice for future success, July 28, at Redstone Arsenal.
Photo by Army Sgt. 1st Class Michael Zuk

you to a possibility you may not have given any consideration otherwise.” Focused on igniting a passion for federal service in potential new employees, Via started the “AMC 1,000” initiative, which offers 1,000 intern opportunities each year for five years across AMC’s global enterprise. “We need a large and diverse bench to pull from as we proactively refresh the workforce,” Via said.

Interns don’t have to join the Army to serve, Via explained. AMC employs around 64,000 Department of the Army Civilians, offering a full spectrum of careers including science, engineering, accounting, public affairs, business, and even medical. “This internship provides an excellent foundation for you,” said Via. “You’ve been exposed to successful people and an organization with a real world mission that impacts people’s lives. It takes everyone, the entire team, to be able to meet those missions and to take care of soldiers.” More than 40 Army Materiel Command Summer Hire Interns meet with Gen. Dennis L. Via, AMC commanding general, to discuss opportunities in the federal government and hear advice for future success, July 28, at Redstone Arsenal.

Via shared his personal leadership lessons, starting off with good education as the foundation for success. “Embrace a mentality of lifelong learning,” Via said. “Be the best at every job you’re given.” Via also encouraged the group to find their passion, be a good person and a good friend, set high goals, and work hard every day. “Some people say success is luck,” he said. “I’ve found that the harder I work, the luckier I get.” Via said that he would love for all of the interns to find careers at AMC. “We want you to spread the word and go back as ambassadors to your schools and talk about the opportunities here,” said Via. “We would love to have you as part of our team.” Participating interns were employed by AMC Headquarters, AMC’s Logistics Support Activity and AMC major subordinate command U.S. Army Security Assistance Command.

Force of the Future Requires Commitment By All, Carter Says

(JULY 29, 2016)
Terri Moon Cronk
WASHINGTON—The Force of the Future takes commitment by all service members to modernize the U.S. military and keep it strong, Defense Secretary Ash Carter told sailors yesterday at Naval Station Great Lakes in Illinois. The secretary said in his troop talk that continually improving how DoD manages, develops, and recruits its people “does not mean we’re not doing a good job. It only means we could do it better.” Carter said he develops ideas for the Force of the Future by visiting with and speaking to service members, adding that he appreciates their insights.

Force of The Future Efforts
The secretary talked about some of the initiatives he’s instilled to strengthen the Force of the Future, such as ensuring the military has the best in technology, accessing particular talents the military needs in its force recruitment, the ability to train outside DoD for personal development, improving the parental leave policy and opening up all military specialties, including combat, to women. “It doesn’t mean that everybody meets standards, and everybody gets selected, but the principle of the all-volunteer force is we get to pick and choose. That’s why we have such good people,” he said.

DoD’s Greatest Asset
And people comprise DoD’s greatest asset, Carter said. The U.S. military stands for good things, the secretary said. “People like us for that … they like us because of how our people conduct themselves, and what they stand for,” he said. When he travels around the world, the secretary said he hears how other nations enjoy working with the U.S. military. “It’s a strength of America, but the biggest strength we have is our people. That’s where you all come in,” Carter told the service members.

Serving: A Noble Duty
The secretary said he swore in seven Navy recruits that morning at a local Military Entrance Processing Station, and told them serving in the military is the noblest thing they can do. “There’s nothing better than being part of feeling or protecting our people, leaving a better world for our children,” he said. “You can see in those young eyes the beginning of them
getting that and that they feel like they’re part of something bigger than themselves. And it’s an inspiration that, for me … never stops,” the secretary said. The day before represented the “other end of things” at Fort Bragg in North Carolina, Carter said, when he met with members of the XVIII Airborne Corps as they prepare to deploy to join the battle to counter the Islamic State of Iraq and The Levant.

“Off they go to Iraq and Syria, which is where ISIL was born, so we need to destroy it there,” Carter said. “We’re going to destroy it there—and then, everywhere around the world.”

Spotlight on DAU Learning Resources

DAU Course Updates

The Defense Acquisition University (DAU) has announced several new and revised DAU courses. Students interested in the offerings may apply in ATRRS Internet Training Application System(AITAS).

