PEO Ammunition Faces of the Force
By Eric Kowal
“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:
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.
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.
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.
“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.”