Former Project Manager for NV/RSTA Wins PM of the Year
October 21, 2011
With the handing over of a plaque to Brig Gen. Harold Greene, who accepted the 2011 Secretary of the Army Acquisition Director, Project Manager of the Year Award on behalf of the former project manager for Night Vision/Reconnaissance Surveillance & Target Acquisition, yet another example of the various sacrifices and acquisition expertise that earned the PM the award was on display as the honoree could not be on hand.
Col. Linda Herbert, who is currently deployed as Director, Contracting Fusion Cell CENTCOM Joint Theater Support Contracting Command, was recognized during the Army Acquisition Annual Award Ceremony on Oct 9, for her leadership of one of the most complex Army PMs at the O-6 level. NV/RSTA spans Fire, Maneuver and Effects, Special Operations Forces, and Intelligence areas; and includes the full spectrum of available sensors and sensor networking systems linking to multiple battle command and intelligence systems.
Herbert and her team of four product manager officers for Integrated Tactical Systems, Radars, Robotics & Unmanned Sensors and Forward Looking Infrared were selected from a pool of nominations spanning the acquisition community for the PM of the Year award. The primary areas they were judged on included: Resource Management, Acquisition Streamlining Reforms and Innovations, Program Complexity and Exceeding Program Objectives.
As the project manager responsible for the largest portfolio under the Program Executive Office-Intelligence Electronic Warfare& Sensors (PEO IEW&S), Herbert was charged with leading a team of more than 1600 personnel (military, government civilians and contractors) with direct responsibility for 45 programs (four of which are in the top-10 of CENTCOM priorities: Base Expeditionary Targeting System Surveillance --Combined (BETSS-C), Persistent Threat Detection System (PTDS), Full Motion Video and Gunshot Shot Detection).
Facing an increased demand from theater for NV/RSTA systems Herbert and her team focused on efficiencies that would allow the organization to meet the increasing demand from theater. To best meet the demand a number of changes were implemented, including the creation of an operations office to centralize the plethora of taskings and a charge to utilize Lean Six Sigma (LSS).
Utilizing new processes and a re-organization, NV/RSTA was able to exceed program objectives by successfully fielding more than 22,000 thermal (Elctro Optical/Infrared), laser, radar, acoustic and seismic sensor systems in direct support of OIF/OND and OEF.
During her tenure at PM NV/RSTA the biggest indicator of success the organization worked toward was maintaining a high operational readiness (OR) rate. "Our OR rates have been above 90% across the board in all of our critically managed systems (average over time) and operational readiness is what it is all about," said Herbert. "When you have rates that high, it means the systems are not failing the Soldiers because they are operational and ready to support the Soldier."
Additionally, adhering to the mindset of leading from the front, COL Herbert deployed to OEF and OIF three times during her command, ensuring the infrastructure to meet CENTCOM fielding objectives were in place. As a result, many programs accelerated delivery and had early fielding's.
In accepting the award Herbert noted many organizations were instrumental in completing the numerous accomplishments that led to the honor. "This award is a testament to all of the hard work of our NV/RSTA team, as well as our Army Material Command (AMC) and industry partners, and their enduring dedication in providing the Soldier with the very best sensor capabilities, said Herbert.
Herbert's vision spread throughout the PEO as she led the way in successfully implementing LSS within IEW&S. Her projects resulted in significant cost savings and also highlighted opportunities for improvements in sparing processes and multi-tier inventory approaches. For example, COL Herbert championed a large-scale LSS effort to "right-size" the field support representative (FSR) footprint in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait. The results included a decreased FSR requirement saving $30 million and a unique predictive model to simulate and determine optimal system sustainment parameters (i.e., time waiting for parts, FSR levels and alignment, etc.) applicable to any system. The FSR Model went on to win the 2010 Army Modeling and Simulation Award.
"Col. Herbert and the team at PM, NV/RSTA were recognized for the enduring contributions they made to improving force protection for our deployed soldiers. The time and energy Linda has selflessly devoted to the Army, the acquisition community, this PEO, and PM NV/RSTA resulted in state-of-the-art capabilities deployed forward on record timelines," said Greene. "This award represents her outstanding contributions as well as her entire team, which operates out of multiple locations in CONUS with forward locations throughout Iraq and Afghanistan."