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Defense Acquisition Workforce 2023 Awards

Defense Acquisition Workforce 2023 Awards

Dr. William A. LaPlante, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, has announced the winners of the 2023 Defense Acquisition Workforce Awards. The five annual awards, representing 21 separate categories, recognize individual and team accomplishments that advance the National Defense Strategy and support the Secretary of Defense’s priorities through excellence in acquisition. The winners officially received the honor in an in-person ceremony on Jan. 24, 2024, at Defense Acquisition University (DAU.)

The Defense Acquisition Workforce comprises nearly 162,000 civilian and military professionals from each of the military services, as well as defense agencies and field activities. Their work is critical to building enduring advantages for the Warfighter as the department continues to innovate and modernize. A total of 49 individuals representing the Air Force, Army, Navy, Defense Agencies, and Field Activities were honored at the awards ceremony.

Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment Dr. Radha Plumb presented the awards in the following categories:

The Defense Acquisition Workforce Individual Achievement Awards recognize individuals who demonstrate the highest levels of excellence and professionalism in their respective acquisition functional area.

The David Packard Excellence in Acquisition Award recognizes DoD acquisition program and other teams that have demonstrated excellence and innovation in developing, acquiring, and sustaining operational capability that supports the National Defense Strategy lines of effort to increase readiness and lethality, strengthen alliances, and achieve significant reform.

The Software Innovation Team Award, established in 2019, recognizes teams that are driving speed and innovation in continuous software development and acquisition as evidenced by frequent and high-quality delivery of software capabilities into the hands of Warfighters.

The Flexibility in Contracting Award was established by Section 834 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017. The award recognizes professionals who have demonstrated “innovation and local adaptation” by using the flexibilities and authorities granted by the Federal Acquisition Regulation and DoD Instruction 5000.02, Operation of the Defense Acquisition System.

The Defense Acquisition Workforce Development Innovation Awards recognize acquisition organizations that have demonstrated exceptional innovation in talent management.

A recording of the ceremony is available at https://www.hci.mil/what-we-do/awards/Awards-2023.html.


Individual Achievement Award Winners

Ms. Anne Decker, United States ArmyAuditing
Ms. Anne Decker, United States Army

Ms. Anne Decker is recognized for the significant impact she has made in improving the Risk Management Internal Control (RMIC) process in the Program Executive Office for Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and Sensors (PEO IEW&S). In socializing the PEO IEW&S approach to the RMIC cycle, she made an influential impact that assists the Army in becoming audit-ready. She was first to develop test plans based on internal controls published in the Army Control Catalog. She established herself as a subject matter expert; her test plans will be used as the basis of the Army’s test plans for future RMIC cycles. Through use of automation, Ms. Decker led the charge in streamlining processes, increasing communication, and creating a collaborative environment for the RMIC cycle. Her efforts significantly reduced the time spent on the process by 90 percent. In addition, she has eliminated the risk of manual aggregation and calculation errors. Ms. Decker has demonstrated the highest levels of excellence and professionalism by significantly contributing to the Army’s ability to achieve an unqualified audit opinion and become audit-compliant in the future. Ms. Decker’s personal dedication represents the finest traditions of federal government service and reflects great credit upon herself, the United States Army, and the Department of Defense.

Mr. Sean Chaffe, United States Air ForceBusiness—Cost Estimating
Mr. Sean Chaffe, United States Air Force

Mr. Sean Chaffe has demonstrated an exemplary commitment to the acquisition of products and services for the DoD and our partner nations. As Cost Section Chief, Mr. Chaffe leads a team of five and has been responsible for developing 30 cost estimates, valued at $5.2 billion in U.S. Air Force and foreign partner funding. Mr. Chaffe oversees the division’s Earned Value reporting, and through his efforts, the division successfully completed its first ever integrated baseline review for the Air Combat Command’s number one sensor program. His impeccable cost estimating expertise and leadership have supported key decisions to execute the National Defense Strategy and help ensure sustainment of our joint force advantage.

