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Picatinny lightens Soldiers load...

 

Picatinny lightens Soldiers load, shaves 12 pounds off 81mm mortar systems

Following the successful fielding of the lightweight 60mm mortar system, Picatinny has begun delivering the new lightweight 81mm system to troops.

The new M252A1 81mm system is 12 pounds, or 14 percent, lighter than its predecessor, the legacy M252 mortar system.

“The new lightweight system reduces the load for dismounted battalion mortar platoons, while retaining the same durability, rates of fire, and range of the legacy system,” said Lt. Col. Will McDonough, Product Manager Guided Precision Munitions and Mortar Systems (GPM2S) with the Program Executive Office for Ammunition at Picatinny Arsenal, N.J.

Picatinny engineers delivered the first 81mm M252A1 mortar systems to troops at Fort Bragg, N.C., in November.

Mortar systems are an indirect fire weapon used to defeat enemy troops, materiel, bunkers and other infantry-type targets. The M252A1 fires the complete family of 81mm ammunition, such as high explosive, smoke, illumination, infrared illumination and practice cartridges.

“Lighter weight has been a user desire for the 30 years I’ve been with the government,” explained Ted Greiner, GPM2S’s Assistant Product Manager for 60 and 81mm mortar systems.

Overall, the 81mm system has dropped from 91 pounds down to 79 pounds.

To illustrate how important equipment weight reduction is to service members, Greiner recalled the time he was coaching his son’s little league game and another parent approached him.

“I’m sitting on the bench and all of a sudden this guy comes running across the field and I think he’s going to tackle me. He says, ‘You work at Picatinny? Do you work on mortars? Well you’ve gotta to make those things lighter. I humped those things thirty miles a day.’ ”

“The parent was a former Marine and wasn’t in the service any longer. But (the weight of the mortar system) was so important to him that years later he came running across the field just to tell me about it. He was happy with the range, durability and everything else, but he wanted it to be lighter.”

Greiner’s team was able to reduce the mortar system weight by using new materials.

“We used lighter materials, such as aluminum and titanium in the elevation and traverse mechanisim that lower and lift the bipod and traverse it left and right, and nylon Kevlar for some of the internal gear parts.”

The M252A1 consists of the following components: M253 cannon (tube), M177A1 bipod, M3A2 baseplate and the M67A1 sight unit.

The bipod now weighs 22.5 pounds, compared to 27 pounds. The baseplate has been reduced from 29 pounds to 23 pounds and the cannon dropped from 35 pounds down to 30.5 pounds.

All former 81mm systems are scheduled to be replaced with the new technology in 2016.

To develop and field this technology, GPM2S partnered with the Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center, Benet Labs, Army Contracting Center New Jersey, Watervliet Arsenal, and MaTech.

STANDARDIZED

“The legacy 81mm systems were originally purchased from the UK in the 1980s,” explained McDonough. “We’ve made the systems lighter and also used Soldier input to incorporate additional changes.”

The new 81mm bipod will now be in the “A” shaped bipod frame, similar to the bipod on the 60mm and the 120mm systems.

“The “A” shaped bipod frame keeps training consistent so the user doesn’t have to learn something unique for one system. So once someone gets familiar with one they can easily transition to another system,” Greiner said.

EASIER MAINTENANCE

The M252A1 requires less maintenance because its internal gears are greaseless, which means they do not have to be lubricated by grease and oil.

The nylon Kevlar is reinforced with composites and protective coatings infused with lubricants that eliminate the need for external lubrication.

60MM LIGHTWEIGHT MORTARS

PEO Ammunition began fielding the lightweight M224A1 60mm mortar systems in July 2010.

More than 1,300 M224A1 60mm lightweight mortar systems have been fielded so far.

“The units love them. So far we have received a lot of positive feedback,” Greiner said of the 60mm systems.

