Armor & Mobility

SEP-OCT 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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on designing countermeasures to address threats against ground mounted platforms, Army rotorcraft, and dismounted Soldiers; the Combat Vehicle Prototyping program to demonstrate advanced capa- bilities for the combat vehicle fleet; and efforts to reduce technical risk for future programs, including the Future Fighting Vehicle. Even in the face of austere budget realities, we cannot lose sight of strategies for future innovation. The Army's future readiness, the Service's top prior- ity, depends on the strategic choices we make today. A&M: What efforts are in place to strengthen system interoperability, particularly with regards to international partnerships? McFarland: Interoperability is a key component of the Army's strategic plans for bolstering readiness in the future force. The Army of tomorrow must be conducive to supporting joint and multinational operations. To do this, we need to pursue a base technological architecture into which other Services and allied militaries can operate. As we are forced to draw down Army force levels in this era of unprecedented instability, we recognize the importance of interoper- ability and its role as more than just a technology issue. It helps us achieve unity of effort through mutual understanding with international partners. Interoperability is an essential part of our acquisition strategy as we address potential international cooperative development, Direct Commercial Sales (DCS), or Foreign Military Sales (FMS) early in the acquisition planning process and throughout a program's lifecycle. The first step towards interoperability with international partners is to design programs with future exportability taken into consideration. This includes using open systems architecture to the greatest extent possible, which not only promotes interoperable configurations but also increases potential for cost-effective integration of the best global defense technology. We also impact interoperability with our role in the technology secu- rity and foreign disclosure process. Decisions to transfer technology are made through a very deliberate multi-agency process. This process is vital to protect- ing our technological edge while ensuring we have capable partners to fight along- side. ASA(ALT) is responsible for developing and managing the tech transfer policy for Army platforms and reviewing tech transfer licenses which total around 7,000 applica- tions a year. In addition to the tech transfer process, our FMS activity is perhaps the most visible indicator of our efforts to develop partner capacity and creating the conditions for interoperability. The U.S. Army had over $20B in foreign military sales in Fiscal Year 2015. I would like to emphasize that this figure is not a measure of success so much as insight to the magnitude of FMS activ- ity. Sales are not the purpose of our FMS programs but are a measurable indication of how we're progressing toward our objec- tives of increasing partner capacity and achieving higher levels of interoperability. FMS sales remain high again this year with nearly $12B in sales to date with definite potential to approach the same high num- bers of the last few years. Finally, we are able to influence interoperability through our role as the U.S. representative to the NATO Army Armaments Group and management of the NATO Standardization Agreements (STANAG) for the Army. A&M: Feel free to address other areas which ASA(ALT) is addressing going forward. McFarland: I'd like to say a few words about the acquisition enterprise. Our most critical asset is our people, and we are committed to professionalizing the acquisition workforce as one of the key tenets of the Better Buying Power program. Before my arrival in DoD and ASA(ALT), I served as president of the Defense Acquisition University (DAU), where I oversaw the development and expansion of acquisition curriculum and supported learning opportunities for over 150,000 members of the Defense Acquisition Workforce. Upon joining ASA(ALT), I immediately appreciated that the Army acquisition team has been equally dedicated to enhancing the professionalism of the Army Acquisition Workforce. In ASA(ALT), we understand the importance of strengthening the acquisition, requirements, procurement, and logistics enterprises so we can equip our Soldiers with the solutions they need to dominate the battlefield. In 2014, the Army celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Army Acquisition Corps (AAC), an elite team of civilian and military spe- cialists who develop and procure the capabilities upon which our Warfighters rely for mission success. The AAC and the broader Army Acquisition Workforce are over 36,000 members strong, consisting of professionals across the Army and throughout the world. These diverse, talented men and women ensure that the United States Army maintains readiness and remains the best-equipped fighting force the world has ever known. The Stryker Family of Vehicles (FoV) consists of 10 unique mission equipment packages incorporated into the eight-wheeled, common combat vehicle platform configurations. (Army) LEADERSHIP PERSPECTIVE www.tacticaldefensemedia.com 24 | Armor & Mobility September/October 2016

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