Home' Army Acquisition Logistics and Technology Magazine : Army ALT January-March 2016 Contents UAS readiness by reducing the mean time to repair and the mishap
rate, at the lowest possible cost to the program manager,” he added.
“It’s a challenge that we all accept and take very seriously.”
What do you do in your position, and why is it important to
the Army or the warfighter?
As a member of a government and industry team, my job is to
provide subject matter expertise, oversee the technical author-
ing of publications tasks and ensure that these publications are
written in accordance with military standards and incorporate
change requests from Soldier customers. In other words, I help
to write the technical manuals that Soldiers use to operate and
maintain a complex weapon system.
What one skill or ability is most important in doing your job
Listening. Simply listening to customer input and letting the
customer know that their issues are important and deserve an
answer is vital to solving problems. I use listening to critically
think issues out in order to develop the best solution that will
help the customer while considering the cost to the program.
How did you become part of the Army Acquisition Work-
force, and why?
I transferred from my job as an Army civilian—I was a logistics
assistance representative for the Army Aviation and Missile Com-
mand. I chose this position because I knew it would allow me to
manage and support the sustainment effort, which in turn sup-
ports our Soldiers in the field. My background as a Soldier and my
experience with developing the logistics effort for the AH-64D
Longbow Apache were instrumental in my ability to provide sus-
tainment support and assist with technical publications.
What’s the biggest challenge your program faces, and how do
you overcome it?
There are several challenges that we face as the project man-
ager for an Acquisition Category I weapon system, including
fielding an entirely new variant of the Shadow UAS, continu-
ing our support to several platoons deployed in combat theaters,
and ongoing efforts to insert new technology and upgrades to
improve reliability and decrease Soldier work load. I assist with
overcoming these issues by ensuring that the technical publi-
cations are constantly and accurately updated as the Shadow
marches through its evolutionary cycle.
What do you see as the most important points in your career
with the Army Acquisition Workforce, and why?
Attaining my DAWIA Level III certification in life cycle logistics
was certainly a key point in my career, because of the rigorous
and fully encompassing program of instruction that the certifica-
tion involves. This training has been helpful with executing my
assigned duties, and helps me to understand the bigger picture
regarding cost, schedule and performance. My deployments into
combat theaters where I worked for the forward director for the
ASA(ALT) have also been important in enhancing my strategic
understanding of how acquisition efforts directly support Soldiers.
What advice would you give to someone who aspires to a
career similar to yours?
Concentrate on and become proficient at the small things. Get
out of your comfort zone and learn something new every day.
Never let a day pass without being able to say that you did
something for a Soldier. And get out there and serve alongside
Soldiers when the opportunity arises.
If you could break the rules or make the rules, what would
you change or do?
I would not break any of the current rules or processes that we
use to support Soldiers. However, I would expedite some of the
rules that we are currently developing, which would accelerate
new capabilities to our Soldiers while incrementally decreasing
cost to the program manager, such as UAS readiness reporting
and completing the migration of technical skills from contracted
support to a completely organic capability at the Soldier level.
— MS. SUSAN L. FOLLETT
Smith, right, poses with a team from Textron Systems that supported the
One System Remote Video Terminal and the Shadow Unmanned Aircraft
System, during a 2013 assignment in Bagram, Afghanistan. (Photo by
Richard James, U.S . Army Aviation and Missile Life Cycle Management
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