ACQ 165 – Defense Acquisition of Services

ACQ 165 is a new distance learning/rolling admission web course. This course is based on DoD Instruction 5000.74, Defense Acquisition of Services, and includes services acquisition
roles and responsibilities; oversight and approval of contracted services portfolios; requirements development, validation and oversight; data collection, reporting and inventory of contracted services; and acquisition considerations for information technology (IT) services, including IT as a service. ACQ 165 is designed for individuals who need to improve their knowledge of developing and defining service requirements, supporting business strategies, coordinating review and approval of services contracts, and effectively managing the resulting contractor performance. The course also may serve as an opportunity for experienced acquisition personnel to improve their understanding of the service acquisition process, approval levels, and reporting requirements. Target audience: All service acquisition team members, including contracting officer representatives, quality assurance reviewers, contracting specialists, as well as those involved in developing and executing performance requirements and business strategies, and assessing contractor provided

BCF 131 – Applied Cost Analysis

This course, which replaces BCF 107, enables students to apply the techniques learned in BCF 130 to develop cost estimates with an emphasis on life cycle cost estimates. Learning methodologies include interactive presentations, group discussions, cost analysis using MS Excel, and case study of an ongoing major defense acquisition program. The course will expose students to current developments in data collection and software cost estimating. The course is in the process of being piloted, and students interested in the pilot offering may apply to offering #001, held Nov. 14-18.

LOG 235 Performance–Based Logistics

This course is being updated, and the student pilot will be conducted online.

USAASC Announces Senior Service College Fellowship Selectees

Tara Clements

FORT BELVOIR, Va.—Twenty-four civilian acquisition professionals were named as the next Defense Acquisition University— Senior Service College Fellowship (DAU-SSCF) class for 2016–2017 as a result of a review board concluding last month. The board is convened by the U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center (USAASC) and administered by the Office of the Director, Acquisition Career Management, or Army DACM Office. The purpose of the board is to ensure the best qualified civilian applicants from across the defense acquisition workforce are selected for the 10-month education and leader development program.

“The board was very competitive—and that’s a good thing! We’re looking for the best talent in our community to grow and develop our next leaders, and this program is one of our signature leader development opportunities,” said Kristine Faria, an acquisition education and training manager who oversees the program. Some of the commonalities between those who were selected included strong senior rater potential evaluations, or SRPEs; a strong post-utilization statement; and a strong statement of interest from the applicant, according to Faria. “This year’s applicant pool was particularly robust, with many strong applicants and a 25% increase in the number of applications over the previous year,” said Faria.

For the last three years, the number of selected applicants has hovered around 25, with anywhere from 5 to 10 Fellows at each of the three DAU-SSCF locations. The fellowship is conducted by DAU at Huntsville, Alabama; Warren, Michigan; and Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, with the purpose of preparing civilians for senior positions, including product and project managers, program executive officers (PEO), and other key acquisition leader positions.
Along with executive leader courses, the fellowship comes with credit for the DAU program manager course (PMT 401) and the option to obtain a master’s degree. In addition, those enrolled after 2012 also receive Military Education Level 1 (MEL-1) credit, making SSCF the first approved civilian-only
Army senior service college.

The fellowship marked its 10th anniversary this year, graduating more than 200 AAW professionals since its creation in 2006. For eligibility, application requirements and more, go to the DAU-SSCF page at: programs/defense-acquisition-universitysenior- service-college/.

USAASC congratulates the following acquisition professionals for their selection:
• Lareina Adams, PEO Enterprise Information Systems
• Paul Coles II, PEO Combat Support & Combat Service Support
• Stephen Conley, Army Test and Evaluation Command
• Nathaniel Curry, U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command
• Michael Danhires, PEO Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and Sensors
• Brian Debiase, U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command
• Michael Fraley, U.S. Army TACOM Life Cycle Management Command
• John Gates, U.S. Army TACOM Life Cycle Management Command
• Shawn Gresham, PEO Simulation, Training & Instrumentation
• Jerry Harper, PEO Command Control Communications- Tactical
• Daniel Hernandez, U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command
• Cheryl Hickman, Army Contracting Command
• Angela Jones, U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command
• Scott Kelley, U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command
• Manfred Little II, U.S. Army Special Operations Command
• Kathleen Lytle, PEO Combat Support & Combat Service Support
• Philip Minor, U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command
• Graciano Nikolich, PEO Command Control Communications-
• Noel Paschal, U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command
• Ruby Price, Headquarters, Army Materiel Command
• Jonathan Reiner, PEO Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and Sensors
• James Shillingford, Defense Logistics Agency
• Jennifer Stephenson, U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command
• Chad Stocker, PEO Ground Combat Systems

Approval of Changes to the Decision Authorities of DoD Components for Acquisition of Services


DoD Components Decision Authority for Acquisition of Services shall be designated in accordance with reference (a)’s Table 1 Acquisition of Services Categories by the Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics), who serves as or designates the senior DoD Decision Authority for the acquisition of contracted services for Defense Agencies and other DoD Components outside the Military Departments. Further details can be found within the memorandum.


