PM DMS-Army streamlines tactical message system, receives defense acquisition executive recognition

PM DMS-Army streamlines tactical message system, receives defense acquisition executive recognition

Stephen Larsen

A team from the Product Manager, Defense Message System-Army was one of five Army teams that received the Defense Acquisition Executive Certificate of Achievement–the highest-level acquisition award presented to Army organizations for 2002–at the Acquisition Senior Leaders’ Conference in Seattle, Wash. on Aug. 14, 2003.

Claude M. Bolton Jr., Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition presented the certificate to Cathy Doolos, the former PM DMS-A, who is currently the deputy Project Manager, Enterprise Infostructure for the Program Executive Office, Enterprise Information Systems. The Product Manager, Defense Message System-Army reports to the Project Manager, Enterprise Infostructure.

The PM DMS-A team received the certificate in the Program Management category for the radical redesign of the Army’s Tactical Message System, taking it from concept through test in just six months and saving the Army more than $85 million in lifecycle costs as

TMS is fielded throughout the Army. According to MAJ Pedro Passapera, PM DMS-A’s Assistant Product Manager-Tactical, the redesign was indeed radical, trimming the system from nearly 7,200 lbs. of equipment in nine transit cases–including extensive cabling “the size of a tree trunk” and complex servers and routers–down to a simple design that weighs 240 lbs., employs only three ruggedized laptops as servers and one router and fits in only three transit cases.

“Before, we had to modify a Hummvee to transport the TMS,” said Passapera. “We went from a lot of ‘nice-to-have’ equipment down to the essential equipment that was really needed to get the mission done.”

According to Bill Stapleton, the chief of PM DMS-A’s Technical Management Division, the redesign was the latest in an ongoing product improvement process from the time the TMS was a prototype in the early 1990s that weighed in at a whopping 16,380 lbs.

“Soldiers can unload the new TMS from a Humvee and have it up and running in less than 30 minutes,” said Stapleton. With TMS, he said, the Army can extend the same Defense Message System services used in garrison–including e-mail based writer to reader messaging based on Public Key Infrastructure signed and encrypted message technology–to deployed units. “TMS provides that seamless integration,” said Stapleton.

Passapera added that the success of the TMS program was achieved thanks to the teamwork between PM DMS-A and its Army and industry partners–the U.S. Army Information Systems Engineering Command/Information Assurance Security and Engineering Directorate, the U.S. Army Signal Center, Vitronics, Maddentech, Electronic Warfare Associates, Titan and Data Systems Analysts “They have all provided great support and contributed to the team effort,” he said.

Other Army teams that received the Defense Acquisition Executive Certificate of Achievement for 2002 were the Product Management Office, Telecommunications Systems of PEO EIS, which received two certificates, one for greatly contributing to the successful restoration of the Pentagon information technology infrastructure in the aftermath of 9-11 and the other in the Program Management category; the M45 Chemical Biological Mask Team of the Joint Program Executive Office, Chemical and Biological Defense, which was recognized in the category of Program Management for incorporating new technologies to improve the mask and reduce lifecycle costs by more than $2.6 million; and the Armament Retooling and Manufacturing Support team, which was recognized in the Industrial Property Management category for employing innovative acquisition reform policies to save the Army approximately $40 million by attracting commercial tenants into Army Acquisition Plants, lower facilities’ disposal costs, create and sustain more than 3,000 jobs and provide approximately $395 million in economic impact to local communities.

Mr. Larsen serves a the public affairs officer for the Program Executive Officer for Executive Information Systems at Fort Monmouth, N.J.

COPYRIGHT 2003 U.S. Army Signal Center

COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group