PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. -- PEO Ammunition employee Paul Manz has won the Engineering category of the 2016 Defense Acquisition Workforce Individual Achievement Award for his outstanding contributions to the Department of Defense Tactical Warfare community while serving as the Program Executive Officer Ammunition Chief Scientist from July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016.


"Just wow!" said Manz when asked about his reaction to winning this top DOD Engineer of the Year award. "I was humbled by this honor. I view this as a collective award and positive reflection of our Joint Center Picatinny community and the greater cadre of Army and DOD acquisition professionals who strive to provide excellence to the warfighter and taxpayer each and every day."


"Also, kudos to my PEO Ammo and Picatinny colleagues at Project Manager Maneuver Ammunition Systems who won the 2016 David Packard Excellence in Acquisition Award, as well as the other winners of this year's Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Acquisition Awards," said Manz.


The Defense Acquisition Workforce Individual Achievement Award was established as a result of the Weapon Systems Acquisition Reform Act of 2009. Its intent is to encourage and recognize individuals who demonstrate the highest levels of excellence and professionalism in the acquisition of products and services and those who support the warfighter and protect the taxpayer.


"As Chief Scientist and defacto Chief Technology Officer for PEO Ammunition, I oversee and facilitate the transition and insertion of enabling technologies across a munitions and armaments portfolio that is greater than $3 billion as well as oversee PEO Ammo's annual Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation budget, totaling over $160 million," said Manz. 


An enabling technology is an innovation that rapidly drives the capability changes required by a user or customer community.


"I also support senior Army and Office of the Secretary of Defense leadership on a variety of major critical armaments and lethality-related topics, harnessing the subject matter expertise and multi-disciplined acumen of my government colleagues and our industry and academia partners to solve challenging problems on behalf of the joint Warfighter. I definitely enjoy my job, the people, and the challenging subject matter as well as being trusted, empowered, and supported by Leadership who allow me to do "good things for the greater good" on behalf of the Army, DOD, and our Nation," said Manz.


Manz won the award in part because he accelerated the integration of improved GPS Anti-Jam/Anti-Spoof, Assured Precision, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) and M-Code GPS related technologies across DOD's precision armaments portfolio totaling over $10 billion. 


Assured PNT technologies allows GPS technologies to perform as intended, even when adversaries attempt to defeat GPS signals. 


M-code GPS and DOD's Military GPS User Equipment (MGUE) program are managed by the United Stated Air Force (USAF) GPS Directorate at Los Angeles Air Force Base. MGUE Increment 1 is focused on providing M-Code GPS receivers for applications such as aircraft, combat vehicles, radios, etc. while things like tactical handhelds and Precision Guided Munitions (PGMs) will be addressed as part of the MGUE Increment 2 follow-on program. 


In collaboration with OSD Acquisition, Technology and Logistics and multiple Joint PGM Programs of Record (PoRs), PEO Ammo has been leading a "coalition of the willing" to inform senior Leadership and see if MGUE Increment 1 technology can be used by none/some/all PGMs prior to MGUE Increment 2. 


"PEO Ammo has also been collaborating with USA Direct Report PM PNT on things like GPS Anti-Jam antennas and Pseudolites to insure the combat effectiveness of the Indirect Fires system-of-systems in peer/near-peer threat environments," said Manz.


"This system-of-systems solution covers things like targeting, communications, command and control, weapons, munitions launch/flight/guidance, and final target engagement."


JOINT "COALITION OF THE WILLING"


Manz developed a joint "coalition of the willing" program investment strategy and led a coordinated $30 million initiative to assess the maturity of USAF M-Code GPS technology for subsequent use by multiple Joint programs of record and his efforts avoided an estimated $170 million in potential duplicative activities. 


"All systems in development and production after FY17 must implement M-Code GPS or need to obtain a waiver from the SECDEF Public Law 111-383," said Manz.


"Each PoR across DOD has to make a determination on whether to implement MGUE Increment 1 technology now or wait until MGUE Increment 2 and obtain a SECDEF (Secretary of Defense) waiver," Manz continued.


"Within the Joint Lethality community there are numerous PGM PoRs that were facing this exact problem and needed facts to make an informed decision," Manz said. "Without PEO Ammo's "Joint coalition of the willing," each such PoR across DOD would have had to independently invest a significant amount of resources to assess and determine if MGUE Increment 1 technology was ready for them."


"PEO Ammo proposed and, with the support of OSD and Congress, successfully championed our current approach of testing and evaluating the things that are common and important to all PGMs as well as the specific superset of requirements that are unique to these same use-case groupings. By having a unified coordinated approach to this MGUE Increment 1 technology maturity assessment for PGMs, we leveraged the existing capabilities of DOD's Defense Laboratories and were able to avoid potential duplicative assessment efforts by multiple PoRs and reduce the overall costs borne by the US taxpayer," said Manz.


In addition to Assured PNT and M-Code GPS, Manz successfully championed the critical threat-driven need for cluster munitions replacement and advanced armament technologies, as well as developing Defense Exportability Features based fuze technology under Better Buying Power. 


"Similar to the deadline for M-Code GPS, DOD is facing the pending US policy-driven loss of most of its existing inventory of Cluster Munitions on Jan 1, 2019," said Manz.


"The resulting capability gaps need to be addressed by a variety of mitigation solutions, including the development of cluster munitions replacement and advanced armament technologies such as next generation fuzing technology."


"In order to keep these solutions affordable, where possible we wanted to insure these solutions were also exportable," said Manz.


OVERCOMING CHALLENGES


"There are many challenging requirements across multiple Use-Cases needed to make Assured PNT and M-Code GPS work across the tactical warfare environment for the Joint Armaments community," said Manz.


"For example, think about how you would "fight" using Assured PNT capabilities across a system-of-systems environment in multi-Unit, multi-Service, and multi-National combat operations. By proactively collaborating with the USAF GPS Directorate, USA Direct-Reporting Program Manager PNT, and the collective set of Joint stakeholders early in the process and insuring the right Subject Matter Experts were/are engaged, we've successfully identified and are mitigating numerous risk areas as well as solving problems before they become an issue to better define and expedite essential capabilities to the Field. By always trying to do the right thing, we've been able to maintain forward progress via the previously mentioned "Joint coalition of the willing" within a resource constrained environment until OSD and Services collectively agree on a coordinated official Assured PNT modernization path-forward," said Manz.


MANZ THE "GO-TO" PROBLEM SOLVER


Manz also served as the "go-to" technical authority and problem solver for senior Army leaders, OSD leaders and political appointees. 


"Over my 30 plus year career as a DOD civilian and acquisition professional, I have been fortunate enough to be exposed to a variety of multi-disciplined subject matter across the entire materiel development life cycle from science and technology through production and deployment," said Manz.


Manz noteworthy career has spanned numerous diverse areas such as Joint Munitions and Armaments, Battle Command, Fire Support, Software and Information Technology, Enterprise Architecture and Interoperability, Systems Engineering, and Electronic Devices. 


"This knowledge and experience now comes in handy as I advise senior leaders on program systems engineering and program management related topics and issues," he said.


Award winners will be recognized at a Pentagon awards ceremony. Their contributions are featured in the Pentagon's Defense Acquisition Workforce recognition display.