Armor & Mobility

MAY 2016

Military magazines in the United States and Canada, covering Armor and Mobility, focuses on tactical vehicles, C4ISR, Special Operations Forces, latest soldier equipment, shelters, and key DoD programs

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Page 13 of 35 12 | May 2016 | Armor & Mobility | Unmanned Tech Solutions so SOF organizations can draw from and deploy with the tailored package they need for a given contingency. We also manage our Mobile Technology Repair Complex (MTRC) program from here. The MTRC is a deployable asset with lathes, drill presses, industrial sewing, welding and a 3-D printer to support SOF in remote and austere locations. Most importantly, each MTRC deploys with an engineer and technician to develop solutions to operator's requirements at the point of need. The MTRC's are networked back to Crane, SOFSA and Tampa to leverage deeper engineering benches when needed and to share ideas. A&M: How have budget cuts squeezed Acquisitions' role as means of maintain the upper hand in USSOCOM for military engagements and overall capabilities? Mr. Smith: SOF is extremely relevant to the current national military strategy and our budget has been fairly stable over the years. However, a tightening DoD budget environment does present some challenges. The 5th SOF Truth is "Most Special Operations require non-SOF assistance." As budgets tighten, we work with the Services and OSD to ensure those enabling capabilities are available. It's also true that USSOCOM is an operational command and the majority of the command's resources are appropriately dedicated to readiness; training, sustaining and deploying the force. Funding is always constrained as we strike to balance current readiness with preparation for the future. We are full partners in the planning, programming and budgeting process to discuss trades on research and development, procurement and operations and maintenance funding priorities. As an example, the Commander recently made the decision to increase our research and development funding over the next five years to ensure USSOCOM was appropriately preparing for the future. A&M: Has there been any cooperation between USSOCOM and industry partners relating to acquisition? Mr. Smith: We enjoy excellent cooperation with our industry partners. We have a Technology and Industry Liaison Office (TILO) that enables an industry partner to submit their ideas to USSOCOM and we'll review them across a broad set of subject matter experts within the SOF community. And when these submissions meet a potential need, we can follow up with a request for more information or an in-person briefing. But there are some challenges. USSOCOM, being on a gated military installation, isn't the most user-friendly place to visit and, quite frankly, many non-traditional partners don't know how to connect with us. To address this and to increase the opportunity for industry interaction, we've established SOFWERX in downtown Tampa. SOFWERX is a brick-and-mortar facility that greatly lowers the barriers-to-entry. You can literally walk off the street and pitch an idea. We're teamed with the Doolittle Institute, a non- Leadership Perspective A special operations AC-130 gunship deploys defensive countermeasures. (USSOCOM)

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