By Ed WorleyACC Office of Public & Congressional AffairsEdward.firstname.lastname@example.orgREDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. – Ifyou’re thinking about making a majorpurchase you may want to enlist thehelp of the team that just saved thegovernment more than $810 millionon a multiyear contract to buy 155 CH-47F Chinook cargo helicopters.The contract will provide “warfighters with affordable, world-class heavy lift helicopters,” saidRod Matthews, director, CH-47Cargo Contracts, Army ContractingCommand – Redstone.He said the cost savings were theresult of tough negotiations with theBoeing Co., the prime contractor,employing lessons learned from theprior multiyear contract, enlistinga talented evaluation team, andusing initiatives in the Departmentof Defense Better Buying Powerprogram.According to Matthews, a lot ofthe savings can be attributed to theMultiyear II Contract EvaluationTeam pushing Boeing to provideupdated actual costs and “heavilyrelied on” the program manager, Cargotechnical subject matter experts.Theteam included representatives fromthe Defense Contract ManagementAgency, Defense Contract AuditAgency and ACC-Redstone Pricingand Cargo Contracts divisions.“A lot of the MY II savings can beattributed to the fact that the MY IIevaluation team required Boeing toprovide updated actuals,” Matthewssaid.“The MY II evaluation teaminsisted that the contractor adoptthe government’s maintenance workorder standard hours methodologyas opposed to the contractor’s labormethodology based on cost estimatingrelationships and gained an advantagewith this approach.”See CHINOOK, page 4.Vol. 4, No. 17May 1, 2013“Providing global contracting support to war fighters.”AGILE PROFICIENT TRUSTEDChinook team drives hard bargain(Photo by Spc. John G. Martinez)Secretary of the Army John McHughtestifies before the House Armed ServicesCommittee during a hearing on CapitolHill April 25.By David VergunArmy News ServiceWASHINGTON – The fiscal year2014 budget “meets future challenges,strengthens global engagements, providesfor resets, sustains the industrial base andfulfills commitments to Soldiers, civiliansand families,” the Army’s top civilianleader told lawmakers.Secretary of the Army John M.McHugh and Chief of Staff of the ArmyGen. Ray Odierno testified April 25 beforethe full House Armed Services Committeeregarding the “Fiscal Year 2014 NationalDefense Authorization Budget Request.”The $129.7 billion fiscal year 2014budget “allows us to plan for and mitigaterisk associated with declining defensebudgets,” Odierno said during his openingremarks.“It is imperative we gain predictabilityin our budget process,” Odierno continued.“If we don’t, then we’ll be unable toeffectively manage our resources and it willbe impossible to make informed decisionsabout the future of our Army.”The leaders emphasized to Congress theneed for a budget and the dangers of anongoing environment of fiscal uncertainty.“We’re at a dangerous crossroad,”McHugh said, explaining that shortfalls inthe overseas contingency operation budget,coupled with sequestration, continuingresolutions and lack of a budget, aretaking a toll on readiness, efforts atmodernization and morale.See CHALLENGES, page 4.Army says fiscal year 2014 budgetrequest ‘meets future challenges’
Sgt. 1st Class Andre L. Wilson isa training noncommissioned officerwith the 639th Senior ContingencyContracting Team of the 900thContingency Contracting Battalionassigned to the Field Directorate Office -Fort Bragg, N.C.Describe your current positionI am currently working as thetraining NCO for FDO-Fort Braggwhere I am responsible for the trainingof both the military and civilianworkforce.Describe your passion for the jobMy passion comes from within.There is nothing more important tome than ensuring that our contractingprofessionals receive any and all thetraining that’s available to them.Where do you call home? Tell us aboutyour family. What you enjoy doingduring your spare time?With me being an Army brat, I callColumbus, Ga., home. I was born inEl Paso,Texas, but spent the majorityof my life in Columbus. My fatherserved 20 years in the Army as a light-wheeled vehicle mechanic.I have been married six years to thelovely LaKeita Wilson and we havetwo wonderful kids, Iyanna, 7, andAndre, 5.In my spare time I like spendingtime with my family. I also enjoysports (HOW BOUT