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DoD CIO issues standards for managing IT services

ASMC National News - 3 hours 56 min ago

The Department of Defense (DoD) will operate under an expanded standard information technology (IT) service management concept according to guidance issued by DoD Chief Information Officer (CIO) Terry Halvorsen.

The guidance, Defense Enterprise Services Management Framework (DESMF) Edition II, “provides a set of standards for managing IT services and establishes clear service management requirements for the acquisition and contracting of IT services across the Department for the quality delivery of IT services to the DoD customer,” Halvorsen said in a memo.

The guidance flows on from Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) ESMF Edition I (May 2013). It will be the basis for DoD CIO oversight of all DoD IT services and capabilities, Halvorsen stressed.

The stated goal off the guidance is “to provide a framework to successfully align delivery of IT services with the mission of the department.”

DESMF Edition II is “Service Oriented” and focuses on managing IT services throughout the service lifecycle, according to the guidance. “It aligns and integrates processes for service management and defines processes at a high level, describing the what, not the how.” The guidance applies to all IT services and capabilities that DoD provides and the processes that support those services.

The purpose of the DESMF is to: 1) define best practices that drive implementation; 2) define the overall structure including Domains and processes throughout the service lifecycle; 3) describe the scope, benefits, roles, and responsibilities of the processes involved; 4) define a controls framework; 5) define interfaces between Domains and processes; and 6) recommend milestones for process implementation.

Halvorsen emphasized that “the efficient and effective management of information technology services is a critical component of the Chief Information Officer Enterprise Strategy and Roadmap and well as the success of the Joint Information Environment (JIE).” The long-term goal is to adjust DESMF “based on input and lessons learned from DoD Component ITSM implementation experiences,” he said.

PDI 2015 Daily Newsletter: Tuesday, May 26

ASMC National News - Wed, 2015-05-27 14:37

Be sure to catch up on today's pre-PDI happenings here.

PDI Daily Newsletter: Monday, May 25

ASMC National News - Mon, 2015-05-25 17:39

Be sure to catch up on today's pre-PDI happenings here.

Senate committee approves FY2016 Defense Authorization bill

ASMC National News - Fri, 2015-05-22 11:10

Last week the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) approved the FY2016 Defense Authorization bill by a vote of 22-4. Four Democrats, including Ranking Member Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI), voted against the bill. The House passed its version of the bill this week.

The bill authorizes force levels, programs, and policies (including military pay raises) for DoD budgets and the programs and policies for the Department of Energy (DoE) nuclear weapons program.  Appropriations bills provide actual funding.

The SASC bill authorizes a total of $612 billion, including about $485 billion for the Department of Defense (DoD) base budget and $89 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO). A provision in the bill would allow DoD to transfer $38 billion from OCO to the base budget if defense and nondefense funding caps are revised in legislation.

Sen. Reed, and other Senate Democrats are concerned that including the additional base budget funding in OCO to get around defense funding caps (set in the Budget Control Act) could lead to cuts to nondefense programs. They are pushing for a deal to revise these caps. The White House has threatened a presidential veto of any bill that increases defense funding at the expense of nondefense programs.

Secretary of Defense Ash Carter also criticized this mechanism telling a Senate Committee that this approach is “a road to nowhere” that risks the incremental funding approach for OCO.

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) SASC chairman, called the bill a “reform bill.” “It tackles acquisition reform, military retirement reform, personnel reform, headquarters and management reform,” he said. He stressed the reforms in the bill will yield savings that can be reinvested in military capabilities.

The SASC bill proposes a “multi-year effort” to improve DoD acquisition system’s structure and process. The SASC proposal is framed in five objectives: 1) establish effective accountability by streamlining decision making and giving a larger role to the service chiefs under performance agreements; 2) develop alternative acquisition pathways including “rapid prototyping and rapid fielding within five years; 3) improve access to non-traditional and commercial contractors by making it easier for such firms to do business with DoD; 4) deregulate and streamline processes by reducing unneeded requirements, reports, and certification; and 5) improve the acquisition workforce by reauthorizing the “Defense Acquisition Workforce Development Fund,” establishing direct hire authorities, and creating enhanced dual-track career paths.

The bill (similar to the House-passed bill) includes a recommendation from the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission calling for a “blended” military retirement system. Under the bill, new service members would be automatically enrolled in the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) with a matching contribution from DoD that could go to 5 percent, starting in FY2018. Current servicemembers could choose to join the plan.