SBP 120 Pilot (July 7, 2016)
SBP 120, Contract Lifecycle for Small Business Professionals, was piloted from June 20 to July 1, 2016. This new Distance Learning Course is the fourth of nine new small business courses in development for the Small Business Career Field and will be required for Level 1 Certification. There were 34 students in the pilot, not including DAU participants. All pilot participants were able to submit ‘Change Requests’ to help improve the overall function of this brand new course that is scheduled to be deployed in FY17. This course introduces personnel new to the Small Business career field to the basics of federal contracting to include: contract planning, execution, and management. It also identifies where SBPs play a role within the contract lifecycle. Through a series of simulations and examples, SBPs learn how to navigate through the contracting lifecycle by working through different scenarios and providing advice for acquisition teams.
Read more of Manning’s Blog entries at cl/blogs/default.aspx .


Registration Procedures & Instructions for RQM 310– Advanced Concepts and Skills for Requirements Managers (Oct. 26, 2015)
Unlike the many acquisition courses offered at DAU regional campuses, RQM 310 is only offered at the Fort Belvoir, Defense Systems Management College. FY16 course offerings

Most importantly, if you would like to attend the course, you must contact your Requirements Management Certification Training (RMCT) Component Appointed Representative (CAR). Each military service, Defense Agency, and Combatant Command has a CAR responsible for RQM 310

Spotlight on DAU Learning Resources

If you have further questions/concerns, please contact the Requirements Management Certification Training (RMCT) Program Manager: Matthew Ghormley, 703-805-3721 or

Read more of Wills’ Blog entries at blogs/default.aspx.


Revamped U.S. Army LOGSA Tools Site on DAU LOG CoP (June 14, 2016)
In a blog post last week entitled U.S. Army LOGSA Tools Suite, I mentioned that DAU had established a shortcut link to the LOGSA Logistics & Engineering Center (LEC) Tools Suite at In addition to including each of these tools in the DoD Product Support Analytical Tools Database, DAU also updated its DAU Logistics Community of Practice (LOG CoP) U.S. Army Materiel Command Logistics Support Activity (LOGSA) Tools Suite website with a new, easy-to-read, direct access, icon-based graphic that provides users direct access to all seven of these key Army LOGSA tools at blogs/default.aspx.

New GAO Report on Enhanced Product Support Metrics (June 16, 2016)
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a new report on June 9—GAO-16-450, entitled Defense Inventory: Further Analysis and Enhanced Metrics Could Improve Service Supply and Depot Operations—that I would also encourage you to read.

In the report, the GAO indicated that “DoD, DLA, and the Services have some internal efficiency measures, but they generally do not have metrics that would allow for more effective and efficient management of supply and maintenance operations. Specifically, DoD, the Services, and DLA have not adopted metrics on the accuracy of planning factors, such as the accuracy of part lists, or the costs created by backorders” and that “without relevant metrics on cost and planning factors, DoD, DLA, and the Services will be unable to optimize supply and maintenance operations, and may miss opportunities to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of depot maintenance.” Two of GAO’s five recommendations specifically addressed nlogistics-related metrics, stating:

“To improve the efficiency and effectiveness of supply and maintenance operations, in accordance with DoD guidance, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Logistics and Materiel Readiness, in conjunction with the Director, Defense Logistics Agency, and the Secretaries of the Army, Navy, and Air Force, and the Commandant of the Marine Corps to develop and implement metrics that measure the accuracy of planning factors, such as the schedule, bill of materials, and replacement factors, used for depot maintenance.”