Ms. Maria-Dolores Wong, United States Space ForceBusiness—Financial Management
Ms. Maria-Dolores Wong, United States Space Force

As the Space Development Agency (SDA) Comptroller, Ms. Wong successfully executed all financial activities necessary to support the congressionally mandated transfer of SDA as a Defense Agency to become a Direct Reporting Unit in the United States Space Force (USSF). For months in advance of, during, and after transfer, Ms. Wong skillfully coordinated with the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Department of Air Force, USSF, and the Washington Headquarters Services financial staff to ensure a smooth transfer in executing USSF appropriated funds in Fiscal Year 2023. Ms. Wong led her small team in ensuring that funds were available to reach significant milestones during the Continuing Resolution passed by Congress, avoiding work stoppage that would have made SDA unable to meet critical Tranche 0 and Tranche 1 capability delivery. Ms. Wong leveraged her comprehensive understanding of financial management and created open lines of communication to forge and execute unprecedented strategies enabling SDA to act as a constructive disruptor and deliver strategic advantage to the Warfighter.

Mr. David Sharp, United States Space ForceContracting
Mr. David Sharp, United States Space Force

As a Contracting Officer for the Space Development Agency (SDA), Mr. David Sharp significantly accelerated the “development of advanced technologies to deliver new capabilities to the Force” through his unwavering dedication to shortening the contracting timeline. He executed 95 contract actions involving 29 new awards, 19 negotiated modifications, and 47 administrative modifications. All told, these actions were valued at more than $1.96 billion and obligated over $1.70 billion. The key accomplishment for accelerating capability was the speed with which these awards were made. Mr. Sharp awarded two Tranche 1 Tracking Layer agreements, valued at a combined $1.3 billion, only 92 days after the solicitation was posted—68 percent faster than the Department of Defense average for contract awards and nine months faster than the industry average for awarding contracts. Mr. Sharp is the epitome of SDA’s motto, Semper Citius! bringing capability to the Warfighter always faster than the day before. Mr. Sharp led the procurement of risk reduction demonstrations needed to establish the National Defense Space Architecture. His forward-leaning thought leadership and acquisition expertise allowed SDA to accomplish the agility, price control, and speed essential to the agency’s exceptionally aggressive delivery timeline.

Mr. Paul S. Bascom, United States Air ForceETM (Engineering/Technical)
Mr. Paul S. Bascom, United States Air Force

Mr. Paul S. Bascom, B-21 Program Office, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Air Force Materiel Command, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, distinguished himself from July 1, 2022, through June 30, 2023. During this period, Mr. Bascom used every avenue of engineering skill to lead the charge in developing the propulsion system for the $80 billion-plus Acquisition Category (ACAT) I equivalent B-21 Raider strategic bomber program. He drove adoption of digital engineering techniques to solve developmental challenges and ensure that the propulsion system is ready to support B-21 production. Mr. Bascom enabled corrective modifications to be made three to five years ahead of schedule for the program’s number one technical risk versus discovery in flight test. Mr. Bascom also drove preparedness for flight test and sustainment by ensuring a 42 percent reduction in probability of missing flight test sorties and driving innovative analysis to reduce baseline depot rate by 50 percent. The distinctive accomplishments of Mr. Paul S. Bascom reflect great credit upon himself, the United States Air Force, and the Department of Defense.

Mr. Roberto Oteiza, United States Marine CorpsETM (Production/Sustainment)
Mr. Roberto Oteiza, United States Marine Corps

Mr. Roberto Oteiza displayed exceptional leadership and initiative in employing robust engineering practices for the Ground/Air Task Oriented Radar program while leveraging advanced manufacturing to improve system reliability and operational availability. His drive, determination, and subject matter expertise with advanced manufacturing have improved system design and concept-to-implementation 2 to 3 times quicker compared to conventional approaches. Mr. Oteiza’s efforts have resulted in a direct and immediate benefit to the program. Furthermore, his work ensured that a robust Production Quality and Manufacturing Process and updates to the program’s system acceptance criteria increased the efficiency of the sell-off process and improved the relationship between Ground/Air Task Oriented Radar, the Defense Contract Management Agency, and the original equipment manufacturer. His contributions ensured Ground/Air Task Oriented Radar will advance the Commandant’s Force Design 2030 initiatives to modernize resources (computer aided design, finite element analysis, additive manufacturing, cheaper and faster parts fabrication); conduct Marine Air/Ground Task Force command and control in an all-domain, joint battle mindset (keep systems operational); meet sea-based expeditionary force requirements (organic tactical and forward deployed fabrication); and improve systems’ operational availability (make parts faster).