The bill also proposes a management reform plan that would “focus limited resources on operations rather than administration.” The proposal would cut funding for “headquarters and administrative functions” DoD-wide by 7.5 percent each year for four years, saving $1.7 billion in FY2016 and reaching annual savings of $6.8 billion by the fourth year. The bill directs the Secretary of Defense to conduct a “comprehensive review of the management, headquarters, and organization of the Department of Defense” and directs the DoD Inspector General to “perform financial statement audits by contracting with independent external auditors.”

The SASC bill approves the president’s request for a 1.3 percent military pay raise, lower than the 2.3 percent military raise included in the House-passed bill.

Like the House, the SASC bill rejects administration proposals to set enrollment fees for TRICARE for Life beneficiaries or consolidate the TRICARE program, retire the A-10 attack jet fleet, and to initiate another Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) round.

Unlike the House-passed bill, the SASC bill approves the president’s request to reduce the Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) and to use commissary surcharge funds to purchase operating supplies.

Agreeing with the House, the bill also funds 12 more F/A-18E/F Hornet aircraft for the Navy (+$1.2 billion) and 6 more F-35B aircraft for the Marine Corps (+$1 billion), which were identified by the Services as unfunded priorities.

The full Senate is expected to take up the bill in June after returning from the Memorial Day recess.

House passes FY2016 Defense Authorization bill over White House veto threat

ASMC National News - Tue, 2015-05-19 15:50

The House passed its version of the FY2016 Defense Authorization bill, 269-151 last week. The vote was primarily along party lines as 228 Republicans were joined by 41 Democrats in voting for the bill. Only 8 Republicans voted against the bill.

The House bill authorizes $515 billion for the Department of Defense (DoD) and the Department of Energy (DoE) nuclear weapons program.  The authorized amount for the base DoD budget is about $496 billion.

The bill also authorizes $89 billion for FY2016 Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funding. The president requested $50.9 billion for OCO. The additional $38.3 billion in the House bill is for O&M requirements from the base bill.

Including base funding in the OCO account (considered emergency and not counted against the budget caps) allows the House to authorize $585 billion ($496 billion in base funds and $89 billion in OCO) for DoD in FY2016. This is essentially the same as the president’s request for total DoD funding ($534 billion in base funding and $51 billion in OCO).

Most Democrats strongly disapprove of this approach because they say it could lead to large cuts in nondefense spending. They call for a solution to sequestration that would increase nondefense as well as defense funding.

Defense Secretary Ash Carter also decried the use of this method of increasing defense finding. In his testimony before the Senate Appropriations Committee Carter said “while this approach clearly recognizes that the budget total we’ve requested is needed, the avenue it takes is just as clearly a road to nowhere.” Carter further said the House proposal “risks undermining support for a mechanism – OCO – meant to fund incremental costs of overseas conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere.”

The White House reacted strongly to the House bill issuing a Statement of Administration Policy (SAP) that threatened a presidential veto. The SAP expressed strong concerns that “shifting base budget resources into OCO…fails to provide a stable, multi-year budget on which defense planning is based.”

The House FY2016 Defense Authorization bill would provide military personnel with a 2.3 percent pay raise by allowing the current pay raise calculation procedures to go into effect, unless the president recommends an alternative. The president has requested a 1.3 percent military pay raise for FY2016.

The bill also rejects administration proposals to increase commissary prices to pay for operating costs, raise TRICARE fees, and lower the Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH). The bill denies the administration’s plan to retire the A-10 attack jet fleet and rejects a proposal to initiate another Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) round.

The House bill includes a recommendation from the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission that called for a “blended” military retirement system. Under the bill, new service members would be automatically enrolled in the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) with a matching contribution from DoD starting in FY2018. The servicemember’s contribution (3 percent initially) would be matched by a 1 percent contribution by DoD (that could go up to 5 percent).

The bill also puts forward the first components of a plan to reform defense acquisition. The bill calls for streamlining the acquisition process, reducing the number of legal certifications, giving acquisition program managers greater flexibility to address programmatic risk, providing a “Defense Acquisition Workforce Development Fund,” and authorizing expedited authorities for hiring and training the acquisition workforce.

The bill also adds funds 12 more F/A 18-F Hornet aircraft for the Navy (+$1.2 billion) and 6 more F-35B aircraft for the Marine Corps (+$1 billion), which were identified by the services as unfunded priorities.

