ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (November 24, 2015) -- Representatives from more than 30 companies attended the Common Hardware Systems (CHS) Industry Day on Nov. 19 at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md. to discuss new requirements and the importance of competition as the Army prepares to release proposals for the CHS-5 contract.

Valued at more than $3 billion, the CHS-5 contract will enable the rapid procurement of total life cycle system management solutions in support of tactical programs by providing seamless and consolidated procurement of Commercial Information Technology (IT), customizable sustainment strategies, non-personal services and continuous technology upgrades.

CHS provides state-of-the-art computing and networking equipment that improves connectivity, interoperability, logistics and maintenance support to Soldiers, and was recently positioned as the Army's primary organization to oversee commercial hardware for the Army's tactical network.
"CHS is a rapid execution vehicle to meet tactical requirements," said Breck Tarr, deputy product lead for CHS. "The speed and rapid execution of our contract is what makes CHS valuable to the Army. We want to see proposals with innovative techniques to reduce our schedule, including requirements generation, contractual processing times and delivery to the government."

The Program Executive Office Command, Control and Communications-Tactical (PEO C3T) plans to compete the CHS-5 contract in the fourth quarter FY16, with an award expected within the first quarter of FY18.

The program structure for CHS-5 includes a single step full and open competition, leading to a best value award of an Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract for a five year Period of Performance (three-year base with two one-year options). Much of the CHS-5 contract is focused on sustainment.

The CHS-5 Industry Day was held to promote a competitive environment for CHS-5, provide industry with information relating to what to expect contractually, and to help industry to understand the Army's sustainment direction for Commercial IT hardware.

As the commercial industrial base adapts to fit a leaner Army, the organic industrial base will be called upon to provide more holistic life-cycle sustainment support. The CHS-5 contract requires vendors to establish a Public-Private Partnership (P3) with Tobyhanna Army Depot, or TYAD, in order to facilitate product support for programs procuring hardware via CHS-5 and having core logistics capability requirements.

"Partnering leverages the innovation, resources, and leadership skills of both parties to be able to provide best value to the warfighter," said Michelle Reese, logistics management specialist for Tobyhanna's Strategic Initiatives Office.

This requirement builds upon a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that was recently signed between TYAD and PEO C3T's Project Leader Network Enablers, which CHS is assigned to, establishing an effort through which CHS and TYAD collaborate to repair out-of-warranty CHS hardware.

Over the next several months the Army will continue to review and consider industry feedback to further establish a competitive environment in advance of the solicitation. CHS plans to conduct one-on-one meetings with industry during the second quarter of FY16 in order to build a greater understanding of their capabilities.

"We believe our efforts with the broader Army community will yield efficiencies as we help programs to coordinate the most appropriate and cost effective contract to meet their specific requirements, achieve economies of scale through consolidated procurements, and work with industry providers to identify mature technologies to potentially meet customer needs," said Bill Gehrum, strategic initiatives lead for CHS.