Army program names software engineering directorate technical lead
The Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics and Technology) named the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center the Lead Systems Integrator for the second phase of a major Army software program.
AMRDEC’s Software Engineering Directorate will be the technical lead for Increment 2 of the Global Combat Support System Army, or GCSS-Army Increment 2. The GCSS-Army is projected to be the largest enterprise resource planning system in the Department of Defense with approximately 180,000 Soldiers. Increment 2 will incorporate aviation logistics, enhanced analytics and reporting, additional business intelligence and business warehouse capabilities.
After months of briefings to the Pentagon and other key leaders, the Product Director of GCSS-Army Increment, Joe Kendig, was able to move the program into the next phase. “I am excited to set up a teaming arrangement that leverages the proven capability of the Software Engineering Directorate and Industry ERP subject matter experts through staff augmentation,” said Kendig.
ERPs have long been used by Fortune 500 large businesses to store and share information among users. Based on a commercial software program known as SAP, GCSS-Army provides the benefits of its commercial ERP counterparts, but it is designed specifically for the unique needs of the Army. Once Increment 2 is fielded, it will meet the unique needs of Army Aviation.
The program is being managed by the Program Executive Office for Enterprise Information Systems, who set up the GCSS-Army Increment 2 Product Office at Redstone in early 2016.
The Product Director selected SED’s Software Development Division for its expertise in software development and history of delivering solutions on time and on budget, explained the Division’s Chief, Mark Hand.
The Software Development Division currently supports six efforts including the Aircraft Notebook, Aviation Data Exploitation Capability, Centralized Aviation Flight Record System, Aviation Mission Planning System, Presidential Helicopter Mission Planning System and Joint Battle Command-Platform. The GCSS-Army effort will be the newest program in the division.
“The Aircraft Notebook is currently being fielded to the Soldier,” said Hand. “We can’t get it to them fast enough. Our work on the GCSS-Army will leverage the Aircraft Notebook technology, which is a Microsoft-based program, and link it to the backend of SAP software, a web-based database.”
GCSS-Army has been described as a game-changer in logistics. The system is able to integrate thousands of local databases into a single enterprise-wide view. It allows users to track and plan logistics functions enabling Warfighters to order, move, track, account for and maintain equipment. Integration promotes accuracy, timeliness and enables significant economies of scale in such areas as system support, training and management.
“The speed in which the maintainer can get the health status of the airframe, then acquire the parts necessary to maintain the airframe all contributes to the Warfighter’s success and responsiveness,” Hand said. “This process directly impacts readiness for the Solider. It is our job to build them a set of work processes, as well as the user interface for the system, to allow them to do that job as quickly and easily as they can.”
This is an Acquisition Category IAC Major Automated Information System program with the final delivery scheduled for 2022. The division has begun staffing the program and will attempt to maintain the Product Director’s existing schedule.
Hand explained the team is excited to be a part of the process and will continue to produce software intensive weapon systems for the Department of Defense.
“We are fortunate in this division, SED and AMRDEC have allowed us to build a system that would normally be built by industry. We have the opportunity to affect the Warfighters’ daily operations. We take great pride in that.”
U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development, and Engineering Center is part of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command is part of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, which has the mission to provide innovative research, development and engineering to produce capabilities for decisive overmatch to the Army against the complexities of the current and future operating environments in support of the Joint Warfighter and the Nation. RDECOM is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Material Command.