DEMDAWGS!!!). I am also currently thebasketball coach for my daughter’sbasketball team.How does your job support the Soldier?Everything we do as contractingprofessionals supports the Soldier.I have just recently returned from adeployment in Afghanistan where Iwas the contracting officer for SpecialOperations Task Force - South.Knowing that what I was doing madean immediate impact on the Soldiers’well-being was a very humblingexperience for me. My well-beingdidn’t matter if one war fighter had togo without. It is my responsibility.What would you like others to knowabout you?That I am humbled and proud to bea part of the 51C field and that I willnot be satisfied until all 51C NCOsare at least (Defense AcquisitionWorkforce Improvement Act) Level1-certified.May 1, 20132U.S. Army Contracting CommandThe NewsBlast is a weekly newsletter authorized and produced by the U.S. Army Contracting Command’sOffice of Public and Congressional Affairs editorial staff in accordance with AR 360-1 (The Army PublicAffairs Program) to inform, educate and entertain the ACC community on people, policies, operations,technical developments, trends and ideas of and about the Department of Defense, the Department of theArmy and this command.The views and opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily the official views of, or endorsedby, the U.S. government, the U.S. Army or this command.Send submissions and correspondence to the U.S. Army Contracting Command, Office of Public andCongressional Affairs, ATTN: Editor, NewsBlast, 3334A Wells Road, Redstone Arsenal, AL 35898-5000.Telephone: 256-955-7634, DSN 645-7634 or email at email@example.com.Commanding GeneralMaj. Gen. Camille M. NicholsACC Command Sergeant MajorCommand Sgt. Maj. John L. MurrayDirector, Office of Public & Congressional AffairsArt ForsterPublic Affairs Team ChiefEd WorleyEditorDavid San MiguelPublic Affairs TeamLarry D. McCaskill, Giselle Lyons, Beth E. ClemonsFor Spotlight submissions, click on the icon.Spotlight on...Readers are encouraged to submit comments or suggestions to the editorial staff via themailbox icon to the right. Responses will assist the NewBlast staff in producing a publicationto better meet readers’ expectations and information needs.Sgt. 1st Class Andre L. Wilson639th Senior Contingency Contracting TeamField Directorate Office-Fort Bragg, N.C.Sgt. 1st Class Andre L. Wilson
May 1, 20133(Courtesy photo)AMC leader pays visit to RCO-Fort WainwrightLast week, Gen. Dennis Via (left), commanding general, Army MaterielCommand, visited the Regional Contracting Office at Fort Wainwright, Alaska.Therehemetwiththestaffandfieldedquestionsoncurrentbudgetissues;discussedthe unit’s unique mission due to extreme temperatures and its remote location;andwas briefed on ongoing contracting work for the garrison and U.S. Army Alaska.By Beth ClemonsACC Office of Public & Congressional AffairsBeth.firstname.lastname@example.orgCharles “Chuck” Pennington willtell you serving in the U.S.Marine Corps for four yearswas tough, but nothing inhis military career preparedhim for the fight he faced asa civilian.It all began in 2007, whenfriends noticed frequentabnormal facial spasms andsuggested he see a doctor.“I had the symptoms for years, thefacial expressions and headaches. It turnsout I was having mild seizures and didn’tknow it,” said Pennington, an informationtechnology specialist at Army ContractingCommand headquarters, RedstoneArsenal, Ala.After an MRI, his neurologist initiallydiagnosed Pennington with an enlargedblood vessel and provided a prescriptionfor seizure medicine. For five years theissue seemed under control - then thefrequent headaches returned.“This time I recognized the symptomsand saw the doctor quickly,” saidPennington. “The doctor ordered a newMRI and the next thing I knew they weretelling me there was a tumor and I neededto see a neurosurgeon immediately,”recalled Pennington, 35.Once under the care of theneurosurgeon, Penningtondiscovered that the previousdiagnosis of an enlarged bloodvessel was incorrect and that itwas a tumor the entire time.“For six years I wasmisdiagnosed and had atumor growing inside mybrain. If I hadn’t gone backto the doctor and had the second MRI itcould have grown too large for surgery,”said Pennington.He explained that the tumor growthwas visible on the MRI.