Captain Nixie Mistri, United States Air ForceFlexibility in Contracting
Captain Nixie Mistri, United States Air Force

Captain Nixie Mistri is hereby awarded the Department of Defense Flexibility in Contracting Award for her outstanding leadership and execution of a business strategy to protect the government’s financial liability, improve mission persistence, and increase the likelihood of on-orbit success for a critical national security space program. Captain Mistri engaged the Program Team, mission partner, and Program Executive Officer to devise and implement an approach that doubled the number of space vehicles on contract from two to four, thereby providing funding stability for the mission partner and sufficient financial opportunity for the prime contractor. As a result of Captain Mistri’s exceptional business leadership and flexible approach in financially positioning the prime contractor to meet mission requirements, the National Reconnaissance Office will realize a successful, on-orbit technical performance objective two years earlier than planned. Captain Nixie Mistri’s distinctive accomplishments reflect the highest credit upon herself, the United States Air Force, the National Reconnaissance Office, and the Department of Defense. 

Captain Rebecca Cardinal, United States Air ForceInternational Security Cooperation
Captain Rebecca Cardinal, United States Air Force

Captain Rebecca Cardinal has distinguished herself as Program Manager, Advanced Capabilities Division reporting to the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force (Acquisition, Technology and Logistics), by spearheading the initiation of a $45 million Secretary of Defense priority combat capability. Captain Cardinal successfully led a 75-member team from joint services, as well as multiple countries and DoD organizations. And she singlehandedly developed and executed an acquisition plan to rapidly design, build, integrate, and test a never-before-seen combat capability. Captain Cardinal stood up a quick reaction capability to satisfy a direct task from the Secretary of Defense, going from idea to developing capabilities in less than 30 days. Additionally, Captain Cardinal completed an international flight test campaign within five months of project inception, validating the ability to engage adversary threats. Captain Rebecca Cardinal’s distinctive accomplishments resulted in delivery of combat capability within six months and reflect great credit upon herself, the United States Air Force, and the Department of Defense. 

Mr. Stephen H. Meyer, United States Air ForceLife Cycle Logistics
Mr. Stephen H. Meyer, United States Air Force

Mr. Stephen H. Meyer, B-21 Program Office, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Air Force Materiel Command, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, distinguished himself from July 1, 2022, through June 30, 2023. During this period, Mr. Meyer used his impressive repertoire of support development and sustainment execution skills to lead the Product Support Team in developing the integrated support package and respective interim supply and services contract for the over $80 billion Acquisition Category ID-equivalent B-21 Raider bomber program. Mr. Meyer implemented modern modeling and simulation tools to solve supportability design challenges. He leveraged these tools to ensure that the weapon system’s support plan would be effective and affordable over its 30-year life cycle. Mr. Meyer’s analysis and the resulting actions have prevented more than 7 percent downtime, returning more than 1.8 million flyable hours to Air Force Global Strike Command across the B-21’s operating life. Mr. Meyer drove the program’s preparedness for initial B-21 fielding by defining the integrated support package and developing a constrained but effective Interim Contractor Support contract to augment organic gaps at the point of fielding. The distinctive accomplishments of Mr. Stephen H. Meyer reflect great credit upon himself, the United States Air Force, and the Department of Defense.

Captain Seth Miller, Department of the NavyProgram Management
Captain Seth Miller, Department of the Navy

Captain Seth Miller is to be commended for his leadership, professionalism, and skillful direction of the U.S. Navy’s preeminent and most capable Surface Combatant Program and one of the longest running shipbuilding programs in Navy history. His tireless efforts and skillful direction led to the delivery of six DDG 51 class ships to the U.S. Navy, including the first Flight III Arleigh Burke Class Destroyer, the future USS Jack H. Lucas (DDG 125). Captain Miller’s oversight of the Fiscal Year 2023-2027 multiyear procurement competition has saved the Navy an estimated $1.9 billion while simultaneously providing stability and ongoing procurement of the Navy’s preeminent surface combatant. His efforts to further support and enhance the shipbuilding industrial base are driving down costs, improving schedule, and mitigating future risk across the surface and subsurface shipbuilding portfolio. 