PEO Ammo Faces of the Force

 

PEO Ammunition Faces of the Force

“Faces of the Force” is an online feature highlighting members of the Army Acquisition Workforce, produced by the U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center Communication Division, and working closely with public affairs officers, Soldiers and Civilians currently serving in a variety of Acquisition, Logistics and Technology disciplines. The Program Executive Office for Ammunition has had seven employees featured in the program since January. Congratulations to Doug Wong, Barbara Kraus, Saleem Ghazi, Steven Simons, Orest Hrycak, Colleen McCabe, and Delondo Watt. “PEO Ammunition has an outstanding professional, highly experienced and dedicated workforce, which includes a broad array of incredible matrix talent from the U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC). Each team member is deeply committed to accomplishing our mission and supporting the Joint Warfighter’s needs irrespective of the many significant challenges that come our way. It is an honor to see that their fortitude and accomplishments are consistently being recognized more broadly across the Army,” said Chris Grassano, Deputy PEO Ammo (Acting).

The Office of the Army Director for Acquisition Career Management (DACM) is responsible for ensuring the career development and Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act (DAWIA) certification (training, education and experience) of the Army Acquisition Workforce, which consists of approximately 40,000 acquisition civilian and military members. This workforce resides in Army staff offices, Army commands, Army service component commands, program executive offices, and direct reporting units. The Army DACM Office works directly with the Defense Acquisition University (DAU), the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Acquisition), and the Undersecretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics) to enable workforce initiatives and to serve as advocates for the Army Acquisition Workforce. Below is some information on each of our selected employees:


Doug Wong

Mr. Doug Wong, is the Systems Engineering and Technical Integration Division for the Project Manager, Maneuver Ammunition Systems (PM MAS). In addition to his work responsibilities, Wong is involved in activities surrounding the PM MAS’ Take Your Child to Work Day, working with the local chapter of Women in Defense to lead last April’s event. My greatest satisfaction is that all through my career I’ve been fortunate enough to have mentors and coaches to advise me along the way. I hoped that someday I could be a practitioner and do the same for others, and so I am trying to do just that. I’m a mentor in ARDEC’s mentoring program, and I’m always looking for ways to share my skills in ways that can benefit the “next generations” of DA or DOD scientists and engineers, whether they are new employees, summer college interns, or through STEM [science, technology, engineering and math] education outreach programs. Take Your Child to Work Day is one example of instilling that interest in what the Army does, through simple experiments that kids can understand and enjoy and spark that interest that will shape their field of study during high school and college. The look on the kids’ faces when they see how things work and the interaction that takes place between us and the kids in explaining and demonstrating what we do—that’s what I really enjoy.


Barbara Kraus

Ms. Barbara C. Kraus, Finance Manager for Project Manager Towed Artillery Systems, is recognized for her outstanding efforts in transitioning expertise before she retires. She spent the past six months formulating a detailed transition plan while working closely with her program analysts to promote growth in ...their roles. Her analysts have completed normal obligation and execution efforts and are now working such actions as budget planning efforts, justifying changes to spend plans, and actively engaging in decrement drills. She trained a staff of employees who will serve Picatinny well for years to come, and her upcoming retirement has not slowed her down in the least. Instead, she has worked harder to ensure her staff is ready to take over all operations when she leaves. Ms. Kraus represents the best of government service: completely dedicated to doing everything she can for our warfighters.


Saleem L. Ghazi

RECYCLING FOR SAVINGS
Mr. Saleem L. Ghazi, Supervisory Program Management Engineer has been dedicated to improving the cause of the warfighter for 25 years. Assigned to the Project Manager Combat Ammunition Systems (PM CAS), Ghazi was instrumental in planning and managing the execution of an Office of the Secretary of Defense-sponsored Joint Concept Technical Demonstration (JCTD) project that culminated with the Type Classification - Standard of the M1123 Infra-Red Illumination and M1124 Visible Light Illumination rounds in 2013, and their full material release (FMR) on June 30. This JCTD project reduced production costs by utilizing projectile bodies slated for demilitarization, and significantly enhances warfighter capability by providing illumination at a range 5km greater than current rounds. As a result, Soldiers and Marines will be able to see as far as they can shoot — a considerable operational advantage. The FMR milestone capped an aggressive, 30-month effort to demonstrate a new capability and field two lower-cost, extended range projectiles to the Army and Marine Corps.


