Archive for the ‘Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition’ Category

US Defense Bill to Supports Made in USA

February 9, 2017

Fabric rolls IDEX.jpgFrom the National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO),which represents domestic textile manufacturers, the Senate’s 92-7 vote to pass Fiscal Year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) according to NCTO President & CEO Auggie Tantillo is “a good bill.”  Tantillo says of the bill “It supports American troops, strengthens our national security, and includes many provisions important to the US textile industry.”

The Department of Defense (DOD) sourced roughly $1.5 billion (USD) in textiles and clothing in 2016. Textiles fall under the buy-American procurement provision known as the Berry Amendment. The Berry Amendment (10 U.S.C. 2533a) requires the Department of Defense to buy textiles and clothing made with 100% United States content and labor.

berry-amendment-berry-compliant-bootsThe FY 2017 NDAA conference report reflects several other positive outcomes for the US based textiles industry. (1) no increase to the simplified acquisition threshold (SAT). Procurements in excess of the SAT require compliance with the Berry Amendment. The SAT level is $ 150,000. If the SAT threshold were increased, contracts might be awarded to international bidders and a lose for US industry. (2) the athletic footwear voucher program that has been in place for decades ended. Now the works begins to ensure all athletic footwear purchased by DoD is Berry-compliant. (3) DoD and the State Department procurement officials have been directed to provide key congressional defense and foreign relations committees updates on how each department is making efforts to ensure US manufacturers are aware of procurement opportunities relating equipping foreign security forces. Information source: http://www.ncto.org

For the complete details please visit http://www.innovationintextiles.com/industry-talk/new-us-defence-bill-to-support-made-in-usa-products/utm_content=47764882&utm_medium=social&utm_source=linkedin#sthash.8yKW5WZO.dpuf

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What . . . Army Staff Identification Badge ?

February 2, 2017

What exactly is that green looking badge worn by many working in the Pentagon? The badge is called Army Staff Identification Badge (ASIB) and awarded to those who are assigned to the Office of the Secretary of the Army and the Army Staff at Headquarters, Department of the Army (HQDA).headquarters_us_army_ssi

While technically neither an award nor a decoration, the badge is a distinguishing emblem of service (although each person must prepare a recommendation for award of the badge and it is reflected in one’s official file).

Each staff member is issued the ASIB temporarily, once a member has demonstrated outstanding performance of duty and meeting all eligibility requirements the badge can be awarded permanent after one complete year (365 days cumulative) and receive a certificate authorizing permanent wear of the badge.

As background, General Douglas MacArthur proposed an Army General Staff Badge in 1931, but it was not until 1933 that the United States War Department authorized it. The badge has remained unchanged in appearance since it was first created, however, the name was changed in 1982 from the Army General Staff Identification Badge to the Army Staff Identification Badge..

cstc-afghanistan-patchOn the United States Army uniform, the Army Staff Identification Badge is worn centered on the right breast pocket. However, since the uniform regulations have changed to allow the wear of a “combat patch” on the Class A uniform the ALARACT 203/2010 wear guidance also says the ASIB is worn on the left breast pocket when worn in conjunction with a CSIB (Combat Service Identification Badge) more commonly known as a combat patch.

For example, one of my personal patches from 2008 and 2009 is the Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan (CSTC-A) is shown. CSTC-A located in Kabul Afghanistan was formed out of the Office of Security Cooperation-Afghanistan and is in partnership with the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GIRoA) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

You know that Picatinny helmet rail?

August 9, 2016
ACH w NVG Mount
Army Combat Helmet (ACH)

 

I am working on a project that includes mounting a new piece of video kit on the Army Combat Helmet (ACH). While looking at one of my developmental helmets from 2005 shook my head a bit and considered all that is old comes back around.  This time the subject is the Picatinny rail.  When the ACH was introduced into the US Army inventory after some modification of the “Mitch Helmet” used in the previous years by US Army Special Forces, the basic version included just the Night Vision Goggle (NVG) mount. THe ACH as first fielded is a far cry from the helmets worn in combat today.

Rail pic b

At the time. the US Army program office for Soldier Clothing and Individual equipment located at Ft Belvoir, VA was looking at each piece of Soldier gear and considering how we could make it better, lighter, or more durable.  Soldiers were being asked to carry numerous new pieces of gear that needed batteries, antennas, lights and so forth.  Operating these new devices “hands free” would be a bonus – especially when you already had your hands full! I talked this challenge over with one of the ACH producers Mine Safety Appliances Co (MSA) and Russ Suchy – he came back to me with a prototype rail system shown below for the ACH.  I don’t know how long this development had been in the works before I diagramed out a pencil drawing of the ACH showing where I thought a rail could be applied. My point was the attachment mechanism for the rail use had to use the pre-existing mounting hard wear and holes. More holes in the helmet = bad.