Major Matthew Guertin, United States Air ForceRequirements Management
Major Matthew Guertin, United States Air Force

Major Matthew Guertin distinguished himself in the performance of outstanding service to the United States while assigned to the Directorate of Plans, Programs and Requirements, Headquarters Air Combat Command, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia. During this period, Major Guertin led all aspects of weapon system requirements, planning, and programming for a fleet of 185 F-22 aircraft, impacting $7.4 billion in Air Force investments over a five-year period. He developed and implemented the Commander, Air Combat Command guidance for F-22 technical and planning issues as he successfully interacted with Headquarters Air Force, Joint Staff, and the Office of the Secretary of Defense. As the Air Force’s F-22 subject matter expert, Major Guertin briefed the Secretary of the Air Force, the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, and supporting general staff on the state of air superiority in advocating for $1.4 billion in platform requirements and budget increases. As oversight to the F-22’s technology fielding, he facilitated multiple operational flight program releases and several classified program deliveries valued at $250 million while salvaging $100 million from a failing program to ensure timely delivery of combat capability. Major Guertin successfully championed and executed many comprehensive requirements totaling 30 documents and programs—more than the last 19 years of F-22 program history combined—including a single program valued at $4.8 billion aimed at securing U.S. air superiority throughout the decade. The singularly distinctive accomplishments of Major Matthew Guertin reflect great credit upon himself, the United States Air Force, and the Department of Defense.

Ms. Rhonda Link, Department of the NavyServices Acquisition
Ms. Rhonda Link, Department of the Navy

For the past 20 years, the Navy and Marine Corps have relied on Contract Air Services (CAS) to provide Air-to-Air Refueling (AAR) services with the use of contractor-owned tanker aircraft to supplement AAR services provided by the U.S. Air Force. Through her skillful management and leadership of the government and contractor teams, Ms. Rhonda Link has provided the Fleet Contract Air Services on Air to Air Refueling (CAS AAR) and has continued improving the availability and affordability thereof in support of the Navy and Marine Corps customers. The creative spirit, dedication to the Fleet and foreign customers, and hard work that Ms. Link provides to CAS AAR services contract cannot be overstated. Without the tanking services provided by this contract, major deployments and training exercises would be at risk, and the Fleet rendered much less able to fly and fight in support of Department of Defense tasking. The immense effort and dedication that Ms. Link has brought in management of this contract, the vendors, Fleet schedulers, and the entire team to ensure the Fleet gets the best support we can provide is nothing short of phenomenal.

Mr. Andrew Fuller, Department of the NavySmall Business
Mr. Andrew Fuller, Department of the Navy

As Mine Warfare Program Office (PMS 495) Technical Director, Mr. Andrew Fuller has continuously built partnerships with American small businesses. Mr. Fuller’s efforts are measurably advancing the U.S. Navy’s sea denial and sea control capabilities against our nation’s adversaries. His leadership and management of Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program funds have enabled small businesses to propose, develop, and integrate new mine countermeasures and maritime mining capabilities. PMS 495 SBIR awards that Mr. Fuller fostered in the past year included new subsea-sensor simulation technology and safer high-energy batteries that are poised to bring enhanced capability and significant cost savings to the U.S. Navy. Mr. Fuller’s personal attention to the success of PMS 495 small business partners and selfless sharing of more than 30 years of mine warfare professional understanding and relationships have enabled these businesses to grow, excel in innovation, and expand their products and services across the Department of Defense. Mr. Andrew Fuller’s distinctive accomplishments reflect great credit upon himself, the Department of the Navy, and the Department of Defense.