To be able to assess the cost-effectiveness of supply and depot maintenance operations, in accordance with DoD supply chain management guidance, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Logistics and Materiel Readiness, in conjunction with the Director, Defense Logistics Agency, the Secretaries of the Army, Navy, and the Air Force, and the Commandant of the Marine Corps to take steps to develop and implement metrics, to the extent feasible, to measure and track disruption costs created
by the lack of parts at depot maintenance industrial sites by, for example, establishing a team of supply and depot maintenance experts from DLA and the Services to assess potential data sources, approaches, and methods.”

Several Excellent DAU Cybersecurity Resources (June 20, 2016)
Several interdisciplinary cybersecurity resources are available for the defense acquisition workforce. The first of these learning assets is the Cybersecurity Community of Practice (CoP), available on the DAU Acquisition Community Connection. The second is an article from the May–June 2016 edition of Defense AT&L magazine entitled “Cybersecurity: The Road Ahead for Defense Acquisition.” The third is the new Cybersecurity & Acquisition Lifecycle Integration Tool (CALIT), an excellent resource from our cybersecurity colleagues here at DAU. As the CALIT site indicates, “effective integration of cybersecurity into the DoD acquisition lifecycle encompasses several different processes,” including:

• DoDI 5000.02, Operation of the Defense Acquisition System
• DoDI 8510.01, Risk Management Framework (RMF) for DoD Information Technology (IT)
• Cybersecurity Test and Evaluation
• Program Protection
• System Security Engineering (SSE)

Understanding what these processes are and how they interact will lead to better acquisition outcomes. The Cybersecurity & Acquisition Lifecycle Integration Tool (CALIT) provides the user the ability to visualize how these processes work together.” An important side note: because the CALIT is PowerPoint® based, make sure you place the tool in ‘Slide Show’ (Presentation) mode in order to take advantage of its full capabilities. The CALIT site also contains with a short overview video to help get you started.

Updated June 2016 Version of DoD Product Support Manager’s (PSM) Guidebook (June 27, 2016)
The Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Materiel Readiness has issued an updated June 2016 version of the DoD Product Support Manager’s Guidebook. The change, which has been posted to the Product Support Manager (PSM) site on the DAU Logistics Community of Practice (LOG CoP), includes the revision of Appendix J “Key References & Resources for the PSM.”

Crosswalking the Integrated Product Support (IPS) Elements with the O&S Cost Categories (July 7, 2016)
Back in March, I shared information on the new DoD Operating & Support (O&S) Cost Management Guidebook issued by the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Logistics & Materiel Readiness (L&MR). For those who have read through this guide, you recognize what an important interdisciplinary resource it is for the life cycle logistics, cost estimating, program management, and systems engineering communities. Among the many key areas it touches on (including excellent and detailed information on O&S Will Cost, O&S Should Cost, Affordability, Product Support Planning, Designing for Supportability, and linkages to Reliability, Availability and Maintainability), one in particular caught my eye and is one you probably will want to take a look at. I’m specifically referring to is Section (Mapping the Integrated Product Support [IPS] Elements to the O&S Cost Elements), along with more detailed information in Appendix B (Mapping among IPS Elements, O&S Cost Categories, and Funding Appropriations).
As you craft your product support strategies, identify your funding requirements, conduct your product support business case analyses (BCA), update your Life Cycle Sustainment Plans (LCSP), prepare for an Independent Logistics Assessment (ILA), or simply find yourself wondering how the Cost Analysis & Performance Evaluation (CAPE) O&S Cost categories align to both funding appropriations and IPS Elements, let me encourage you to take another look at this guidebook.

New Funds Management Platinum Card (July 12, 2016)
Our DAU Financial Management colleagues have advised that their highly sought after, highly regarded, highly useful “Funds Management Platinum Card” has been revised. The updated version dated July 2016 is now available. Primary change areas relate to the dates in the Planning, Programming, Budgeting & Execution (PPBE) process. Let me encourage you to check out this handy learning asset.

