ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. -- A new Acquisition Classroom is now available for all Edgewood Chemical Biological Center and Team CBRNE employees, thanks to a grant from the Army's Acquisition Support Center and teamwork between ECBC personnel. There were several individuals who worked together toward this vision of having a space to complete computer-based training, including: Deb Prue, ECBC Training Coordinator and Bill Klein, ECBC Engineering Associate Director, with the help of Skip Yust, Troy Neville and then-Engineering Executive Officer Todd Nay.

To officially open the new space that was completed in June 2013, the Directorate hosted a ribbon cutting on 10 July. Roughly 20 ECBC employees gathered for the event, including Tom Evans, the Workforce Management Chief of the Army Acquisition Support Center, Kim Gibbons and Brian Cole, both Acquisition Career Managers from Army Acquisition Support Center. Evans made the official ribbon cut to open the classroom. The Acquisition Classroom provides a space where appropriate personnel can take online courses from the Defense Acquisition University. These courses are necessary for earning DAU certification, which is mandatory for most engineers. As a training professional, Prue browsed through the DAU site and tried to take one of the courses.

"I sat down at my desk one day and tried to complete a course, and it seemed near impossible," Prue said. "There were constant interruptions from my day-to-day work: emails, phone calls, and people coming in. I figured if I had problems focusing on this course, it must be worse for the engineers who need to take this for their careers." Since the majority of ECBC employees who have to take the course are within the Engineering Directorate, Prue approached Bill Klein, Associate Director of Engineering, to brainstorm some options for making the DAU training efficient, and effective. "Bill was interested in finding a way to ease these courses for our engineers as well, so we joined forces," Prue said. Klein and Prue worked together to identify the A52 grant available through the Army Acquisition Support Center, and submitted an application in May 2012. It was their first time using this avenue to request funds, so the two felt there were only benefits to trying this process.

"We figured if we didn't get the grant then life will go on, but it was worth a chance, so we went for it," Prue said. Prue and Klein worked on a spend plan for the requested funds and submitted it to the Acquisition Support Center. Several months later, in October 2012, the application was approved, and the funding was provided. "Bill was instrumental in helping us find this quiet training space," Prue said. "I hope that it gets utilized, because it's here to help."

With a team moving out of their space and as one of the primary locations for the Engineering Directorate, renovations kicked off for a space in Berger Building, in November 2012. The room is equipped with new flooring, new painting and, most importantly, eight computer workstations and a printer. The room will be open daily from 0800 to 1500 for use.

"This room is an excellent asset to ECBC and to Team CBRNE," said AJay Thornton, Director of ECBC Engineering at the ribbon cutting. "This is a good thing that we were able to do and I'm glad the funding was able to come through to get this accomplished."


ECBC is part of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, which has the mission to develop technology and engineering solutions for America's Soldiers.

RDECOM is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Materiel Command. AMC is the Army's premier provider of materiel readiness -- technology, acquisition support, materiel development, logistics power projection, and sustainment -- to the total force, across the spectrum of joint military operations. If a Soldier shoots it, drives it, flies it, wears it, eats it or communicates with it, AMC provides it.