Major James D. Evans, United States Air Force

Major James Evans was unable to attend the event. Captain Rebecca Cardinal accepted the award on his behalf.
Software Development
Major James D. Evans, United States Air Force

Major James D. Evans distinguished himself as Program Manager, Space Command and Control Branch, Department of the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office, Joint Base-Anacostia Bolling, Washington, District of Columbia. Major Evans expertly led a 205-member team executing a $550 million classified, Chief of Space Operations-directed development program to streamline space command and control. Major Evans and his team delivered Battle Management and Command and Control for the United States Space Command’s top priority. He personally directed four enterprise tests that closed more than 196 objectives in partnership with 22 different organizations over a 40-day period. Additionally, Major Evans automated satellite contacting for more than 20 different antennae in under six weeks. His team redesigned the entire software suite to make the $30 billion space enterprise over 25 times more efficient. Finally, Major Evans led the rehearsals for multiple launch events for a revolutionary on-orbit experiment. He built a 24/7 response plan in the event of crisis, which led to a “go for launch” decision by senior leaders. The distinctive accomplishments of Major James Evans reflect credit upon himself, the United States Air Force, and the Department of Defense.

Major Gordon Broadbent, United States Air ForceSoftware Management
Major Gordon Broadbent, United States Air Force

Major Gordon Broadbent distinguished himself by leading the execution of software for a $7.4 billion Acquisition Category ACAT I-equivalent Deputy Secretary of Defense priority acquisition program including software manpower; system integration laboratories; and software development, integration, and test activities. Major Broadbent led 110 government, civilian, and contractor members in synchronizing all software activities across three locations and eight integrated product teams. In the last year, Major Broadbent concurrently led the prime contractor through a $2 billion contract restructure, bringing realism and executability to the software schedule that resulted in three consecutive, on-time software deliveries over the last eight months for the first time on the program. Major Broadbent grew the prime contractor’s software sprint teams by 30 people during a six-month period, and he restructured the government program office software team for efficiency and insight. He integrated two sister services into one geographic location to streamline communication and drive a common approach to software development. The distinctive accomplishments of Major Gordon Broadbent reflect great credit upon himself, the Department of the Air Force, and the Department of Defense.

Ms. Sarah Naiva, Department of the NavyTest And Evaluation
Ms. Sarah Naiva, Department of the Navy

Ms. Sarah Naiva distinguished herself as the Chief Developmental Tester and Lead Test Engineer for the CH-53K helicopter Integrated Test Team. Ms. Naiva adeptly identified collaborative Integrated Test opportunities with Operational Test units to reduce demand on test aircraft resources and compress the remaining flight test schedule. She concurrently engaged with requirements stakeholders to analyze data gathered in the CH-53K System Development and Demonstration (SDD) effort and eliminate redundancies, while preserving critical test events that drove delivered capability to the Fleet. Her cross-disciplined technical expertise facilitated the planning and safe evaluation of air vehicle envelope expansion, mission systems integration, cybersecurity evaluations, and numerous technical discoveries. As test budgets became constrained, she aligned Marine Headquarters requirements owners and key acquisition stakeholders to prioritize remaining SDD capabilities and identify those that needed to be transferred to Follow-on Operational Test and Evaluation (FOT&E). Her forward thinking and Fleet focus ensured that delivery of critical capabilities will continue prior to the CH-53K maiden deployment through a combination of remaining SDD scope and planned FOT&E. Ms. Naiva’s rearrangement of test priorities saved an estimated $205 million in costs to the SDD program and postured the CH-53K Integrated Test Team to support the program’s full-rate production decision and the Heavy Lift community through FOT&E and the aircraft’s deployment phase.


Team Award Winners

ArmyIgnitED, Program Executive Office Enterprise Information Systems, United States ArmySoftware Innovation
ArmyIgnitED, Program Executive Office Enterprise Information Systems, United States Army

Innovating a “Federated Agile Approach” for the ArmyIgnitED program, this team created a new way to accelerate important education assistance capabilities for its soldiers, cadets, and civilians. The Army established a collaborative and unprecedented partnership, adopting and adapting the Air Force Academic Education Management System (AFAEMS) government off-the-shelf solution. Through this joint effort, the Army reduced costs and delays by adapting an existing capability through business process reengineering and hosted the new programs within the AFAEMS cloud-based security boundary. They leveraged their established authority to operate and gained infrastructure efficiencies while applying Agile methods and continuous collaboration with the functional stakeholders, solution provider, and program office. In addition, the team employed innovative methods to import and process data efficiently. ArmyIgnitED is innovating software acquisition through Federated Agile Acquisitions.