Steven L. Simons

Keeping PEO ammo on target
Mr. Steven L. Simons oversees the Army procurement of ammunition budget with an annual program value of more than $1.5 billion. A senior program analyst at PEO Ammunition, he led the development of the PEO manpower realignment submission for the FY16-20 program objective memorandum build. He also generated detailed justifications for the PEO civilian manpower program budget guidance during Army G8 Equipping Program Evaluation Group reviews. Mr. Simons developed the submission for the assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition, logistics and technology workforce shaping reviews, focusing on contractor man-year equivalent reductions, and was a major contributor to the human capital management information presented at the Joint Munitions and Lethality Life Cycle Management Command Joint Acquisition Sustainment Review.

Mr. Simons’ efforts have kept the PEO on target to meet execution goals for all active appropriations. His exceptional work ethic and attention to detail have significantly enhanced our ability to defend both our financial and manpower resources.


Orest Hrycak

Working to Reduce the Demil Burden
As Chief Engineer for demilitarization, Orest Hrycak manages more than 20 individual research, development, test and evaluation projects aimed at reducing the demil burden for the United States. The 20-plus projects he manages represent more than $57 million dollars in the Future Years Defense Program.

Hrycak is assigned to Product Manager Demilitarization, Office of the Project Director Joint Services. His work there has led to consistent improvements in closed disposal technologies and reduction in the sub-munitions stockpile, helping the United States comply with multiple international treaties. His work ethic, drive and attention to detail have significantly enhanced the country’s ability to safely and efficiently demilitarize its energetic munitions.


Colleen C. McCabe

A Rock in a Hard Place
Ms. Colleen M. McCabe, Administrative Officer for Project Manager, Close Combat Systems (PM CCS), recently had to manage the blow dealt by sequestration to the CCS team. During an extremely difficult and uncertain time, which included the loss of twenty term employees, Ms. McCabe kept PM CCS employees up to date with critical details, and proactively gathered furlough information for PM CCS leadership. For the terminated term employees, Ms. McCabe coordinated a career services day to answer questions and provide support and counseling. Her efforts to ease the hardships of sequestration as much as possible were greatly appreciated by all.


Delondo Watt

“My greatest satisfaction is being a part of the Army to save lives and to help the warfighter protect the United States.” As a Project Manager Close Combat Systems management information specialist, Watt ensures that accurate information is maintained in multiple databases enabling warfighters to successfully execute their mission. Watt maintains the Materiel Release Tracking System, a system used to expediently authorize materiel for warfighter use. He has helped ensure that all personnel and equipment used in theatre, and equipment for the active Army, reserves and National Guard is all properly accounted for by location.

When asked about his what his experience working for the U.S. Army has been like for this last five years, “my experience with Army acquisitions has been awesome. I am at the forefront [and get] to see programs from cradle to grave. In theaters of operation around the globe, U.S. service members face the dangers of improvised explosive devices and other explosive hazards with every step they travel. I hear and know stories in which lives were saved and know that PEO AMMO and I were a part of getting these capabilities into the field.”

Picatinny Arsenal Senior Commander Retires

 

Picatinny Arsenal Senior Commander Retires

Heidi Shyu, Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics and Technology) transfers the guidon for the Program Executive Office for Ammunition to James Shields during a ceremony here yesterday. The passing of the guidon is symbolic of the orderly transfer of authority from one commander to another.

PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. -- Brig. Gen. John J. McGuiness, Program Executive Officer for Ammunition (PEO Ammo) and Senior Commander of Picatinny Arsenal, officially retired from active duty and relinquished command of the PEO Ammo position to James Shields during a ceremony here today. Heidi Shyu, Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics and Technology), hosted the ceremony, which officially ended McGuiness' 31-years of military service.

"Our Army and our nation has been well served by General McGuiness for more than three decades," Shyu said.

McGuiness received several awards including the Humanitarian Service Medal for Hurricane Sandy relief efforts and the Distinguished Service Medal.

He was also presented with a 105mm artillery shell which was one of 17 shots fired in his honor., The retiring general also received a congratulatory note form U.S. Rep. Rodney of New Jersey's 11th District, and a flag flown over the nation's capitol at the request of the Frelinghuysen. Assemblyman Anthony M. Bucco, representing New Jersey's 25th Legislative District, presented McGuiness with a Joint Senate and Assembly Resolution from the State of New Jersey. "I'm happy to know you are leaving the Arsenal in good hands and we will continue to have a place of excellence here at Picatinny," Bucco said.