The full House considered more than 135 floor amendments approving all but a few. The House approved a floor amendment that would require the secretary of defense to certify that Army Active end strength levels below 490,000 will support the security strategy. Of broader interest to policymakers, the House rejected a Committee provision allowing children of illegal immigrants to serve in the armed forces in the future.

Member Continuing Education Grant Winners Announced

ASMC National News - Tue, 2015-05-19 14:15
Congratulations to the winners of this year's Continuing Education Grants! ASMC wishes the winners and all nominees much success in their academic endeavors.  

Dick Vincent Award $3,000 Recipient

Carolyn Prickett, Hampton Roads

$1,250 Recipients

Anthony Lara – Land of Lincoln 

Antoinette Rosinski, Central NY Leatherstocking      

Chante Haskins, Southside Virginia           

Christina Diana Crisostomo, Land of Lincoln      

Heather Crews, Indianapolis  

Jennifer Miller, Buckeye                               

Kenneth Suazo, San Diego         

Mahmud Islam, Buckeye                                                           

Teresa Kemp, Indianapolis

Todd Handy, Indianapolis   

Congratulations to this year’s top recruiters!

ASMC National News - Mon, 2015-05-18 22:45

Congratulations to this year’s Recruiters of the Year, an award given to the member in each chapter size category who recruited the highest number of new members. These four dedicated members recruited almost 25 new members in a combined total.

This year’s winners are:

James Reed, Indianapolis Chapter
Claire Grosso, Pikes Peak Chapter
Jason Livingston, Thunderbird Chapter
Baton Randolph, Vandenberg Space & MIssile Chapter

Cost of U.S. operations against ISIL tops $2 billion in FY2015

ASMC National News - Fri, 2015-05-15 13:22

The cost of U.S. military operations in Iraq and Syria (Operation Inherent Resolve) to combat the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) since August 8, 2014 reached $2.11 billion in April 2015, the Department of Defense (DoD) reports. This averages out to $8.6 million a day.

In September 2014, DoD reported that the cost of operations against ISIL was averaging between $7.5 million per day. DoD has pointed out that the daily cost of operations fluctuates as the level of effort changes.

These costs are being funded from the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) approved by Congress. The administration requested $3.4 billion for Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR) in FY2015. For FY2016, the OCO request includes $4 billion to support OIR plus another $1.3 billion to train Iraqi forces (including Kurdish forces) and moderate Syrian opposition, Secretary Ash Carter told the Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee earlier this month.

DoD reports that 6,981 close air support, escort, and interdiction air sorties were conducted in 2014 and 5,668 such sorties have been carried out in 2015 as of March 31.

DoD has emphasized that operations against ISIL, especially airstrikes, involve contributions from partner nations. According to a DoD news release, “coalition nations conducting airstrikes in Iraq include the United States, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Jordan, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Coalition nations conducting airstrikes in Syria include the United States, Bahrain, Canada, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.”

Only TWO Hotels Left Available for PDI 2015!

ASMC National News - Wed, 2015-05-13 12:01

If you still need to make a hotel reservation for PDI 2015, register to attend the PDI and you will receive the housing link. We still have rooms available at the New Orleans Marriott and Sheraton. 

If you have changes to an existing reservation or need to cancel a reservation at the New Orleans Marriott or Sheraton, please email to the PDI Housing Company at pdihousing@rhq.com. 

The following Official ASMC/PDI Housing blocks are now closed. If you have changes to an existing reservation or need to cancel a reservation, please call the hotels directly at: 

Courtyard – 800-321-2211 

Embassy Suites – 800-362-2779 

Hampton Inn – 504-566-9990 

Hilton Riverside – 800-445-8667 

Hyatt Place – 800-233-1234 

Loews – 866-211-6411 

Marriott at Convention Center – 800-305-6342 

OMB directs agencies to cut FY2017 budget plan by 5 percent

ASMC National News - Wed, 2015-05-13 11:55

Federal agency heads will prepare their FY2017 budgets at levels 5 percent below the “net discretionary total that was planned for FY2017 in the FY2016 budget request, according to guidance (M-15-11) issued by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

OMB Director Shaun Donovan said the 5 percent reduction applies to “defense (defense function 050) and nondefense programs.” He instructed agencies to build on proposals in the FY2016 budget, fund presidential priorities, and “continue efforts to increase effectiveness and reduce fragmentation, overlap, and duplication.”

