C4ISR Center of Excellence reaches out to industry
December 19, 2011
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. -- More than 450 business and economic development representatives from across the country gathered here Dec. 7-8 for the annual command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) Advanced Planning Briefing for Industry and Small Business Conference.
In addition, Maj. Gen. Randolph P. Strong, commanding general of the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command, presented his "State of CECOM" briefing to 400 business and community representatives at a breakfast Dec. 8 sponsored by the local chapter of the Armed Forces Communications-Electronics Association.
The APBI is an opportunity for any business to find out about the major contracting opportunities that are currently being projected for the next five years by the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command's Software Engineering Center and its Logistics and Readiness Center; the Program Executive Officer for Command, Control, Communications-Tactical; the Program Executive Officer for Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and Surveillance; and the Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center. The C4ISR team briefed approximately $14 billion in currently known, potential contracts for fiscal years 2012-17.
In addition, the new System of Systems Integration Directorate of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology provided a presentation on the new Agile procurement process and the Network Integration Evaluation process.
The two-day event was aimed at raising awareness of the potential requirements needed within the C4ISR Center of Excellence so support to the warfighter can be done effectively and efficiently.
In his State of CECOM presentation, Strong highlighted the past year's accomplishments, his new priorities for the year, and his view of the challenges ahead.
Strong said, "In our business, we have a definite need for industry partnerships because our capabilities are built largely on commercially-based products."
He emphasized the transition in the Army from the "Big Five" systems of the Abrams tank, the Apache helicopter, the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, the Paladin self-propelled howitzer and the Patriot missile system to the Network.
"The Network is the Army's number #1 modernization effort," Strong explained. "C4ISR systems will continue to be procured at substantial rates. There is a huge portfolio of systems that Team C4ISR provides."
C4ISR enterprise senior leaders took part in a detailed panel discussion about upcoming requirements and needs of their respective organizations for both large and small businesses. Briefings included the objectives for the available contracts; as well as the contract type; estimated contract values; milestones; and contracting points of contact.
The dedication of a day to solely to small business interests was explained by Gary Martin, CECOM's deputy to the commanding general. "If there is anywhere where small business can be successful, it's in the C4ISR industry."
Strong said he encourages the focus on small business because, in C4ISR, small businesses can bring in innovative equipment for such capabilities as command and control systems where that may not be possible in the larger weapons system such as tanks.
"In Fiscal Year 11, there were 27,000 contracting actions from the C4ISR Center of Excellence and $11.7 billion for all U.S. obligations, " said Kenyata Wesley, CECOM's Chief Associate Director for Small Business. "We awarded $1.4 billion of those eligible obligations to small businesses."
Skelly Holmbeck, an employee of Truestone, a company which is part of an Alaskan Native Corporation owned by the Iñupiat people of Northwest Alaska said, "The event (APBI and Small Business Conference) provided lots of great information and inspiration. It makes me so proud as an American to hear about our vision and plans for the future. And, I am enthusiastic about what we can do to help make that happen."
All briefings of potential contracting opportunities are available on the events' registration website at: https://denalipub.army.mil/apbi.nsf.