Home' Army Acquisition Logistics and Technology Magazine : Army ALT April-June 2011 Contents successfully reinvent Army S&T? Do
you expect to obtain the funding?
Freeman: The interesting thing is,
we have a $2.3 billion budget. Every
year Congress, up to this point, has
been increasing that by giving an aver-
age of $1.3 billion per year. They've
been increasing the budget by 60-70
percent over the last six years with con-
gressional adds. We've been working
very hard to make those adds mean-
ingful to the Army mission. Some
organizations have been able to do it
better than others. The fact of the mat-
ter is, in effect, our budget is actually
going to dwindle, as opposed to grow.
I can't give a number for what the level
of funding is until I've gone through
the process to see what the big ideas are,
build the programs to deliver the capa-
bilities, cost them out, and so forth.
Part of the strategy is that as you're
doing this, you're also working on a
growth strategy. But before you can
do that, you've got to figure out what's
important and establish priorities.
Army AL&T: Who are the customers?
Freeman: I prefer the word "partners."
Partners are in the game with you,
not shopping around for products
like customers. Our partners are other
DOD organizations like the PMs
and PEOs, the Defense Advanced
Research Projects Agency, and the
Defense Threat Reduction Agency,
for whom our scientists and engineers
are matrix support and/or performing
In this current environment, there
is a real threat that if PEOs or
PMs get budget cuts, and as Other
Procurement, Army, funding goes
away, and supplementals go away,
these organizations will likely reduce
their matrix support before they get
rid of their in-house capabilities. That's
why partnerships and value added are
What do we add in terms of our skills,
capabilities, and knowledge? What
should they rely on us for? Again,
it's not just widgets. It's people, it's
knowledge, it's programs. We've got to
look at the balance. We're facing some
pretty tough things here, not the least
of which is being held to the FY10
funding levels or less.
I believe we need more money. I believe
$2.3 billion, if we are going to have the
impact that the Army S&T community
should have, is not sufficient. I can't
tell you we need to double it. I can't tell
you what the magnitude is. I believe
we need more. The way to get more is
to plan the process of the POM and
take these things that are priorities, and
identify if we don't have enough money.
Here's where a trust factor comes into
play that says, "Can you deliver?" It is
going to be very important to me that
whatever this first set of programs are,
these technology-enabled capabilities
demonstrations, we deliver on them.
If we don't deliver on those, this will
all fall apart.
Army AL&T: You'll have lost your
Freeman: That's exactly right. If you
lose that relevancy battle, then I believe
that it is going to be very hard to
defend keeping the laboratories and the
scientists and engineers in the Army.
In addition, we have to look at the
demographics in the workforce and
ask ourselves if we have the right skills.
Until we have a strategy, we can't make
To make things worse, we also have an
aging and crumbling infrastructure,
and we do not play well in the world
of Military Construction. Part of
this is, how do we fund the kinds of
improvements that we need where
we need them? The BRAC [Base
Realignment and Closure] process gave
us a lot of nice facilities up at Aberdeen
[Proving Ground, MD] and other
places where we've had BRAC. That is
not a long-term solution.
One of my nine strategic goals for
Army S&T is a highly skilled and
motivated workforce. Well, if you don't
have a reasonably good infrastructure,
you don't have good laboratories to
work in, and you don't give scientists
and engineers the kinds of facilities
and equipment they need, it is hard to
Army AL&T: If you had one message
to get across to the Army AL&T
Workforce, what would you want to say?
Freeman: I'd really like them to
embrace these goals and understand
from different perspectives, including
their own, what this means---really
understand what we're trying to do,
to broaden their horizon and start
thinking more about the overall results
that we're trying to achieve.
I would really like them to internalize
what it takes, at all levels, to achieve
this vision and these goals. This is not a
ship-sinking message of "get on board
or get off." This is an "understand what
we're trying to do" message. Once you
understand what we're trying to do,
be a piece of the puzzle and go figure
out the other pieces of the puzzle you
should work with to make this happen.
We have such wonderful scientists
and engineers who are smart and
capable---and not just the scientists and
engineers. All of our people, all of our
administrative staff, all of the people
who make this whole enterprise run
need to understand this.
Everybody is a leader. Everybody is
somebody who can make a difference.
Everybody has a part in this. We talk a
lot about the scientists and engineers,
but it is all the people who make the
laboratory system run. They all need to
get this. They all need to get involved
and get fired up. That's what I want.
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