Picatinny employee recognized for acquisition excellence
December 17, 2013
PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. -- Robert T. Kowalski, a business manager in the Program Executive Office for Ammunition, was honored Nov. 13 at the Pentagon for his contributions to the Army Acquisition Corps.
Kowalski is business manager for the Project Manager for Maneuver Ammunition Systems (PM MAS). He received a 2013 Army Acquisition Award in the category of Director, Acquisition Career Management Award.
Kowalski was one of thirteen individuals and teams within the U.S. Army acquisition community selected as "exceptional" among their peers for their skill, efficiency, and dedication.
"These awards are the most prestigious in our field. They represent the professionalism, dedication, and innovation across our acquisition community," said Heidi Shyu, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology (ASA(ALT).
PM MAS, the single manager for all Department of Defense and allied direct fire munitions, manages 316 products with a FY13-19 budget of $6.8 billion.
As business manager, Kowalski supports four product managers and directors for small (5.56 mm, 7.62 mm and .50 cal), medium (20 mm thru 40 mm) and large (105/120 mm) calibers of ammunition as well as non-standard (Soviet bloc) ammunition for our coalition partners.
He leads three teams: acquisition (contracts), program analysis (budgets) and cost analysis, while also providing support in planning and manpower domains.
Kowalski has been a strong force in the success of ammunition programs for the past 32 years in engineering, business management and program management capacities.
Previous assignments include project officer for the M900 105mm tank munition, where he was the lead engineer in charge of fielding the "Silver Bullet" of Desert Storm, the M829A1 120mm round for the Abrams Main Battle Tank.
In the early 1990s, as project officer for the M829E3 program (fourth generation kinetic energy round for the Abrams), he helped stand up his organization's first heavyweight Integrated Process Team. The M829A3 IPT became an Army Acquisition Corps ammunition model for application of the life cycle Cost as an Independent Variable principle.
As deputy product manager (DPM) for small and medium caliber ammunition in PM MAS from 2004 to 2007, Kowalski led a joint organizational 40mm Systems Acquisition team that earned two top Department of Defense-level awards -- the David Packard Award and the Office of the Secretary of Defense Small Business Award.
He is one of the patent holders for a 40 mm improved coupling invention that Soldiers named a 2010 Top 10 Army Invention of the Year.
As the DPM, he oversaw the quintupling of small caliber ammunition production at the government-owned Lake City Army Ammunition Plant (LCAAP) from 350 million rounds a year to 1.7 billion in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.
Another achievement as DPM was initiating and leading the Army's new general purpose bullet, the 5.56mm M855A1 Enhanced Performance Round (EPR). The EPR is the first significant improvement to this key ammunition in 30 years. The EPR program earned the 2011 David Packard Award and the technology is now being integrated into 7.62mm ammunition.
Kowalski has helped develop the acquisition strategy for the production of small caliber rifle ammunition and the operation, maintenance and modernization of LCAAP. By completing the modernization program and purchasing intellectual property, he laid the groundwork for a competitive acquisition. This successful dual use (government and commercial) contract is expected to save more than $900 million over the 10-year period of performance.