Newly Revised Version of LOG 204 Configuration Management Course Now Available (July 23, 2016)
DAU has launched a newly revised version of its LOG 204 Configuration Management distance learning course. This effort culminates a major project that integrated the efforts a multi disciplinary, multi-organizational team of DoD and industry Certified Configuration/Data Managers Subject Matter Experts (SME) from across the Program Management, Systems Engineering, and Life Cycle Logistics career fields. The revision team, led by DAU faculty and supported by Service subject matter experts, leveraged their unique knowledge of the latest configuration management standard, SAE-EIA-649-1, Configuration Management Requirements for Defense Contracts and their insights as members on the SAE G-33 Configuration Management Committee to ensure the revised LOG 204 reflected current DoD policy and guidance in the areas of Better Buying Power, Modular Open Systems Approaches, Intellectual Property, and Value Engineering. The revised LOG 204 distance learning course, which is one of the Life Cycle Logistics DAWIA Level II certification ‘pick list’ course options, features enhanced interactivity, micro-videos, and other changes that improve the student learning experience. The result is students from multiple functional communities have access to the most current information on this important acquisition topic.

New ACQ 165 Defense Acquisition of Services Training Course Now Available (Aug. 2, 2016)
Nearly concurrently with the launch of our newly revised version of LOG 204 Configuration Management course, the much-anticipated new ACQ 165 Defense Acquisition of Services course also launched late last month as well. This new distance learning course is now available for registration by anyone with an interest or involvement in DoD services acquisition.
The new ACQ 165 training course is largely based on the recently released DoD Instruction 5000.74, Defense Acquisition of Services. Major course topics include: services acquisition roles and responsibilities; oversight and approval of contracted services portfolios; requirements development, validation and oversight; data collection, reporting and inventory of contracted services; and acquisition considerations for information technology (IT) services (including
IT as-a-service). ACQ 165 is designed for individuals who need to improve their knowledge of developing and defining service requirements, supporting business strategies, coordinating review and approval of services contracts, and effectively managing the resulting contractor performance.

However, this course may also serve as an opportunity for experienced acquisition personnel to improve their understanding of the Service acquisition process, approval levels, and reporting requirements. A wide variety of representatives from the OSD Staff, each of the military departments, several DoD agencies, and DAU faculty participated in the course pilot and contributed to course development. Initial feedback has been very positive and DAU anticipates substantial demand as more organizations become aware of the new DoDI 5000.74, as well as the increased emphasis on visibility of services acquisitions, which comprise more than half of the annual DoD contract expenditures. Development of this course also directly supports the Better Buying Power 3.0 initiative of “Improve Tradecraft in Acquisition of Services.”
While not a DAWIA certification requirement for the life cycle logistics workforce, let me encourage workforce members engaged or interested in the acquisition of services to consider taking this course. I took this course as a student as part of the pilot earlier this summer, and found it to be both engaging and informative—well worth the time. Read more of Kobren’s Blog entries at blogs/default.aspx.

Building and Using Indirect Rates – Sequencing of Allocation and Allowability Determination (June 8, 2016) Two important concepts that guide the federal government cost accounting are allocation and allowability. Allocation is a fundamental aspect of basic managerial accounting; cost allowability is a unique government requirement contractors should be aware of when working on government contracts that require compliance with FAR Part 31, Contract Cost Principles and Procedures. A fundamental principle in managerial or cost accounting is the assignment of all mcosts to a cost objective. In the commercial world, a cost objective may be a product, project, customer, region, or department. Businesses establish processes to associate costs with particular product lines, service offerings, or customer delivery units to better inform decisions such as allocation of resources, projected profitability, and return on investment.
Federal contractors relate expenses to cost objectives, which may include projects, secondary cost pools, or in the case of final cost objectives, a contract. In addition to the benefits cost allocation offers the commercial contractor, for government contractors this is also how the government will reimburse expended funds on cost reimbursable contracts. Some costs are directly related to individual contracts; for these costs, allocation is direct to individual contracts (e.g., direct materials, ODCs). Others costs benefit multiple contracts; contractors establish methodologies to determine relationships between indirect costs and bases of allocation (e.g., labor overhead, G&A expense).

These companywide causal-beneficial relationships are expressed as indirect cost rates and are applied in the same way to each and all contracts within the company (or company accounting unit). In many circumstances, the government screens costs for allowability prior to including them in negotiated contract prices or estimates, and always when reimbursing costs either as billings or final settlements on cost reimbursement type contracts. Indirect costs are included in all testing for allowability. In building indirect cost rates, the proper sequencing is to allocate first, then determine the appropriate allowability cost treatment. The primary allocation decision is to identify costs as either direct only or indirect only, and consistently follow this categorization. Only indirect costs will be pooled for proportional allocation. When pooled, indirect costs can be screened for allowability, i.e., unallowable indirect costs are excluded from the pool. For rate building purposes, direct costs are used as part of the base to determine indirect cost rates. From this perspective direct costs are not being used per se as costs, but as part of the indirect cost allocation methodology and should be included in the base, including those which as costs would be deemed unallowable. Hence, the need to allocate first and then make a treatment decision on allowability thereafter. In short, for purposes of establishing an indirect rate, unallowable pool costs are excluded from the pool, and unallowable base costs are included in the base.

