In my role as the assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition, logistics and technology (ASA(ALT)), my team and I serve as lifecycle managers for all Army systems. The systems lifecycle—from requirements to sustainment to divestiture—doesn’t stop, even in the middle of a global pandemic like COVID-19.
Our 12 program executive offices (PEOs), as well as the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command and the U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center, play a critical role in the entire lifecycle, supporting 685 programs and the Army’s top modernization priorities. It is thanks to them and our expert team of Army acquisition professionals that we’ve stayed on track with deliverables and schedules. As our warfighters continue to receive the support they need, we’ve also taken the lead in developing and acquiring materials to support the COVID-19 response.
Some of the highlights from across our PEOs include:
- We have acquired and deployed diagnostic tests so that the entire Army can test for COVID-19.
- In collaboration with our federal partners, and those in academia and industry, we are working to develop a COVID-19 vaccine.
- We are actively researching treatments and developing and providing devices for COVID-19 clinical studies.
- We’ve deployed personnel to train Army and Navy units to use Medical Communications for Combat Casualty Care (MC4) systems, which are used to document sick calls and order and manage Class VIII medical supplies and pharmaceuticals. We’ve also prepositioned MC4 systems at two mobilization sites to support Army medical treatment facility personnel mobilized for the COVID-19 relief effort across the nation.
Even while working from home and limiting in-person interaction with our DOD, federal and industry partners, the ASA(ALT) community continues to meet our enduring mission in an effective and timely manner.
In the face of additional challenges presented by COVID-19, the Army acquisition team quickly became flexible and leveraged their problem solving skills to ensure minimal impact to our delivery timetables. PEO Soldier’s Integrated Visual Augmentation System team is using remote testing and distance collaboration methods and is on track to meet a fourth quarter 2021 delivery of the first unit equipped. We also delivered the new Apache helicopter to Soldiers, providing training to the first aviators who are qualified to operate the aircraft.
While our challenges are not over, our mission remains the same. The health and safety of our Army acquisition workforce is paramount so that they can continue to meet the needs of the systems lifecycle, delivering top quality capabilities to Soldiers. We will keep doing business as usual in this environment and any others we may face in the future.
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