OMB guidance for the FY2017 budget instructs agencies to avoid using across-the-board cuts, cutting mandatory spending in appropriations bills, shifting costs to other parts of the budget, reclassifying discretionary to mandatory, or enacting new user fees to offset existing spending. These the same instructions OMB gave agencies last year for preparing the FY2016 budget.

OMB guidance directs agencies to make budget choices that are “driven by the agency’s strategic plan and prioritization across their goals and objectives as informed by their strategic review.”

Agencies are encouraged to continue investments in the President’s Management Agenda priorities: effectiveness; efficiency; economic growth; and people and culture. OMB wants agencies to focus on: 1) implementing Cross-Agency Priority (CAP) goals; 2) leveraging data-driven management, including supporting Agency Digital Service Teams; 3) freezing or cutting the federal real property footprint; 4) reducing improper payments; 5) financing shared services; and 6) implementing the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014 and the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act.

OMB wants agencies to continue the progress already made to institutionalize efforts to “strengthen the use of data and evidence to drive better decision-making.” OMB directs agencies to submit policies that have been proven to work and proposals that develop capacities that utilize evidence, evaluation mad data to improve outcomes.

Donavon decried congressional inaction on sequestration, which he called “senseless austerity.” If congress does not act to change or mitigate sequestration, Donovan said “both defense and nondefense discretionary finding in FY2016 will be at the lowest levels in a decade, adjusted for inflation.” The administration has threatened presidential vetoes of appropriations bills that “locks in” sequestration cuts or reverses defense cuts, while not reversing nondefense reductions.

NEW Session Added to PDI 2015 Registration

ASMC National News - Tue, 2015-05-12 10:05

PDI 2015 Attendees: Please take a moment to review and complete your class choices for PDI.

One class, 5/29 0915 75 Resolving the Active Component (AC) PCS Financial Material Weakness and Implementing a Corrective Action Plan, was inadvertently left off the sessions list. If this is of interest, please adjust immediately by logging in here

We look forward to seeing you in New Orleans later this month!

2015 Chapter Award Winners Announced

ASMC National News - Thu, 2015-05-07 21:34

Congratulations to all the winning chapters shown below! Chapter Awards for 2015 will be presented at the PDI in New Orleans.

Overall Chapter Competition

A-1 Category

  • Distinguished – Alamo City
  • Meritorious – San Diego

A Category

  • Distinguished – Gulf Coast
  • Meritorious – Buckeye

B Category

  • Distinguished – Sequoyah
  • Meritorious – Greatr Jacksonville

C Category

  • Distinguished – Great River
  • Meritorious – High Desert

Chapter Communications

A-1 Category

  • Distinguished – Alamo City and San Diego (tie)
  • Meritorious – Redstone – Huntsville

A Category

  • Distinguished – Buckeye
  • Meritorious – Gulf Coast

B Category

  • Distinguished – Sequoyah
  • Meritorious – Greater Jacksonville

C Category

  • Distinguished – Great River
  • Meritorious – Pioneer

Five Star Recognition*

  • Alamo City
  • Aloha
  • Aviation
  • Buckeye
  • Central NY Leatherstocking
  • Chesapeake
  • Cleveland
  • Coastal Georgia
  • Evergreen
  • Fort Knox
  • Forty Niner
  • Great Plains
  • Great River
  • Greater Jacksonville
  • Greater Stuttgart
  • Gulf Coast
  • Hampton Roads
  • Land of Lincoln
  • Middle Georgia
  • Montgomery
  • Pikes Peak
  • Pioneer
  • Red River
  • Redstone – Huntsville
  • San Diego
  • Sandhills
  • Sequoyah
  • Southside Virginia
  • Utah
  • Washington
  • Yankee

Community Service

The following chapters have demonstrated exceptional community service and have met the required number of hours in their chapter size category in the 2014 – 2015. (75 – 150 hours)

  • Alamo City
  • Aloha
  • Aviation
  • Buckeye
  • Central NY Leatherstocking
  • Chesapeake
  • Cleveland
  • Crown of Maine
  • Fort Knox
  • Great Plains
  • Great River
  • Greater Jacksonville
  • Gulf Coast
  • Hampton Roads
  • Land of Lincoln
  • Middle Georgia
  • Pikes Peak
  • Pioneer
  • Red River
  • Redstone – Huntsville
  • Washington
  • Yankee

Membership Growth

Absolute Growth – Great River

Percentage Growth – Naples

*If a chapter president believes their chapter should be listed, please contact awards@asmconline.org to review the points and documents submitted by 12 May.