In applying indirect cost rates, allowability issues should be resolved before performing allocation techniques. When negotiating an individual contract action using cost analysis or
determining allowability required by contract clause, first  all unallowable costs should be identified and excluded as appropriate. The contractor may not bill these unallowable pool or base costs to the contract. Second, companywide rates are applied resulting in an appropriate allocation of the contractor’s indirect costs to each contract. Rates should be applied using a basis of allocation that contains no unallowable costs.

A six-step process for determining allowability and allocability when calculating indirect cost rates was established in Rice v. Martin Marietta. Read more of Schlich’s Blog entries at blogs/default.aspx.


Joint Strike Fighter – Construction Begins (July 6, 2016)
In my last blog on this subject, “JSF—DoD’s Largest International
Acquisition Program—Genesis,” we explored how the program was conceived and created by DoD and Air Force leaders in the early-to-mid 1990s as an international cooperative program. This key principle became part of the Joint Advanced Strike Technology (JAST) program’s original
vision statement:
“Be the Model Acquisition Program for Joint Service and International Cooperation; Develop and Produce a Family of Affordable Multi-Mission Fighter Aircraft Using Matured/ Demonstrated 21st Century Technology and Sustain it Worldwide.”

We then characterized the three types of DoD government and defense industry personnel that create, nurture, and implement successful DoD acquisition programs as:

• Visionaries and Architects
• Builders
• Operators

Most of you know that major DoD acquisition programs take decades to take shape—akin to the building of a gothic cathedral or the pyramids. Once the original JAST visionaries and the main architect—Air Force Lt. Gen. George Muellner—moved on to other positions, the responsibility for turning the initial vision into reality fell to the “Builders.” As the program matured, DoD decided to rename the program “Joint Strike Fighter” (JSF) in August 1995. This blog focuses on the JSF Concept Demonstration Phase (CDP) international cooperative activities that shaped the multibillion dollar JSF international partnership and foreign sales arrangements we have today.

JSF CDP Overview
The JSF CDP phase competition eventually led to selection of Boeing and Lockheed Martin contractor teams. Each team developed and flew a concept demonstration aircraft (designated X-32 and X-35, respectively) while being evaluated by a combined Air Force/Navy/Marine Corps government team. DoD’s acquisition strategy envisioned selection of a single System Development and Demonstration (SDD)
phase prime contractor that would develop three variants— Conventional Take-Off and Landing (CTOL – USAF), Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing (STOVL – USMC), and Carrier Landing (CV – USN)—to achieve maximum commonality and economies of scale. The CTOL variant would eventually replace the USAF F-16, the STOVL variant the USMC’s AV-8B, and the CV variant the Navy’s F/A-18s.

JSF CDP International Cooperation Objectives
In mid-1994, while the program was still named JAST, Muellner and Acting Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Noel Longuemare asked DoD’s international cooperation experts to develop a strategy that would allow nations to join the JSF CDP phase as cooperative partners. To say this was a precedent-setting decision would be a huge understatement. DoD had never encouraged partner nations to join a major DoD tactical aircraft program this early in development before, let alone one designed with stealth characteristics from its inception. After some dialog within the Pentagon, top DoD leadership (including the Air Force and Navy/Marine Corps) decided to try to bring partner nations onboard based on the following principles:

• JSF would be a DoD-run program with “junior partner” participation by other nations (i.e., not at all like Eurofighter or other pan-European cooperative development programs).
• The JSF CDP program schedule was already established and couldn’t be changed. As a result, prospective JSF partner nations would have to be able to join in a flexible manner. This meant that separate bilateral (or smaller multilateral) international agreements (based on U.S. and partner laws) would have to be used rather than a single overarching multilateral agreement (the “traditional” cooperative program approach).
• DoD would have to be willing to fund the entire cost of CDP in hopes that—as partner nations joined and funded their “fair share’ of the CDP phase efforts—DoD’s funding requirements would diminish as more partners joined. The other key piece of DoD leadership guidance (from the SecDef level) specified that the U.K. should be offered a significant role as the primary JSF partner—with a target contribution level of $200 million (calculated in 1995) against
the overall estimated CDP cost of $2 billion—including participation in the CDP contract source selection process. This meant the U.K. would have a significant stake in the program
as a 10 percent partner, hopefully encouraging them to eventually replace their AV-8B Harriers with JSF STOVLs (which was also the USMC’s plan).