“In 2007, it was 3.2 centimeters; on the2012 MRI it measured 3.7 centimeters.The neurosurgeon said it was growingtoward the stem of my brain and surgerywas needed immediately.”Electing to act quickly, Pennington’sfamily came to his side and he had surgeryless than a month later.The operationtook six hours and afterward required anadditional procedure, along with 12 weeksof recovery.“My neurosurgeon was able tocompletely remove the tumor and sent itto Johns Hopkins Medicine for pathology.The test results showed there are only 27published cases of this type of tumor soit doesn’t even have a name,” explainedPennington. “After going through all ofthis I firmly believe you have to be honestwith yourself and your doctor. If you arenot happy with the way things are goingyou need to get a second opinion.”Pennington’s tumor is considered low-grade so he didn’t need chemotherapy orradiation. He’s back at work and says hefeels like his old self again.“I’m still under medical supervision,”he said. “I have reoccurring appointmentswith my specialists and get an MRIevery three months. But I’m feeling greatthese days and am very thankful for mywonderful friends and family who helpedget me through this ordeal.”Rare tumor slows IT specialistdown, but he’s not outElecting toact quickly,Pennington’s familycame to his sideand he had surgeryless than a monthlater.(Photo by Ed Worley)Charles “Chuck” Pennington, an ITspecialist at ACC headquarters, isthankful for his friends and family whohelped him get through his“fight for life.”
May 1, 20134One congressman said he was “deeplytroubled” not only by the Army’s fiscaldifficulties but by its shrinking force.He asked if the end strength continuesto fall ‒ coupled with the effects ofcontinued sequestration ‒ would the Armybe able to respond effectively were twomajor contingency operations to occursimultaneously, or at least one majorcontingency and a smaller one.“We’d have significant issues meetinganything more than one contingency ‒if we can meet even one contingency,”Odierno replied.Just two years ago the Army had 45brigades. Soon it will be down to between32 and 37, he said.Also, were a conflict to break out,“we’d have to figure out how we’re able touse our National Guard brigades muchquicker than we can now,” as it takeslonger to get those Soldiers trained.The congressman followed up withanother question, asking if the Army is asprepared today as it was on Sept. 10, 2001,a day before the terrorist attacks.“We’re not as ready as we were in2001,” Odierno responded.He added that “history has taught usthat if we are off balance, the enemy willseek advantage.”Another congressman asked about thestate of the organic industrial base andhow the Army’s proposed budget wouldaddress concerns associated with a reducedworkflow caused by budget shortfalls.McHugh said he’s been working withthe Defense Department on that issue andinitiated a study a year ago, with the datanow being refined and being prepared forrelease.The analysis, he said, examines wherethe failure points are and examines theefficiency processes at the depots andarsenals. He said highly skilled workershave been identified as well.The results of the study will help theArmy “identify single points of failure” tomore effectively align dollars with efforts.CHALLENGES continued from page 1Material evaluation was another areawhere the negotiators created savings.“Boeing was reluctant to accept anydecrements to their pricing bases, insistingthat their subcontractor memorandums ofunderstanding were firm-priced documentsnot subject to change,”he said.“To mitigatethe government’s risk, the MY II teamnegotiated a clause that requires Boeingto make adjustments to MY II contractpricing if Boeing benefits from rangepricing or quantity discounts in the future.”The MY II evaluation teambenefitted from increased competition insubcontracting. In the prior CH-47 MYthe material/subcontracted competitivebase was less than 5 percent. In this MYit is 56 percent due to Boeing increasingcompetition of their subcontractors.This increased competition resulted insubstantial savings.Another contentious negotiationconcerned the material requirements list.