House passes FY2016 Military Construction/VA appropriations bill; White House threatens veto

ASMC National News - Thu, 2015-05-07 12:13

The House passed the FY2016 Military Construction/Veterans Affairs appropriations bill (H.R. 2029). The vote (255-163) was essentially along party lines with 19 Democrats joining 236 Republicans in voting for the bill and four Republicans voting with 159 Democrats against passage.

This bill and the FY2016 Energy and Water Appropriations bill, which the House also passed, are the first two appropriations bills to advance in Congress this year.

Before final passage, the House rejected efforts by Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC) to prohibit the use of Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funds ($532 million) for base budget requirements. The use of OCO funds for base budget requirements is a key element in FY2016 Budget Resolution as a way of increasing defense while staying within the statutory cap levels, because OCO funding is considered emergency spending.

Most Democrats strongly disapprove of this approach because it could lead to large cuts in nondefense spending. In fact, the White House issued a Statement of Administration Policy (SAP) recommending a presidential veto of the bill. The SAP expressed concern that “shifting long-term defense costs to OCO is bad budget policy and bad defense policy, since it undermines long-term planning.” The SAP further stated that the White House “will not accept attempts to fix defense without non-defense by using OCO as a mechanism to evade the defense budget cap.”

The Military Construction portion of the MilCon/VA bill provides $7.151 billion for military construction projects, family housing, Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC), and the NATO Security Investment Program. This amount is $1.3 billion less than the president’s request. However, $532 million of this reduction was funded in the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) appropriation (Navy & Marine Corps $244 million, Air Force $75 million, and Defense-wide accounts $213 million). Therefore, the actual cut to requested military construction programs was $755 million.

The bill also reflects $386.5 million in rescissions from prior appropriations Acts. 

The House approved an amendment by Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX) that prohibits the use of any funds in the bill for a new Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) round. The president’s budget request proposes a new BRAC round.

President nominates Gen. Joe Dunford to be next Joint Chiefs Chairman and Gen. Paul Silva to be Vice Chairman

ASMC National News - Wed, 2015-05-06 12:36

President Obama announced the nomination of Gen. Joseph F. Dunford, Jr. as the 19th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS).  If confirmed by the Senate, Gen. Dunford will replace Gen. Paul Dempsey when his term ends later in the year.

Speaking from the White House Rose Garden, the president called Dunford “one of the most admired officers in our military.” “He is one of our military’s most highly regarded strategic thinkers” and “is known and respected by our allies, members of Congress—on both sides of the aisle—and by colleagues across our government,” the president said.

Gen. Dunford is currently the 36th Commandant of the Marine Corps, a position he has held since October 2014. Before becoming Commandant, Dunford was the Commander International Security Assistance Force and United States Forces – Afghanistan. He has served in joint assignments as Executive Assistant to the Vice-Chairman JCS, Chief of the Global and Multilateral Affairs Division (J5), and Vice Director for Operations (J3). Gen. Dunford has commanded the 2nd Battalion, 6th Marines, the 5th Marine Regiment, I Marine Expeditionary Force, and Marine Forces Central Command. Dunford has also served as assistant Division Commander of the 1st Marine Division, Marine Corps Director of Operations, and Deputy Commandant for Plans, Policies, and Operations.

The president also announced the nomination of Gen. Paul Silva to be Vice-Chairman, JCS. Silva will replace Adm. James “Sandy” Winnefeld, Jr. whose term will end this fall. Gen. Silva is currently Commander of the U.S. Transportation Command. Prior to that, he served as Commander of the Air Mobility Command, Vice commander Pacific Air Forces, Commander Tanker Airlift Control Center, Commander 62nd Airlift Air Wing, and Commander 60th Operations Group.

Secretary of Defense Ash Carter said both nominees “are exemplary leaders” who have “strategic perspective—and operational experience to help guide our military and advise the president at a time of much change in the world.”

The president thanked Gen. Dempsey and Adm. Winnifeld for their service. “I’ve relied on you both—your advice, your counsel, your judgment,” he said. He praised them both for helping “to guide our forces through difficult times—especially sequestration.” He said they both “made sure that we’re recruiting and training, and equipping and training the best fighting force on the planet.”

