STRICOM Changes Procurement Process for the Better

STRICOM Changes Procurement Process for the Better<@VM>STRICOM Omnibus Acquisition Contract

By Patience Wait, Staff Writer

The U.S. military is moving rapidly to purchase hardware and systems for its new multibillion-dollar training and simulation program, thanks to its fresh approach to acquisition.

The eight-year, $4 billion training and simulation project, managed by the Army's Simulation, Training & Instrumentation Command, is designed to overhaul how the service prepares soldiers and officers for combat, although all U.S. military branches will use the new training systems.

A major side benefit of the project, contractors said, is its new acquisition strategy.

"STRICOM is really plowing some new ground here in streamlined acquisition, [because of] the magnitude of the contract and the length of the period of performance," said Rob Hallagan, project site manager in Orlando, Fla., for the Systems Solutions Group of Motorola Inc., Schaumburg, Ill., one of the program's contractors. "To have that long and stable a relationship with the industry is excellent."

The STRICOM Omnibus Acquisition Contract encompasses the training activities needed for Army personnel, from the battlefield soldier to command staff. To make the contract more manageable in scope and flexible in application, STRICOM separated it into four business lots, or "domains:" live, virtual, constructive, and test and instrumentation.

Awards have been made in three of the four domains. On Jan. 26, contracts were awarded to 17 companies for lot II, to provide virtual systems that replicate warfighting equipment with the capability of testing and training in a specific environment. The Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division in Orlando is the contracting office for this lot.
Eleven companies Dec. 21 were awarded lot I contracts to build test and training systems that simulate experiences under actual operational conditions. Lot III awards were made Sept. 21, 2000, to 13 companies to provide systems that simulate the actions of people and systems on the battlefield. These companies will compete for task orders issued under the different lots.

Awards for lot IV to test materiel, systems and weapons in a developmental testing environment are expected by the end of February.

Task orders already are flying out the door in the lot III constructive domain. Science Applications International Corp. of San Diego, for example, received a task order in November 2000, just two months after being named a vendor. Litton TASC Inc., a subsidiary of Litton Industries Inc. of Woodland Hills, Calif., has been given two orders. The acquisition of Litton by Northrop Grumman Corp. of Los Angeles is pending.

In addition to SAIC, three companies so far have been selected for the first three lots: Computer Sciences Corp. of El Segundo, Calif.; Lockheed Martin Corp. of Bethesda, Md.; and Motorola.

In the lot I live domain, contractors are putting together proposals for two task orders. The Common Training Instrumentation Architecture "is the overall architecture for the total training environment for the U.S. Army training centers, the backbone," said Jack Lautenschlager, vice president and general manager of command, control, communications and intelligence systems for Litton PRC.

The other is for the Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System, a nonlethal, force-on-force training device that allows soldiers and armored weapons to conduct mock battles without firing live rounds at one another. "It's like laser tag at a much more sophisticated level," he said.

While the speed of processing acquisitions is important, a real test will come in the integration of training products and services across the boundaries of these domains. After all, a virtual tank control panel has to resemble the real thing, Lautenschlager said.

The need for coordination explains, in part, why the domains have been set up this way, said Buck Leahy, vice president of corporate development for SAIC. It mirrors the structure of the Army's project managers in STRICOM.

The contract goes farther than relying on internal cooperation. It required that selected vendors sign associate contractor agreements, agreeing to work with other contractors as necessary to coordinate development across disciplinary boundaries.

The Army assigned its director of acquisition as ombudsman for all the STOC contractors, to keep the training systems from each domain integrated, Hallagan said. "And we agree to participate in the Army Materiel Command Partnering for Success program, alternative dispute resolution, instead of filing protests," Hallagan said.

One element of the contract already demonstrates the new cooperative intent, Leahy said.

The Army has begun issuing task orders for a project called One Semi-automated Forces, a program that provides both trainers and analysts the ability to use constructive simulations in new ways.

"There are about a half-dozen task orders," Leahy said. "There are several companies involved in doing different pieces, and it's clear that the government expects the companies to work and play well together."

"STRICOM clearly expects the contractors to be grown-ups," Lautenschlager said.

Lot I Winners ?

Live Domain

Computer Sciences Corp.

Lockheed Martin Corp.

Motorola Inc.

Litton PRC Inc.

Science Applications International Corp.

The Boeing Co.

Inter-Coastal Electronics Inc.

Scientific Research Corp.


Tec-Masters Inc.

Universal Systems & Technology Inc.

Research Triangle Institute

United Defense Industries Inc.

Aegis Technologies Group Inc.

Computer Sciences Corp.

Lockheed Martin Corp.

Motorola Inc.

Science Applications International Corp.

TRW Inc.

The Boeing Co.

Lot II Winners ?

Virtual Domain

ECC International Corp.

Metters Industries Inc.

NLX Corp.

Raydon Corp.

AAI Corp.

BAE Systems, Flight Simulation and Training Inc.

Evans & Sutherland Computer Corp.

L3 Communications Systems Corp.

Lot III Winners ?

Constructive Domain

Advanced Systems Technology Inc.

Aegis Technologies Group Inc.

BMH Associates Inc.

Coleman Research Corp.


Computer Sciences Corp.

GRC International Inc.

Lockheed Martin Corp.

Logicon Inc.

Motorola Inc.

Science Applications International Corp.

Litton TASC Inc.

TRW Inc.

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