REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- The U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command's senior civilian spoke to community and industry leaders.

Ronald E. Chronister, deputy to the commander, USASMDC/ARSTRAT, was the keynote speaker at the Advance Planning Briefing for Industry at the Bob Jones auditorium in Redstone Arsenal?'s Sparkman Center March 11. APBI provides information on Army aviation and missile technology efforts and requirements as well as information on potential contract opportunities.

The briefings assist industry, research and academic partners to plan and prepare for future requirements with government contracts. APBI's purpose is to promote transparency in acquisition strategies by providing long-range technology and capability development objectives to industry as well as information on the potential business opportunities available with SMDC and other Team Redstone organizations.

"One of the issues with our command is that we are not very well known and we don't have the visibility a lot of Army commands do," Chronister said. "We are small, we are an ASCC (Army Service Component Command), and a lot of the work we do is classified and sensitive so this venue gives us an opportunity to talk about what we do, advertise that, and hopefully help industry as well."

APBI includes briefings on programs that will be issuing solicitations for competitive bids within an approximately three-to-five-year timeframe. APBI is unclassified and open to all interested contractors, large and small businesses, and academia as well as other government stakeholders.

One of SMDC's contract mechanisms is the Systems Engineering and Technical Assistance Contract, or SETAC. With SETAC, there have been 19 task orders, with a potential ceiling of $369 million, that have been awarded to date. There is a remaining ceiling of $628 million for future task order awards. In fiscal year 2014, six additional task orders for approximately $135 million are to be awarded.

"The SETAC 10 is a multiple-award-indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity, or MA IDIQ, contract with nine prime contractors," said Barbara Cantrell, acquisition management specialist and acquisition program manager for SETAC 10. "Task orders are competed among the prime contractors. The contract provides advisory and assistance services for systems engineering and technical assistance.

"These services support USASMDC/ARSTRAT and other associated air, space, missile defense organizations in support of their various air; space; missile defense; homeland security/homeland defense; Warfighter; and chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear missions as they are defined by higher headquarters, Congress and the Department of Defense," she added.

Another contract mechanism used by SMDC is the Test Execution Services and Launch Augmentation, or TESTLA. TESTLA acquisition was planned as a competitive bridge between SMDC's Lethality Testing and Criteria Development contract and the planned Design, Development, Demonstration and Integration, or D3I, acquisition.

TESTLA has a $220 million program-level ceiling that is shared by all awardees.

Awardees compete in technical support areas such as: flight tests; ground tests; payloads; electronic warfare; directed energy; conventional and asymmetric threats; telemetry and sensors; power and energy; cyber and space; surveillance and reconnaissance; experimental, phenomenology and component; and modeling and simulation.

Potential requirements are currently in planning stages for execution in FY 2014: nuclear arms control technologies; directed energy high energy laser; high-powered microwave lethality; and extended air defense simulation.

"The Test Execution Services and Launch Augmentation MA IDIQ consists of five prime contractors, who compete for each task order, or description of government requirements," said Denise Jones, an engineer in the SMDC Technical Center, and the TESTLA contracting officer's representative. "TESTLA is a flexible, competitive contracting vehicle that fulfills a gap in the command?'s ability to design, develop, demonstrate and integrate hardware and software products focused on meeting near-term requirements until the award of the Design, Develop, Demonstrate and Integrate effort."

D3I currently has approximately $4.6 billion in proposals for all domains received in December and January and these are currently under evaluation, with contract awards anticipated to be made in November 2015.

Before leaving, Chronister spoke about the importance of events like APBI and how forums like these assist in the command's focus on ultimately supporting the Warfighter.

"The more visibility we have, the more industry understands what our capabilities are, what our mission is, and industry can better align themselves because they are a key part of the process," he said. "They are a key partner and the better we are partnered, the better we all collectively can support the Warfighter."