JSF CDP International Agreement Strategy
The International Cooperation (IC) “Builders”—led by Al Volkman in the USD(AT&L)’s International Cooperation (IC) office, Jon Schreiber in JSF’s International Directorate (ID), and the Navy International Program Office’s International Agreement staff (where I worked at the time)—were given a
few months by DoD and JSF leadership to develop a JSF CDP agreement strategy that would achieve the desired outcome. Fortunately, the DoD and JSF leadership gave us performance objectives, rather than try to tell us how to do it (an all too common problem in the Pentagon).

This is the framework we developed by the fall of 1994 (original plan follows): CDP Phase (1997-2001): Four Levels
• Collaborative (U.K. at $200M)
• Associate (~$50M)
• Informed (~$10M)
• Foreign Military Sales (FMS) Customer Ground Rules
• Open Invitation (quite controversial … but this is what DoD leaders wanted)
• Tech Security and Foreign Disclosure (TSFD) constraints specified by USG/DoD

Since no partner nation would ever join as a cooperative partner without understanding the future path to complete JSF development and produce/field CTOL STOVL, or CV variant it needed, the rest of the framework.

System Development and Demonstration (SDD) Phase (2001-2012): Partner Levels
• Three financial contribution levels ($ amount TBD)
• By DoD invitation only
• Greater level of technology security and foreign disclosure
(TSFD) access in CDP IA partnership arrangements FMS Customer
• DoD case-by-case decision
• Standard FMS Letter of Offer and Acceptance (LOA)
• Standard TSFD constraints Production Phase (2008-2030)

Three Options:
• International Agreement for Cooperative Production
• FMS LOA acquisition arrangements
• Direct Commercial Sales (maybe …)

The Builders Get to Work
A new USD(AT&L), Paul Kaminski, arrived in October 1994. He was a strong proponent of international cooperation, as was then-DepSecDef John Deutch, so they tasked the IC Builders to implement this plan. By early 1995, they had personally engaged their U.K. counterparts, which led to
an agreement in principle that the U.K. would join the CDP phase as a partner at the $200 million level. Kaminski sent out letters to the rest of his National Armaments Director (NAD) counterparts around the world encouraging them to join as CDP phase partners during this timeframe as well. By mid-1995, the IC Builder team was like a “dog that caught a firetruck” it had decided to chase. While the team was organizing the U.S.-U.K. CDP Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) negotiations, it was being inundated by a flurry of responses from the other nations’ NADs asking for information on the potential benefits of CDP partnership. The fact that the U.S.-U.K. MOU negotiations were beginning—while other nations were still in the “window shopping” phase— meant that the CDP phase arrangements with partner nations would have to be put in place using a “hub and spoke” methodology, with the U.S. as the “hub” and each partner nation as a “spoke.” This was an unprecedented approach for a major cooperative development program, but it was the only way to build the foundation of what would eventually be a nine-nation JSF cooperative partnership.

Building Blocks Are Put in Place
The IC Builders completed negotiations with their U.K. counterparts in near record time, and the U.S.-U.K. JAST Framework MOU and CDP Project Arrangement were signed by both nations in December 1995. As envisioned, the U.K. became a 10 percent partner in the entire scope of the JSF CDP phase, including participation in the JSF CDP evaluations of the X-32 and X-35, plus the source selection process. Once this was accomplished, the IC Builders focused on establishing additional MOUs with other partner nations in areas of specific interest:

• Denmark, Netherlands, and Norway (who had formed an F-16 Multinational Fighter Program arrangement with the U.S. in 1975) decided to band together as “Associate Partners”—each contributing $10 million for a total of $30 million—to negotiate and sign a JSF Requirements Spotlight on DAU Learning Resources Defense AT&L: September-October 2016 8 Validation Project Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) in September 1997.
• Canada, an F-18 owner, decided to join JSF CDP as an “Informed Partner” via a Preferred Weapons System Concept (PWSC) Refinement Project MOU signed in January 1998.
• Italy, an AV-8B Harrier II plus owner, also became a JSF Informed Partner through signature of an Agreement for the JSF STOVL Ship Integration Risk Mitigation and CTOL/ STOVL Operational Assessment Project in December 1998.