“The MRL parts are usedas replacement parts during therecapitalization/overhaul process.Instead of going with Boeing’s extensivematerial requirements list, the governmentnegotiated a reduced list of high-risk MRLparts that Boeing would have to buy andthose not consumed for the program wouldgo to the government inventory for futureuse. This was not the case on the firstmultiyear contract.”Matthews said the best practices andlessons learned can be applied to futurecontract negotiations. He also said theteam’s efforts were recognized by seniordefense procurement officials.Matthews said Shay Assad, director ofDefense Procurement, Acquisition Policyand Strategic Sourcing, sent the MY IIevaluation team a memo acknowledging itsexemplary efforts during the negotiationprocess and post award business clearancepreparation. Assad also sent an emailFrank Kendall, the undersecretary ofDefense for Acquisition,Technologyand Logistics, with copies to severalsenior officials, acknowledging the MY IIevaluation team.The CH-47F provides improvedsituational awareness and dramaticallyimproved flight control capabilities,Matthews said. It is purchased as either anew build or renewed—rebuilt— aircraft,Matthews explained. The new build isa completely new aircraft. The renewedaircraft uses 74 recapitalized componentsfrom a CH-47D. Both aircraft havean all-new monolithic airframe, tunedto significantly reduce vibration.Theycome equipped with a common avionicsarchitecture system cockpit and digitaladvanced flight control system. Under the contact, the Army plans tobuy 34 new build, 121 rebuilt Chinooks,with an option to buy another 60 newaircraft.The contract includes advanceprocurement of required long-lead items,implementation of engineering changeproposals and recapitalization of CH-47Daircraft components.The Army anticipates contract award ofCH-47 Multiyear II in May. (Courtesy photo)The CH-47F Chinook Multi-year II Contract Evaluation Team includes (front row,left to right) Ingrid Walden, Lt. Col. Jeffrey Caldwell, Richard Savastana (Boeing),Steve Chisgar and Steven Allison. Back row: Jonathan Hitt, Derrick Phillips, LloydSmith, Mark Stenger, Mike Heath, Jordan White and Pat Earles.CHINOOK continued from page 1
By Jim GaramoneAmerican Forces Press ServiceWASHINGTON – Defense acquisition professionals needto apply common-sense thinking as they make decisions, theundersecretary of Defense for acquisition, technology andlogistics said here April 24.Frank Kendall issued a memo on the “Better Buying Power2.0” that re-emphasized the power people have in the acquisitionprocess and seven common-sense ways that acquisition andcontracting personnel can achieve greater efficiencies andproductivity.Kendall is building on the original Better Buying Powermemo issued three years ago. He stressed that the 2.0 version is acontinuous improvement process.“It’s not about acquisition reform, or transformational change,”he said during a media roundtable at the Pentagon. “It’s reallyabout attacking all the many problems that exist in how we doacquisition and making incremental improvements wherever wecan.”The memo directs personnel to achieve affordable programs,to control costs throughout products’ life cycles, to provideincentives for industrial productivity and innovation, to eliminateunproductive processes and bureaucracy, and to promote effectivecompetition.The memo also calls on personnel to improve tradecraft in theacquisition of services and to improve the professionalism of thetotal acquisition workforce.“There is a flavor that runs through 2.0 of, ‘Here are the toolsyou need, and here is the way you should be thinking about theproblems that you have to solve. But you have to solve them,’”Kendall said.The memo tells acquisition personnel first to think ‒ to applytheir education, training and experience to the process. It alsotalks about good decision making and the need to streamline thedecision-making process.“People, to me, are central to this (process),” Kendall said. “I’vealso made it a point that it will take cultural change to do a betterjob.”It sounds like an oxymoron, but money has value, Kendallsaid. And while the Defense Department always has tried to be agood financial steward, the incentives often seem to work againstthat.“Obligation rates as a key example of that ‒ where weeffectively punish people for not spending their money,” he said.“That’s not how you negotiate a good contract.”If acquisition professionals can return money to thedepartment or buy additional product for their service orprogram, that should be rewarded, Kendall added.