House committee approves FY2016 Defense Authorization bill, including military compensation and defense acquisition reforms

ASMC National News - Thu, 2015-04-30 16:59

The House Armed Services Committee (HASC) approved the FY2016 Defense Authorization bill on a vote of 60-2. The HASC bill authorizes $515 billion for the Department of Defense (DoD) and the Department of Energy (DoE) nuclear weapons program.  The authorized amount for the base DoD budget would be $495.6 billion.

The bill also authorizes $89 billion for FY2016 Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funding. The president requested $50.9 billion for OCO. The additional $38.3 billion in the HASC bill is for O&M requirements requested in the base bill.

Including base funding in the OCO account, which is considered emergency and not counted against the budget caps, allows the HASC to authorize $585 billion ($496 billion in base funds and $89 billion in OCO) for DoD in FY2016. This is essentially the same as the president’s request for total DoD funding ($434 billion in base funding and $51 billion in OCO). This approach keeps the HASC bill within the Budget Control Act (BCA) discretionary caps while providing additional funding for DoD. The president’s base budget request assumes an increase in the BCA discretionary caps to avoid sequestration.

HASC chairman Rep. Mac Thornberry highlighted the major components of the bill as: major steps to reform military compensation; first elements of long-term acquisition reform; and redistribution of resources to balance tooth to tail. “At a time of unprecedented threats, uncertainty, and technological change, the NDAA [National Defense Authorization Act] strives to ensure that our forces are agile, efficient, ready, and lethal,” Thornberry said.

The bill includes a recommendation from the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission that called for a “blended” military retirement system. Under the bill, new service members would be automatically enrolled in the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) with a matching contribution from DoD starting in FY2018. The servicemember’s contribution (3 percent initially) would be matched by a 1 percent contribution by DoD (that could go up to 5 percent). This change would provide retirement benefits to 83 percent of servicemembers currently not eligible, according to the committee. The provision would also mean that retirees after 20 years of service who are enrolled in the new system would have their annuity adjusted to reflect TSP payments. Current servicemembers would have the option to remain in the old system or choose the new TSP option.

The HASC bill also includes the first components of a plan to reform defense acquisition. The bill calls for streamlining the acquisition process by moving some decisions forward to the initial stages of the process. The number of legal certifications would be reduced and acquisition program managers would be given greater flexibility to address programmatic risk under the bill. The HASC would empower acquisition officials by removing barriers so that officers can pursue acquisition as a profession, provide a “Defense Acquisition Workforce Development Fund,” and include expedited hiring authority for hiring and training the acquisition workforce. Chairman Thornberry introduced the plan “Agile Acquisition to Retain Technological Edge” last month.

The HASC would provide military personnel with a 2.3 percent pay raise by not explicitly setting a pay raise amount in the bill. This non-action, would allow the current pay raise calculation procedures to go into effect, unless the president recommends an alternative. The president requested a 1.3 percent military pay raise for FY2016.

The bill rejects administration proposals to increase commissary prices to pay for operating costs, raise TRICARE fees, and lower the Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH). The bill also denies the administration’s proposal to retire the A-10 attack jet fleet and rejects a proposal to initiate another Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) round.

The HASC bill also adds funding for 12 more F/A 18-F Hornet aircraft for the Navy (+$1.2 billion) and 6 more F-35B aircraft for the Marine Corps (+$1 billion), which were identified as unfunded priorities. The bill also as provides $683 million to keep the A-10s flying, $400 million to restore proposed BAH cuts, and $322 million to restore proposed commissary cuts. Major funding reductions in the bill were made for unobligated balances (-$2.6 billion), fuel prices (-$1.6 billion) and the foreign currency account due to a strong dollar (-$1.4 billion).

The full House is expected to take up the FY2016 Defense Authorization bill before the Memorial Day recess.

President to nominate Coast Guard Vice Commandant to lead TSA

ASMC National News - Wed, 2015-04-29 11:52

Yesterday, President Obama announced he will nominate Vice Admiral Peter V. Neffenger to be the Assistant Secretary for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Currently, Melvin Carraway, former Deputy Administrator, is serving as acting Administrator.

President Obama called Neffenger “a recognized leader in the face of our nation’s important challenges” and said his talents and experience “will be valuable to this Administration’s efforts to strengthen transportation security.”