ACH w Pict Rail v2

Informal internet research finds that the rail itself may stem from work by the “A.R.M.S. company in the early 1980s and Otto Repa in standardizing the Weaver design,” but I cant provide the exact references.  I did review the Mil-STD-1913, dated February 3, 1995 document and can see that at least as far back as 1995 rail capability was known to the US Army.  Interestingly this MIL Standard was focused on small arms.  Picatinny was the supervising office.

Picatinny Arsenal’s role in naming the rail during test and evaluation which created the military standard could be as simple as the official documentation. The MIL STD as recorded on the lowly DD-Form 1426; dated 1989 was overseen by Picatinny. Who knew that the rail would grow to such popularity in use?  Now days on most any special forces blog site you can see variations of how the Picatinny rail has been adopted for helmet mounts.

Rail pic a

MSA’s role changed when Revision Military announced in June 2012 the purchase of MSA’s North American ballistic helmet business. The purchase included the acquisition of MSA’s U.S.-based helmet manufacturing equipment and operations located in Newport, Vermont.

Regardless of whether its MSA, Revision, Gentex, Crye, or a host of other excellent combat producers, the fact that the Picatinny rail seems to be here to stay is without question.  Just look at the variations in helmet mounts (and not even mentioning weapon and hand guard rails!) and you can see that the creative adaptation has not stopped!

Rail pic c

 

Memorial Ceremony for Major General Harold J. Greene, 13 August 2014

August 13, 2014

Reflections and images from today’s memorial service for Major General Greene. While the senior speakers Secretary of the Army and Chief of Staff ofthe Army and others were eloquently sincere and expressed fine and endearing remarks about the life and profession of MG Greene, I would like to honor Harry Greene by relaying what I saw there in the auditorium attended by more than 300 people. A dark sober stage framed by dark blue curtains and empty except the podium composed of a single focal point of the soldier’s helmet capping an upturned rifle pointed downwards. A set of identification tags hangs loose above an empty set of tan combat boots. To the right in the place of honor is the flag of the United States of America and to the left – the flag of the US Army with all 183 battle streamers and immediately below a rolled general officer’s black leather belt with gold buckle (note left and right from the podiums view). The podium is covered with the bright red of a general officers flag and the brilliant white of the two stars signifying a Major General. MG Greene’s framed photograph rests alone upon this podium.

I think commemorative words are often lost on attendees but the images, music and ceremony of paying respect and saying goodbye always remains. Following commemorative remarks praising the general and recognizing his many significant contributions to the US Army, our nation, and his role as Deputy Commander of the Combined Security Transition Command – Afghanistan; the Pentagon Choir offered special music “You raise Me Up.” Pentagon Chaplain, COL Rutherford followed the special music with the benediction. The Chaplains’ remarks were brief and focused that “we come here today out of gratitude” and provided solace that “the just man who dies early will be at rest.” Following the benediction, the Command Sergeant Major approached the podium, turned and called out roll call. The first two names called were answered immediately from within the auditorium as “here!’ However, when the Command Sergeant Major called out for “Major General Greene,” only silence was heard. The Command Sergeant Major called again for “Major General Harold Greene,” and again only silence. The Command Sergeant Major called a third time for “Major General Harold Joseph Greene,” and was met with only silence for a last time. He then solemnly turned and slowly saluted. It was at this point with memorial ceremony almost complete that the lone bugler came onto stage out of the dark and rendered taps.

Taps in the auditorium was eerily beautiful within such a totally quite place and had a slight echo within the walls. As taps played, one could only focus on the source of light: the helmet, upturned rifle and empty boots that dominated the hall. The last image I can offer is that of the Secretary of the Army and Chief of Staff of the Army approaching the podium and rendering their slow and solemn final salutes of farewell. The family of MG Greene, senior Army and Acquisition leaders and all other friends, associates and colleague then filed by and offered their own solemn gestures of farewell. Some slowly saluted, MG Greene’s son and daughter each raised their hand and touched the two stars on his combat helmet, and others made other small gestures of respect and farewell. As each of the more than 300 persons attending made their way past the podium, the memorial service came to a solemn end.

 

Funeral Service for MG Harold J. Greene

August 13, 2014

arlington cemetery

Funeral Service for Major General Harold J. Greene, Former Deputy Commanding General, Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan, will be held on Thursday, 14 August 2014, at 1500 hours at Memorial Chapel, Fort Myer, Virginia.  Interment with Full Military Honors to follow at Arlington National Cemetery.  

A valid government identification is required to gain access to Fort Myer. Recommend attendees allow extra time for processing through security if you decide to drive directly to Fort Myer.  Military Police will be on hand to assist.

The Uniform is Service Dress with Service Cap and Civilian Informal.

http://www.arlingtoncemetery.mil/Plan-Your-Visit/Getting-Here/Directions