Flexibility in Contracting  Advanced Combat Systems/Multi-Domain Command, Control, and Communications (C3)  Contracting Team, United States Air Force The Advanced Combat Systems/Multi-Domain C3 Contracting Team distinguished themselves in support of the Department of the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office, from July 1, 2022, to June 30, 2023. During this period, they led a $19 billion Special Access Program (SAP) acquisition portfolio by awarding more than 300 contracting actions valued at more than $5 billion, with an average award time of 23 days from proposal receipt, at a cost savings of $1.2 billion. The team also managed a $1.2 billion Information Technology portfolio responsible for supporting over 40 networks providing data movement to more than 500 personnel across four geographically separated units. The team also was instrumental in leading a $1 billion contracting action supporting the Secretary of the Air Force’s Operation Imperative-6, “Defining the B-21 Long Range Strike Family of Systems,” cutting acquisition time by 30 percent. Finally, the team leveraged Other Transaction Authorities, and their innovative contracting approach enabled deployment of a cloud-based network at 18 different sites in seven different states, which was effectively linked to a $10 billion space acquisition program. The distinctive accomplishments of the Talon/Tempo team reflect great credit upon the team, the Department of the Air Force, and the Department of Defense. Flexibility in Contracting 
Advanced Combat Systems/Multi-Domain Command, Control, and Communications (C3) Contracting Team, United States Air Force

The Advanced Combat Systems/Multi-Domain C3 Contracting Team distinguished themselves in support of the Department of the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office, from July 1, 2022, to June 30, 2023. During this period, they led a $19 billion Special Access Program (SAP) acquisition portfolio by awarding more than 300 contracting actions valued at more than $5 billion, with an average award time of 23 days from proposal receipt, at a cost savings of $1.2 billion. The team also managed a $1.2 billion Information Technology portfolio responsible for supporting over 40 networks providing data movement to more than 500 personnel across four geographically separated units. The team also was instrumental in leading a $1 billion contracting action supporting the Secretary of the Air Force’s Operation Imperative-6, “Defining the B-21 Long Range Strike Family of Systems,” cutting acquisition time by 30 percent. Finally, the team leveraged Other Transaction Authorities, and their innovative contracting approach enabled deployment of a cloud-based network at 18 different sites in seven different states, which was effectively linked to a $10 billion space acquisition program. The distinctive accomplishments of the Talon/Tempo team reflect great credit upon the team, the Department of the Air Force, and the Department of Defense. 

Contracts Operations Directorate, 4th Estate, Missile Defense Agency (MDA)Workforce Development Innovation—Large Organization
Contracts Operations Directorate, 4th Estate, Missile Defense Agency (MDA)

The MDA Contract Operations team has done an outstanding job of equipping the acquisition workforce with training, development, and tools in various areas such as policy, compliance, contract management, source selection, E-business systems, and pricing. The team eliminated redundant and inefficient policies, leading to an increase in overall efficiency; provided for focused advisory services and training, which have increased the source selection and pricing expertise of the workforce; and implemented automated solutions that are facilitating on-demand availability of acquisition and contracting reports and reducing manual tasks. The distinctive accomplishments of the Contracts Operations Directorate, 4th Estate, reflect great credit upon the team, the Missile Defense Agency, and the Department of Defense.