TSA is responsible for security operations at over 450 U.S. airports, includes the Federal Marshal Service, and has shared responsibility for highways, railroads, ports, mass transit systems, and pipelines.

If he is confirmed by the Senate, Neffenger would remain in the Department of Homeland Security as both the TSA and the Coast Guard are components of the department.

Jeh Johnson, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, called Neffenger one of the brightest and most capable flag officers in the U.S. military” he has ever met. Johnson recalled that James Loy, TSA’s second Administrator, had been Commandant of the Coast Guard.

Vice Admiral Neffenger, who has over 30 years of service in the Coast Guard, has been Coast Guard Vice Chairman since May 2014. Prior to that Neffenger served as Deputy Commandant of Operations, Director of Strategic Management and Doctrine, and Commander of the Ninth Coast Guard District. He was the Deputy National Incident Commander for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and the Sector Commander and Federal Maritime Security Coordinator for the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

Chapter Leaders of the Year Announced

ASMC National News - Mon, 2015-04-27 22:26

Congratulations to the newest Chapter Leadership Award Winners! This award is given to recognize individuals for outstanding continuous leadership, accomplishments and support of the society at the chapter level.

This year's winners are:

  • LTC Christopher Dixon, Tampa Bay
  • Scott McCue, Korea
  • Ken Suazo, San Diego
  • Brenda Walker, Red River

Full write-ups of their leadership, dedication and commitment may be found here.

Announcing the 2014-2015 Corporate Members of the Year

ASMC National News - Fri, 2015-04-24 08:56
This award recognizes Corporate Members for outstanding contributions made to a local Chapter and the National Organization in the furtherance of the goals of the chapter and the society. Congratulations to this year's winners!  

CALIBRE – Distinguished Winner

Since its inception, CALIBRE has been a dedicated and active corporate member of the American Society of Military Comptrollers (ASMC) at both the local chapter and national level.  Employees attend ASMC events year-round for professional development purposes in the area of military comptrollership. Key leadership from CALIBRE attended every corporate breakfast and dinner program sponsored by the national office. CALIBRE encourages and promotes individual professional development for all of its employees through education, specialized training, certification, and professional memberships.  Continuing education is very important to CALIBRE and achieving an advanced degree or professional certification is thoroughly supported and encouraged.  95% of CALIBREs Subject Matter Experts in Financial Management are Certified Defense Financial Managers (CDFM).   In 2014, they were selected as one of the most promising data analytics consulting companies by CIOReview magazine and named one of the “Top Workplaces in the Greater Washington Area” by the Washington Post.

Deloitte- Distinguished Winner

Deloitte has been a member of the ASMC Land of Lincoln (LoL) Chapter and National ASMC for the past 29 years. The company has been constant supporters of the Land of Lincoln goals and those of the National organization through continued contributions of time and resources.  Deloitte continues to provide support over the years with their annual vendor booth to both the local Mini PDI and the National PDI providing updates to emerging issues within the Financial Community. The Deloitte staff at Scott AFB strongly advocates participation in the annual National PDI and local activities to all ASMC members, citing the importance of education, training, and networking throughout the FM community. Additionally, Deloitte has been a continuous monetary sponsor of the National PDI and provided several workshop speakers throughout their many years of membership. Deloitte staff has served on national committees and worked closely with ASMC staff thoughout their many years of membership. Staff has written articles for the Armed Forces Comptroller Journal, served as volunteers at the National PDI and supported Corporate breakfasts in the Washington DC area. They solicited their staff for membership,  annual fundraisers for local scholarships and participation in local chapter community service projects.  Their efforts resulted in corporate donations for the charitable golf tournament as well as volunteers for the local community service projects.

House Appropriations Committee approves FY2016 Military Construction funding

ASMC National News - Thu, 2015-04-23 15:04

Yesterday, the House Appropriations Committee (HAC) approved FY2016 funding for Military Construction (included in the total Department of Defense (DoD) budget request) and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The MilCon/VA bill and the Energy appropriations bill were the first FY2016 appropriations bills to advance in the House. Noting the beginning of the appropriations season in the House, HAC chair Rep. Harold Rogers (R-KY) said this will be, I think, the earliest time in history, at least since 1974, that we will have marked up bills this early.” Rogers said he hopes both bills will be on the House floor next week.

