by Ms. Silva Manjikian
To expedite the delivery of technology to Soldiers, Program Executive Office (PEO) Ammunition continuously seeks sensible ways to shorten often-lengthy acquisition timelines. A revision to Army Regulation (AR) 700-142, “Type Classification, Materiel Release, Fielding, and Transfer,” that the PEO helped influence now allows the Army to eliminate the type classification (TC) process when adopting, without configuration changes, ammunition already fielded to other military services.
AR 700-142 assigns responsibilities and prescribes policies for the Army’s TC and full materiel release (FMR) processes. TC, a prerequisite to the FMR process, ensures that materiel is acceptable and safe for Army use before expending procurement funds; meets mission-intended requirements; and is logistically supportable in its intended environment. FMR ensures that the materiel is safe, suitable—meeting all operational performance requirements—and logistically supportable before it is released
IMPROVING THE PROCESS
to the field. According to the regulation, these processes must be followed when the Army is fielding systems to the warfighter.
PEO Ammunition and its Project Manager Maneuver Ammunition Systems (PM MAS) had requirements to field to the Army the 5.56 mm MK301 Mod 0 dim trace cartridge and the .300 Winchester Magnum (WinMag) MK248 Mod 0 sniper ammunition.
The 5.56mm MK301 Mod 0 cartridge provides the user with tracer signature capability that is observable only through a night vision device, so that the sniper can see the line of fire and point of impact during nighttime operations.
The .300 WinMag, MK248 Mod 0 provides sniper ammunition used with the XM2010 Enhanced Sniper Rifle to engage targets accurately out to and beyond 1,100 meters.
The MK301 Mod 0 and MK248 Mod 0 were fielded by the U.S. Navy in 2008 and 1994, respectively. To field these rounds to the Army, PM-MAS had to follow the AR and put both these rounds through the TC and FMR processes, even thoughthe Navy had already done so. PEO Ammunition and PM MAS believed that TC and FMR were nonproductive, redundant processes when the Army was adopting ammunition, without “configuration changes,” that had already been fielded to the Navy.
The PEO and PM MAS proposed to the deputy assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition policy and logistics (DASA(APL)), the proponent of this AR, to waive the TC process for fielding the MK301 Mod 0 and MK248 Mod 0.
Before granting the request for TC waiver, the DASA(APL) wanted to evaluate the proposal with all relevant stakeholders: the U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command, U.S. Army Public Health Command, safety office, independent logistics support office, environmental office, PEO Ammunition and PM MAS. At that time, the AR revision was being discussed, and the proposed TC waiver or elimination became part of that discussion.
After months of evaluation and collaboration with the stakeholders, not only was the proposed TC waiver or elimination granted, but the regulation also was revised to include language that eliminates the Army’s TC process
COST SAVINGS, NOW AND LATER
for ammunition already fielded by the other services.
The revised AR was published on Jan. 17, 2013. The revision specifically states that when another service has fielded ammunition that has achieved Milestone C and the Army wants to put it into use without configuration changes, all that is needed is a TC validation memo from the PM to the PEO.
The TC waiver and revised AR laid the foundation to reduce time and cost to field the MK301 Mod 0 cartridge and the MK 248 Mod 0 ammunition to the Army. PM MAS, upon obtaining the TC waiver, reevaluated all the support documents the Navy had produced when it fielded these rounds, validated that eliminating the TC process was the right thing to do and proceeded
Putting the MK301 Mod 0 through TC and FMR would have cost the Army an estimated $1.2 million and taken 21 months to complete. By eliminating the TC process and going directly to FMR, the MK301 Mod 0 cartridge was fielded to the Army at a cost of $799,513, in 12 months. Likewise, the MK248 Mod 0 ammunition was fielded to the Army at a cost of $719,281, in only 10 months.
Another major program that could benefit from this AR revision is the Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV) system being developed by PM GCV under PEO Ground Combat Systems. PM GCV is considering adopting Navy-produced and -fielded ammunition to meet the requirements outlined in the GCV Capabilities Development Document.
PM MAS is working with PM GCV to evaluate the support documentationfrom the Navy to help make an informed decision with respect to TC and FMR of GCV ammunition. Leveraging this new AR revision has the potential to produce significant savings in cost and schedule for the GCV program office; it could save the program an estimated $16 million and three years of schedule.
All future programs in which adopting other military service ammunition for Army use is being considered will benefit from this AR revision. It allows materiel developers to use a common-sense approach to capture significant potential cost and time savings, bypassing the TC process and going directly to the FMR process without sacrificing safety, suitability and logistics supportability.
For more information on AR 700-142, go to http://www.apd.army.mil/pdffiles/r700_142.pdf. For additional information, contact the author at 973-724-9432 email@example.com.
MS. SILVA MANJIKIAN is a project officer for acquisition and system management in PEO Ammunition at Picatinny Arsenal, NJ. She holds a B.S. in mechanical engineering from the City College of New York. Manjikian is Level III certified in program management, systems engineering, and production, quality and manufacturing. She is a member of the U.S. Army Acquisition Corps.