Tag Archives: Pentagon

SOF Acquisition: Streamlining Processes to Maximize Readiness

geurts_jf

An interview with the Special Forces’ acquisition executive James Geurts.

A&M: How well does the acquisition structure you have in place work in terms of ensuring U.S. Special Forces get the equipment they need, when they need it, no matter where they are? 

Geurts: The structure works exceedingly well. The direct line of communications between the SOCOM Commander and me, as the Acquisition Executive, leading the Special Operations Research, Development, and Acquisition Center (SORDAC) team, streamlines the process for systems acquisition and ensures a thorough and complete understanding of the Commander’s guidance and intent. This directly translates into the accelerated fielding of the Special Operations Forces (SOF)-unique systems and equipment which provide our operators with the capabilities required to accomplish their assigned missions. It also allows me to continually shape SORDAC so that it is synchronized and responsive to dynamic SOF operational needs.

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The Institutional Advantage: Building an Energy-informed Military

Asst Secretary of Defense for Operational Energy Sharon Burke

Asst Secretary of Defense for Operational Energy Sharon Burke

We interviewed Assistant Secretary of Defense for Operational Energy Plans and Programs Sharon Burke in October 2013. Clearly passionate about the subject and deeply engaged in making energy a priority in planning, Ms. Burke discussed a wide range of problems and solutions that the Pentagon is addressing to make sure the lessons learned from the past 13 years are applied to future operations.

DoD PEP: Please describe your office’s background and basic functions.

Ms. Burke: Operational energy is the energy used to move, train, and sustain military forces. This comes out to about three-quarters of the energy the Department uses in any given year. Last year, this cost about $16 billion. One-quarter is facilities, or installation, energy used to heat, cool, and light buildings. This is not an inconsequential bill for us; we’re a big business, and it’s a variable cost, so we manage using a variety of methods. In this space, we must also comply with laws, executive orders, regulations, and so forth, whereas operational energy is generally exempt from these regulations because it is so closely tied to military operations.
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Defense Notes: Radios,Smartphones, and Renewable Energy for the Army; Drones Get a Bad Rap

  • The Army has awarded General Dynamics a $5 million contract for 100 MUOS channel kits to upgrade its 100 PRC-155s, reports DoD Buzz. “With a smartphone-like flow of information, the upgraded PRC-155 radios will allow soldiers to access the MUOS communications system wherever they are deployed, on foot or from land vehicles, ships, submarines and aircraft.”
  • Aoptix and CACI recently received a contract from the Pentagon to develop Smart Mobile Identity devices. Aoptix will be integrating its biometric (iris,face, voice) capabilities into smartphones. This should lessen the load of deployed soldiers who now use a device devoted solely to this purpose. “We are pleased to have been selected by the DoD for this important project which will leverage our next-generation Smart Mobile Identity platform,” said Dean Senner, Chairman and CEO of AOptix. “Users of these systems in-field will benefit from a more compact, lightweight, versatile and accurate identity verification device than has previously been available. We are especially pleased to be working with CACI, leveraging its experience deploying sophisticated solutions for government agencies.”
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