Home' Army Acquisition Logistics and Technology Magazine : Army ALT April-June 2016 Contents What do you do, and why is it important to the Army or the
As the product lead for LIS, I lead all acquisition cost, schedule
and performance activities associated with development, test-
ing, training and post-production life-cycle sustainment for the
Army’s tactical LIS. This includes five Acquisition Category III
program-of-record products covering 12 separate software base-
lines and associated hardware and peripherals.
LIS delivered more than 30 change package releases for FY15,
encompassing more than 3,059 change items that improved
LIS performance and, by extension, logistics support to the
Soldier in the focused logistics domain, including Class V
accountability for conventional, guided missile and large
rocket munitions; field- and sustainment-level management
of ground and aviation maintenance operations; and receipt,
store and issue operations at tactical and installation supply
As the number of information assurance vulnerability alerts
(IAVAs) increased, LIS successfully analyzed more than 4,000
updates, resulting in the build, test and distribution of more
than 450 critical IAVA patches. Our success allowed the man-
agement of more than 200 supply support activities; all ground
and aviation maintenance operations; ammunition manage-
ment facilities; and unit supply and property accountability
operations at all echelons—totaling billions of dollars across the
If you could make the rules or break the rules, what would
I would like to see more flexibility in the source selection process,
especially in situations where a best-value contract is a better
vehicle than a lowest-price-technically-available [LPTA] con-
tract. Sustaining our systems takes a unique skill set, and when
we’re forced to go with low price over best value, our contrac-
tors are forced to cut salaries and their best people move on.
You can’t expect someone to do the same work for half of what
they used to be paid. There are some situations where best-value
contracts are perfect—a long-term assembly line, for example,
where you know what your costs and deadlines will be. But in
the software field, where we’re constantly getting changes in
requirements to address new issues, LPTA is the better approach.
If I could change one thing, it would be to give project managers
more flexibility to choose which option is right for them. There’s
no one-size-fits-all solution.
What do you see as the most important points in your career
with the Army Acquisition Workforce, and why?
As the director of the U.S . Army Communications-Electronics
Command (CECOM) Software Engineering Center – Fort Lee
(SEC-Lee) in Virginia, I led a workforce that included Army
acquisition, logistics, DA civilians and private industry partners
in developing and sustaining key and critical combat service
support software applications for the Army and other DOD
acquisition programs. I successfully transitioned the life-cycle
sustainment management of the logistics systems from the LIS
product management office to SEC-Lee, which significantly
increased the SEC’s role in support of PEO EIS.
Can you name a particular mentor or mentors who helped
you in your career? How did they help you?
William C. Dates, project manager for Integrated Logistics Sys-
tems, set the standard as my acquisition professional mentor. He
was a results-driven program manager and information technol-
ogy executive with vision and hands-on experience in leading
multimillion-dollar initiatives. A s his deputy, I was able to glean
the knowledge, skills and experience to design, develop and
implement information systems in the areas of logistics and per-
sonnel management. I still seek his advice and guidance today.
What’s the greatest satisfaction you have in being a part of the
Army Acquisition Workforce?
One of my proudest moments was leading the effort to integrate
disparate LIS hardware configurations to employ one com-
mon hardware platform. This action involved the designation
of common platform hardware specifications and the procure-
ment of more than 50,000 LIS laptops and 24,000 printers that
effectively reduced the logistics-IT hardware footprint from 15
laptop and printer models to one standardized laptop and printer
configuration. This effort simplified field-level system sustain-
ment requirements, reduced sustainment-level logistics costs
and prepared units for the deployment of the next-generation,
enterprise-level Global Combat Support System – Army. We
reduced CECOM field repair activity spares stockage levels by
more than 60 percent and improved their customer response
time for LIS hardware maintenance.
— MS. SUSAN L. FOLLETT
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