|Air Force Tests Wartime Procurement Capability |
Air Force Tests Wartime Procurement Capability
By Staff Sgt. Beverly Isik, Standard Systems Group Public Affairs, 17 March 2000.
Maxwell Air Force Base - Gunter Annex, Ala. (AFPN) -- Standard Systems Group called in the Army and Marines March 5-10, to help develop procedures for using the Standard Procurement System in a contingency environment.
Tech. Sgt. Cheryl Martin checks a laptop in a Standard Procurement System kit. The kit contains 26 laptops with associated items such as mice, power strips, cables, aero net cards, shock log, and spare batteries. The kits are used during Procurement Force Experiments and for training at new sites. (Photo U.S Air Force by Staff Sgt. Beverly Isik)
During the five-day Procurement Force Experiment, contracting and computer specialists from the Air Force Contracting Information Systems Program Office worked with contracting troops from the other services to test operational concepts and procedures for deploying the system during contingency operations.
More than 18,000 soldiers, airmen and Marines at 600 installations around the world will use SPS for routine day-to-day contracting transactions. But, according to Air Force Space Command Contracting Superintendent Chief Master Sgt. George Dupin, experimenting in a contingency environment is a key factor in the success of any software that will be used by all the services during real-world deployments.
"We've had several PFXs, but this was the first 'go to war' exercise," said Tech Sgt. Cheryl Martin, chief of the functional analysis team. "Our customers ask for it and we were glad to have the opportunity to provide it."
The PFX showed that the system could be used during the sustainment phase of deployment, Dupin explained. "But we identified some areas that need enhancements before it can be used in all phases of deployment."
Some enhancements are already projected in the next version scheduled for release to the Air Force in the next few weeks, according to Martin. Additional functionality will also be provided with each subsequent release from the Defense Department program management office and their contractor, American Management Systems.
In the original design of SPS, Dupin explained, the concept was to use commercial-off-the-shelf software to replace 47 major contracting systems used by the different services. "Contingency was not included in that."
The greatest challenge, explained Director of Air Force Contracting Systems Col. Andrew Gilmore, continues to be reengineering the Air Force's contracting processes to align with the commercial business model in SPS.
"Procurement Force Experiments have proven to be an invaluable reengineering tool" he said.
SSG is an element of Air Force Materiel Command, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, and the Electronic Systems Center, Hanscom AFB, Mass.