Program Executive Office SHIPS/PMS 400D, Department of the NavyWorkforce Development Innovation—Small Organization
Program Executive Office SHIPS/PMS 400D, Department of the Navy

The Workforce Development Innovation Award is presented to the Arleigh Burke Class Destroyer (DDG 51) New Construction Shipbuilding Program (PMS 400D) for innovative efforts in workforce growth, development, and retention. The team’s work resulted in a creatively developed and executed plan to change the culture of PMS 400D while significantly increasing job satisfaction and improving organizational morale amid staffing shortfalls and despite increased demand for critical projects. The program’s leadership overhauled a complicated and elongated hiring process, reducing hiring time by 70 percent and more than doubling the size of the organization in less than two years. Leadership established a “people first” culture that emphasized professional development opportunities, employee engagement, and connection to organizational mission and vision. Improved satisfaction surveys show that these efforts succeeded. These efforts were instrumental in enabling the Aegis shipbuilding community to continue delivering combat power to the Fleet and overseeing the largest Flight upgrade in program history. Their innovation, professionalism, and tireless dedication to duty reflect great credit upon all Program Executive Office SHIPS/PMS 400D team members and uphold the highest traditions of the United States Navy and the Department of Defense. 

Armed Overwatch Program Team, United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM)David Packard Excellence in Acquisition Award 
Armed Overwatch Program Team, United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM)

The Armed Overwatch Program Team relentlessly innovated to answer the top acquisition need of the USSOCOM and the Air Force Special Operations Command for a rugged and reliable aircraft platform. Requirements included cost-effective close air-support, precision strike, and armed intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance in support of disaggregated Special Operations ground forces in austere environments. The team leveraged Other Transaction Authorities and the Middle Tier of Acquisition pathway to conduct a three-phased acquisition approach with multiple competitive down-select opportunities, consisting of white paper evaluations, vendor site visits, and rapid prototyping and demonstration. The team’s bold and tenacious acquisition strategy achieved live-flight demonstrations of production-ready materiel solutions within six months of a signed Capability Development Document. This allowed USSOCOM to issue a competitive production solicitation just nine months after formal validation of the requirement. After a rapid and rigorous source selection process, the team culminated its work with an award of a landmark $3 billion contract to procure and field an entirely Special Operations-unique fleet of combat aircraft.

Program Executive Officer (PEO), Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives, United States ArmyProgram Executive Officer (PEO), Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives, United States Army

The PEO for Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives (ACWA) recognized numerous safety, programmatic, and technical challenges that created significant risks to meeting critical deadlines set by U.S. obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and U.S. Public Law for destruction of the remaining U.S. chemical weapons stockpile. As the program made progress toward the final weapons destruction campaign, the ACWA program team provided leadership and demonstrated the acquisition management and technical skills to implement measures that reduced schedule risk while maintaining worker safety and enabled the United States to complete the destruction of the remaining chemical weapons stockpile by the CWC commitment deadline.

Space Development Agency, United States Space ForceSpace Development Agency, United States Space Force

The Space Development Agency (SDA) accomplished its mission to reduce schedule and cost to orbit, enabling the Department of Defense to meet the National Defense Strategy goal of employing an integrated deterrence approach that draws on enhanced space-based capabilities and integration of space domains for the entire Joint Force. The SDA employed innovative acquisition approaches to execute from order to orbit in less than 30 months. The team broadened access for new entrants to space using open competition for each tranche solicitation, expanded partnerships with new performers, and increased competition. The SDA team awarded two Tranche 1 Tracking Layer agreements, valued at a combined $1.3 billion, only 92 days after the solicitation was posted, a timeline 68 percent faster than the average Department of Defense contract award. The team successfully completed, launched, and deployed the first 10 satellites of Tranche 0 of its Proliferated Warfighter Space Architecture approximately 30 months from award to launch, far faster than the average DoD time to launch.

F-15EX Joint Force Interoperable Fighter Jet, United States Air ForceF-15EX Joint Force Interoperable Fighter Jet, United States Air Force

The F-15EX team members distinguished themselves by breaking acquisition barriers and becoming the first Department of Defense program team to transition from a Rapid Field program, continuing the critical pursuit of filling an Air Force fighter fleet gap in capability due to divestment and lack of availability. The team leveraged an integrated test program, ensuring that the F-15EX was mission-ready with next-generation technologies providing improved survivability across a broad spectrum of environments and complementary capabilities to enable a more balanced force structure countering current and emerging threats for decades. After participating in Northern Edge and hitting 100 percent of scheduled sorties, F-15EX remains on track for initial operational readiness, providing a modernized and optimized platform to maintain air superiority now and into the future.

Defense Acquisition Workplace Awards 2024 group photo


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