McGuiness' wife Gail received the Commander's Award for Public Service for exceptional volunteer service and her work with the Picatinny Military and Civilian's Club. She also received a Chief of Staff of the Army Certificate of Appreciation from Gen. Ray Odierno, U.S. Army Chief of Staff.

Gail was the first and last person that McGuiness thanked and recognized during his farewell speech.

"Gail was there 31 years ago at my graduation from West Point. She is my Alpha Omega," he said.

McGuiness thanked virtually everyone he had ever worked with, including retired officers, civilians, members of academia, industry partners, but most importantly the staff at Picatinny.

The general talked about the Picatinny mission and supporting the warfighter. "Everyone in the world looks to you because of the qualities and capabilities that you bring," McGuiness told the assembled Picatinny personnel. "For every single time that someone who is deployed returns home safely that says that you do your job and there is nobody else in the world that does it better than you." McGuiness was stationed at Picatinny as a captain years early in career and recalled the fond memories he and his family had during their first venture.

Upon his return and appointment as the senior military commander, McGuiness said: "I had one goal in mind and that was to make sure that whether you were a brand new military person on the installation or a brand new civilian or you had 40 years here, it didn't matter, but that when you left Picatinny you would leave here with those great memories that I had here during my first assignment." McGuiness assumed the PEO Ammo and senior commander position on October 17, 2012, leading the mission to develop and procure conventional and leap-ahead munitions to increase warfighter's combat power. Previously McGuiness served as Deputy Commanding General, U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command and Senior Commander Natick Soldier Systems Center, Natick, Mass., from May 2011 to September 2012.

Speaking about his successor McGuiness said, "Jim is a leader first and a manager second, and Ms. Shyu there is no better choice for a PEO than Jim Shields."

After receiving a standing ovation McGuiness returned to his seat, after which Shields spoke.

"The only regret that I have about having General McGuiness as a boss was that it was too short, only 21 months," he said. He has seen us through difficult times to include Hurricane Sandy, government furloughs and shutdowns, and 50 percent reduction in our budget, yet he continued to inspire and motivate."

Shields became the Deputy Program Executive Officer Ammunition in November 2009. Previously Shields served as the Joint Program Manager (JPM) and Deputy JPM for the Joint Lightweight 155mm Howitzer (JLW155); Chief, Systems Engineering Division, Crusader self-propelled artillery system; Team Leader, Wide Area Mine (WAM); and Mechanical Systems Specialist, International Programs Office, Autonomous Precision Guided Munitions (APGM). He graduated from Rutgers University with a Bachelors of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering and received a Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology. He is a graduate of the Program Management Course and the Executive Program Management Course of the Defense Systems Management College. McGuiness was commissioned in the Infantry upon graduation from the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, in 1983. He is a graduate of the Infantry Officer Basic Course, Armor Officer Advanced Course, Combined Arms Service Staff School, Army Command and General Staff College, and Army War College. He holds master's degrees in Operations Research, Air Force Institute of Technology and Strategic Studies, Army War College. He is a graduate of the Program of Management Development, Harvard Business School.

His decorations and badges include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Combat Action Badge, Expert Infantryman Badge, Parachutist Badge, Ranger Tab and Army Staff Identification Badge.

As the ASA (ALT), Shyu serves as the Army Acquisition Executive, the Senior Procurement Executive, the Science Advisor to the Secretary of the Army, and the Army's Senior Research and Development official. She also has principal responsibility for all Department of the Army matters related to logistics. Shyu leads the execution of the Army's acquisition function and the acquisition management system.


Sexual Harassment/Assault Response Program (SHARP)

 
PEO Ammunition Sexual Harassment/Assault Response Program (SHARP) is in effect and here to help.

Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention (SHARP) Program Information:
Picatinny SHARP 24x7 Hotline: 862-210-0296
DoD SAFE Hotline: 1-877-995-5247
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