As a result of the challenges putting these cooperative agreements in place, and various other USG/DoD concerns, DoD leadership decided to wait until the SDD phase to establish initial FMS customer arrangements. CDP International Partnership Efforts Using this “hub and spoke” set of cooperative agreements, the U.K. participated in all aspects of CDP while the other five partner nations—through their international agreements with the U.S.—participated in specific areas of the flight demonstration and evaluation activities conducted between 1997 and 2001 under the leadership of JSF Program Directors Navy Rear Adm. Craig Steidle, Air Force Maj. Gen. Leslie Kenne and Marine Maj. Gen. Mike Hough. USD(AT&L) Under Secretaries Paul Kaminski and Jacques Gansler strongly supported JSF’s cooperative program efforts during this period as well. The CDP efforts were completed
on schedule within the projected budget of $2 billion, setting the stage for selection of JSF System Demonstration and Development (SDD) air system and engine prime contractors in October 2001.

Benefits and Challenges
From a U.S. and partner nation perspective, the approach used during CDP—which was a radical departure from all previous cooperative development agreements—provided each nation with minimal partnership risks:
• The U.S. was able to run CDP efforts without “partner interference” (a major DoD concern based on previous experience in other cooperative agreements).
• Except for the U.K—which made a conscious decision to join the U.S. at the beginning of CDP at a $200 million contribution level—the other partner nations were able to join based on a scope and schedule of their choosing at minimal expense ($10 million each).
• DoD used the $250 million contributed by the various partner nations to expand the scope of the CDP effort in areas of mutual interest.
• The web of government-to-government cooperation encouraged all of the partner nations’ industries to establish “best value” teaming arrangements at the inception of the program that would provide mutual benefits.
• All partner nations had the choice of either continuing JSF cooperation after the SDD prime contractor selection through some type of follow-on agreement(s), or departing the program without penalty.

By contrast, the challenges were mainly “operational” in nature at the program office level. The U.S., as the JSF “hub” nation, had to manage four separate cooperative agreement relationships in parallel and ensure each partner nation received its “fair share” of CDP phase results (no more, no less) in accordance with the international agreement it had signed. From a DoD and partner leadership perspective this was easy since—as noted in the adage “nothing is impossible if someone else has to do it”—the JSF Program Office and Navy/Air Force international offices had to figure out a way to keep everyone happy. Fortunately, based on a combination of resourcefulness, creativity, flexibility, and good will among the various partner nations, it all worked out. CDP ended on a high note with all seven nations—plus two more in the wings, Australia and Turkey—willing to join as SDD partners.
Spoiler Alert: The JSF SDD phase didn’t go nearly as smoothly, but that’s the subject of a future blog, Read more of Kenlon’s Blog entries at

DoD Strategic Capabilities Office Gives Deployed Military Systems New Tricks

Editor’s note: This is the first of two articles about DoD’s Strategic Capabilities Office.


Cheryl Pellerin

Start with an established military system like the Navy’s Standard Missile-6, or SM-6, a surface-to-air air defense weapon first deployed in 1981. It and its variants launch from cruisers and destroyers and can stop incoming ballistic and cruise missiles at low altitudes in the atmosphere.

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DoD Tech Transformation Holds Surprises for U.S. Adversaries

Editor’s note: This is the second of two articles about DoD’s Strategic Capabilities Office.


Cheryl Pellerin

WASHINGTON, April 12, 2016 — In a geopolitical environment where the focus of nations often is on future technologies, the Defense Department’s Strategic Capabilities Office starts with systems that are well established and familiar to nearly everyone, especially adversaries.

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Work: Robot Warship Demonstrates Advances in Autonomy, Human-Machine Collaboration


Cheryl Pellerin

PORTLAND, Oregon, April 8, 2016—Sea Hunter, a robot warship designed and built by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, represents breakthroughs in autonomous navigation and human-machine collaboration that could change the nature of U.S. maritime operations, Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work said here yesterday.

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