“People shouldn’t just take the budget as a given and take itas their job to spend that budget,” the undersecretary said. “Theirjob is to get as much value as they possibly can ‒ one way is toget more content for that money, and another is to not spend asmuch.”Kendall said he believes contracting personnel are embracingthat idea and that it’s becoming institutionalized throughoutDOD.Leadership is part of the whole process, and Better BuyingPower 2.0 emphasizes the need for people to lead, he said.“We have a lot of very good people, but I think we canimprove,” he added. “We need to build our professionalism.”The importance of DOD getting its money’s worth isespecially important now that money is tight and sequestrationhas hit, Kendall said.“Even though the workforce is out there trying to come togrips with sequestration, we also have to improve how we do ourbusiness in general,” he said. “This is not going to go away, nomatter what the fiscal situation is.”Supporting a great cause!Several runners from the Mission and InstallationContracting Command-Fort Leavenworth, Kan.,participated in the Kansas City Color Me Rad 5K RaceApril 13, benefiting the Special Olympics. From left, teammembers included Jennifer Jordan, Lynn Coupel and KellyDavidson. The 3-member team was dubbed Britt’s Brigadein honor of Davidson’s nephew who participates in SpecialOlympics basketball.The run was the first 5K for Davidsonand Jordan while Coupel,whose final day with the office wasApril 12, is a seasoned runner.(Courtesy photo)May 1, 20135Top acquisition official unveils ‘Better Buying Power 2.0’
Click on the image forACC safety messages.May 1, 20136ACC in the NewsThese articles mention Army Contracting Command.KBR jousts with Defense Department over its FOIA requestBy Mike Francis(Published in The Oregonian, April 23, 2013)It’s not just journalists and activists who lean on the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to pry information out of thefederal government: It’s defense contractors, too.http://www.oregonlive.com/business/index.ssf/2013/04/kbr_jousts_with_defense_depart.htmlChinook team drives a hard bargain in $810 million purchase of 155 helicoptersBy Leada Gore(Posted on AL.com, April 26, 2013)HUNTSVILLE, Alabama – Coupon clippers have nothing on a team of contracting professionals at Redstone Arsenal.The team’s efforts recently saved the government more than $810 million on a multiyear contract to buy 155 CH-47FChinook cargo helicopters.The contact, expected to be signed in May, will provide warfighters with “affordable, world-classheavy lift helicopters,” said Rod Matthews, director, CH-47 Cargo Contracts, Army Contracting Command at RedstoneArsenal.http://www.al.com/business/index.ssf/2013/04/chinook_team_drives_a_hard_bar.htmlBy Daniel P. ElkinsMICC Public AffairsDaniel.email@example.comJOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON,Texas –Mission and Installation ContractingCommand staff members at FortJackson, S.C., were recognized fortheir contributions leading to theHilton Field ribbon cutting ceremonyApril 16.During the ceremony, Brig. Gen.Bryan Roberts, commanding general,Army Training Center and FortJackson, presented awards to MICC-Fort Jackson members involved withthe acquisition for their support inawarding several contracts for servicesand construction renovations.“The newly renovated Hilton Fieldwill benefit the many families andfriends of future graduating Soldiers,”said Cynthia Hall, the contractmanagement division chief at MICC-Fort Jackson.MICC-Fort Jackson wasresponsible for the solicitationand award of contracts valued atmore than $5 million on behalf ofthe Army Training and DoctrineCommand. Hall said requirementsincluded renovations to the stadium,construction of a pedestrianpromenade, permanent restrooms, abus turnaround, resurfacing the entryway, parking lots for distinguishedvisitors and those with disabilities aswell as a new gate.Fort Jackson serves as the Army’smain production center for basiccombat training. Its mission involvestraining more than 36,000 basictraining and 8,000 advanced individualtraining Soldiers every year.Leader recognizes Fort Jackson contracting support(Photo by Maj. Ina Jackson)Brig. Gen. Bryan Roberts, Fort Jacksoncommanding general, recognizes Robert Coney,contracting officer with MICC-Fort Jackson, forhis role in support of the Hilton Field contract.