The Military Construction portion of the MilCon/VA bill provides $7.151 billion for military construction projects, family housing, Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC), and the NATO Security Investment Program. This amount is $1.3 billion less than the president’s request.

However, $532 million of this reduction was funded in the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) appropriation (Navy & Marine Corps $244 million, Air Force $75 million, and Defense-wide accounts $213 million). Therefore, the actual cut to requested military construction programs was $755 million.

The HAC bill would reduce the DoD funding request for active component military construction projects by $389 million (excluding funds transferred to OCO) and Guard and Reserve accounts by $39 million. The HAC bill would fully fund the request for Family Housing projects and existing Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC). The bill would also add $30 for the NATO Security Investment Program to support fixed and mobile infrastructure projects for NATO operations and $30 million to the Army for the construction of access roads.

The HAC bill also would rescind $386.5 million from prior appropriations Acts. 

The HAC took no action on the administration’s request to authorize another BRAC round as such an authorization is not under the committee’s jurisdiction.

DoD’s Better Buying Power 3.0 emphasizes innovation and technical excellence

ASMC National News - Wed, 2015-04-15 14:42

The Department of Defense (DoD) announced last week that Better Buying Power 3.0 is taking the next step in its efforts to improve the productivity, efficiency, and effectiveness of DoD’s acquisition and logistics and to achieve dominant capabilities.

Deputy Secretary Robert Work said at a press conference announcing BBP 3.0 that a major impetus for its implementation is “a steady erosion of our technological superiority that we have relied upon for so long in all of our defense strategies.” This is “one of the biggest issues facing our department and our nation,” he stressed. BBP 3.0 will provide “dominant capabilities to the warfighter to try to maintain that technological overmatch that we’ve always enjoyed and try to extend it if possible,” he said.

BBP 3.0 is the third iteration of DoD’s program to improve its acquisition process to get more from every acquisition dollar. BBP 1.0 (2010) stressed best practices and 2.0 (2013) emphasized critical thinking skills and better tools for the decision makers.

BBP 3.0 places a “stronger emphasis on innovation, technical excellence, and the quality of our products,” Frank Kendall, DoD’s Under Secretary for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics said in a memo implementing BBP 3.0. The overarching theme is “Achieving Dominant Capabilities through Technical Excellence and Innovation,” he said.

There are eight focus areas for achieving dominant capabilities: Achieve affordable programs; Achieve dominant capabilities while controlling costs; Incentivize productivity in industry and government; Incentivize innovation in industry and government; Eliminate unproductive processes and bureaucracy; Promote effective competition; Improve tradecraft in acquisition of services; and Improve the professionalism of the acquisition workforce. Some of these areas are “core” initiatives from earlier versions, some are expanded, and some are new. These areas contains over 30 initiatives.

Within these areas, BBP 3.0 sets goals for new focus initiatives. To Institutionalize Stronger DOD Level Long Range Program Plans, the Deputy Assistance Secretary of Defense will lead the development of the Long Range Research and Development Program Plan (LRRDPP) by July 15, 2015. The LRRDPP explores and develops “new technologies and approaches to warfighting.”

Cybersecurity issues will receive special attention. BBP 3.0 seeks to Strengthen Cybersecurity throughout the Product Lifecycle. Efforts will focus on ways to improve cybersecurity of system designs and methods to implement higher levels of protection for unclassified technical information. DoD components and the military services will develop a ways to link Intelligence, counterintelligence, law enforcement, and acquisition activities to improve protection of classified and unclassified technical information.

To Remove Barriers to Commercial Technology Utilization, DoD will assess the potential benefits from greater participation in consortium arrangements focused on innovation, establish a “Community of Practice” for faster acquisition of Commercial Off-the-Shelf products and commercial services, and evaluate possible legislative changes to give DOD greater access to commercial technology.

BBP 3.0 will also seek to increase the use of prototyping and experimentation to allow the exploration of innovative operational concepts, improve outreach to global markets for technology and products, strengthen organic engineering capabilities by more proactively managing the organic workforce, and use modular open systems to stimulate innovation. DoD will also promote outreach efforts to promote Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education and careers.

Kendall stressed implementing BBP 3.0 is even more important during the current period of financial constraint, especially with sequestration set to reengage in FY2016. “Getting as much buying power for the money as we possibly can is what this is all about,” Kendall said.

More detailed information is available on the Better Buying Power program website.

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