ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (Jan. 9, 2018) -- Product Lead Common Hardware Systems (PdL CHS) has been providing Department of Defense (DOD) and U.S. Army program offices tactical hardware and technical support services for over 25 years. CHS is dedicated to meeting the customer's needs through a coordinated team approach; thus, getting the customer what they need when they need it.

Operating under Project Lead Network Enablers (PL Net E), the CHS team acts as an extension of the customer's internal staff -- providing market research, cost analysis, technical evaluations, contracting support and start to finish ordering and delivery. Working with its partners, including the Army Contracting Command (ACC) as the centralized procurement activity and the prime contractor, General Dynamics Mission Systems, CHS can offer a streamlined acquisition process and rapid execution for program offices. The personalized customer service CHS provides through its engineering and logistics support is one of a kind.

One way CHS stays connected with its customers is by holding annual Program Management Reviews, or PMRs. Most recently, CHS hosted a PMR from 5-7 December 2017 at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. Dennis Teefy, Deputy Project Lead, PL Net E, provided opening remarks stating, "CHS, ACC and General Dynamics Mission Systems work closely as a team to ensure your hardware requirements are met. Since the program is centrally funded, there are no pass through charges added to the equipment cost. Service and efficiency are core values of CHS and its team members." The three day event provided an opportunity for the team to inform product office engineers, logisticians and acquisition specialists on recent updates and future enhancements to the CHS program.

Some of the updates within CHS include the recognition as an Army Strategic Sourcing Preferred Source, which requires program offices to coordinate with CHS for tactical commercial-off-the-shelf information technology (COTS IT) prior to seeking alternative contracting sources. Utilizing CHS as an Army Preferred Source will decrease acquisition time, save manpower, provide buying power with cost reductions and, most importantly, align programs with DOD and Army priorities. In addition, the CHS team is developing a new front end portal to make it easier for users to request service and order hardware and is continuing to work toward the new CHS-5 contract award. The CHS-5 enhancements are in direct response to customer feedback. The new contract will provide CHS customers with lower costs, improved security measures, additional sustainment support options and rapid execution.

CHS has also been building new partnerships and strengthening existing relationships in order to increase the breadth of its support. By creating a broader team with its partners, CHS can focus on the needs of the customer. For example, CHS is partnering with the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command (CECOM) to support the sustainment of COTS IT. This type of support is unprecedented within the sustainment phase for COTS IT.

The December PMR also included one-on-one meetings with the customer. "These one-on-ones provide an open forum where program offices can speak specifically to their needs and service. They help us to better understand the requirements, resolve issues and introduce the larger CHS team -- demonstrating our commitment to support programs and to create a personal experience when working with CHS," said PdL Breck Tarr. Over the course of two days, the CHS team met with customers such as Program Executive Office Command, Control Communications-Tactical (PEO C3T) Product Manager Mission Network, PEO C3T Product Manager Satellite Communications (SATCOM), PEO C3T Product Manager Network Modernization, PEO C3T Fire Support Command and Control (FSC2), PEO C3T Strategic Mission Command (SMC), PEO Intelligence Electronic Warfare & Sensors (IEW&S) Distributed Common Ground System-Army (DCGS-A) and CECOM Enterprise, Soldier, Aviation Directorate (ESA).

Next up, CHS will travel to Huntsville, Alabama to host a PMR at Redstone Arsenal on 23-25 January 2017. Over 100 stakeholders from the tactical community have been invited and CHS is seeing an overwhelming response. Tarr said, "Huntsville holds our second largest customer base -- PEO Aviation and Missiles and Space. CHS's reach extends across the entire acquisition community and we want to provide the same quality of service to all of our customers."

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Product Lead Common Hardware Systems (PdL CHS) acquires and supports sustainment of highly flexible, cost effective, common and simplified non-developmental C4ISR solutions that improve interoperability and connectivity on the battlefield while garnering efficient competition to enable the latest commercial technology solutions to be integrated onto the Army tactical network. For more information, visit the CHS website at https://www.kc.army.mil/chs/about.aspx.

The U.S. Army Program Executive Office Command, Control and Communications-Tactical (PEO C3T) develops, acquires, fields and supports the Army's mission-command network to ensure force readiness. This critical Army modernization priority delivers tactical communications so commanders and Soldiers can stay connected and informed at all times, even in the most austere and hostile environments. PEO C3T is delivering the network to regions around the globe, enabling high-speed, high-capacity voice, data and video communications to a user base that includes the Army's joint, coalition and other mission partners.