News>Theater Battle Control Division Industry Day highlights new contract approach, MCS first delivery order
Don MacMillan (from left) and Air Force 1st Lts. Aaron Zadalis and Matt Cignoli, discuss the future installaltion of the Mobile Communications Sytem onto an M1145 Humvee at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., July 16, 2014. The Tactical Air Control Party-Modernization program office at Hanscom is responsible for integrating the communication system onto the TACP-specific Humvee. The MCS will allow joint terminal attack controllers to control close-air support aircraft from the safety of an armored vehicle. (U.S. Air Force photo/Linda LaBonte Britt)
Following a Theater Battle Control Division Industry Day, Don MacMillan (left) and Air Force 1st Lts. Aaron Zadalis (center) and Matt Cignoli inspect an M1145 Humvee at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., July 16, 2014. The M1145 will house a new Mobile Communication System for tactical air control party Airmen. The system will allow TACPs to control close-air support aircraft from the safety of an armored vehicle by utilizing multi-channel/multi-band radios, full motion video receiver and a computer. (U.S. Air Force photo/Linda LaBonte Britt)
by Justin Oakes
66th Air Base Group Public Affairs
7/24/2014 - HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. -- The Theater Battle Control Division hosted an Industry Day event at Hanscom July 8-10 where officials discussed a unique contract approach and fostered collaboration with the small business community.
The first topic centered on the Platform Engineering and Integration for Tactical and Strategic Systems, also known as PEITSS -- a multi-award indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract designed to integrate and field cross-cutting battle management capabilities in programs across the directorate.
"What this means is that a network of multi-award ID/IQs will be established, creating an arena where programs can use the contracts to quickly put in place a team -- including small and large businesses -- that can effectively accomplish goals together," said Col. Scott Owens, Theater Battle Control Division senior materiel leader.
With a high emphasis on small business participation, more than 180 people from over 75 companies attended the event, allowing for open feedback on the PEITSS initiative.
"Attendees left with a clear picture of how we plan to do business," said Don MacMillan, PEITSS program manager. "This type of contract approach will be our procurement vehicle to rapidly deploy capability to the warfighter."
Another topic of conversation included the group's first delivery order of the Mobile Communication Systems, or MCS.
MCS is the next generation of on-the-move voice and data technology, which will be integrated onto mobile tactical vehicles. The system will allow joint terminal attack controllers to control close-air support aircraft from the safety of an armored vehicle while coordinating and conducting joint CAS missions when on-the-move in support of Army ground force maneuver operations.
The new system will include state-of-the-art, off-the-shelf commercial components such as multi-channel/multi-band radios, a full motion video receiver, a computer and display - all of which will be integrated on the M1145 Humvee.
That Humvee, which is the TACP specific variant, was on display during the event. Currently, these vehicles house the GRC-206 communication system; however, as part of the first delivery order, MCS will be replacing the legacy system.
Not only were industry attendees able to view, take pictures and measure the model, but they also had the opportunity to speak with an in-house TACP member about critical egress requirements and specific TACP tactics, techniques and procedures.
"We're relying on industry's innovativeness and ingenuity to meet our capability gaps and requirements so that we can execute our mission more effectively than ever before," said Master Sgt. Jeff Kennedy, TACP-M program superintendent.
As the Industry Day event concluded, it left attendees and program officials with a clear vision of what's to come.
"We're extremely pleased at the level of dialogue and feedback this week," said Robert Bubello, Battlespace Communications Branch chief and TACP-M program manager. "My team did a tremendous amount of work leading up to this point, and we are excited for the final request for proposal to be released in the near future. The expertise and capabilities these companies bring to the fight are truly going to be a game changer for our TACP Airmen."