MILDEP's message to NIE 14.2 Acquisition Officers: 'You will make an impact'
May 22, 2014
FORT BLISS, Texas (May 22, 2014) -- Military Deputy to the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology Lt. Gen. Michael E. Williamson, visited Network Integration Evaluation (NIE) 14.2, where he met with acquisition officers supporting the semi-annual activities on 16 May.
As the NIE improves network capabilities, acquisition officers are critical with their knowledge of networked operations and their ability to create a bridge between Soldiers, engineers and leadership. In essence, the officers are a one-stop source of information regarding integration into the NIE. These officers are "leading edge" experts in the "agile" approach to acquisition, which allows the Army to revise requirements to realistically meet Soldier's combat needs.
As the senior acquisition officer, Williamson shared his thoughts on the importance of what the officers are doing today for tomorrow's Soldiers.
"You are going to have a far reaching impact, whatever we build, whatever comes out of here, Soldiers are going to go to war with that," said Williamson. "You will be retired and someone will be using those systems, those radios and that software."
The systems are already being procured, with the support of the NIE. The Army has made $12 million in investments towards equipment purchases. In order to improve network capabilities the Army anticipates several new technology purchases.
With many of the officers in attendance pondering the future of the Army, Williamson shed light on how the officers can take hold of the situation and utilize their acquisition skill sets to their advantage.
"There are now more opportunities to be creative and you get a chance to take a little more risk," said Williamson. "People will accept a little more innovation; they will accept new ideas and you will have the opportunity to make your mark."
He also added that it is important to have situational awareness and to be knowledgeable of what is going on in the world. This is significant as 13 years of war comes to an end; the Army has to decide what types of capabilities are now needed and acquisition officers will be the ones to provide it.
"If you are in the acquisition business and you build things, you are not building it for today, you are building it for tomorrow," Williamson continued, "Soldiers are going to live, fight, eat and sleep on stuff you guys build. That is impact."