ESC people and programs making a real difference

  • Published
  • By Lt. Gen. Ted Bowlds
  • Electronic Systems Center commander
I have just returned from the Central Command Area of Responsibility, where I had the opportunity to see firsthand the important capabilities Electronic Systems Center's programs provide our Warfighters, and to hear how much they appreciate what we are doing.

Your laser-focus on our mission and our vision of "War-winning information systems... on time, on cost!" has made a real difference to our forces serving in harm's way. Sometimes, it is hard to envision the impact of what we do here at Hanscom every day, but I can assure you, what we do at ESC is important and appreciated by our forces around the world.

There is a lot of change going on right now. We are restructuring our acquisition wings, creating new Program Executive Officer positions, transitioning from NSPS and hiring new civilians. Throughout this period of change, however, Team ESC has always kept its eye on the ball.

Let me cite just a few examples of recent successes we have achieved together:

- Delivery of the second Battlefield Airborne Communication Node (BACN) aircraft to theater on March 28, nine months after contract award and 25 days ahead of schedule. The BACN capability is in direct response to a validated joint urgent operational need and deputy secretary of defense direction.

- Completion of the Joint Environmental Toolkit (JET) Increment I fielding, considered the user's number one priority. The Air Force director of Weather was impressed, and the system is now active at 180 worldwide sites. Our ESC team met a seemingly impossible 13-month schedule, powering through incredible roadblocks, including the Honduras coup, while changing Air Force and Army communication policy on the way.

- The ESC-managed Integrated Strategic Planning and Analysis Network (ISPAN) increment 2 program became the first DoD program to receive undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics authorization for tailoring DoD Directive 5000.02 to achieve imperatives of the 2010 National Defense Authorization Act.

- Our Acquisition Center of Excellence expertise was sought out by the Defense Information System Agency (DISA) senior executive in support of several significant source selections. We developed and taught a day-long session on Risk Management and Risk-based Source Selection, which received great reviews and was lauded by DISA's Procurement director

- During the recent Spring Program Review/Investment Budget Review, ESC team members briefed staff from the undersecretary of the Air Force for Acquisition and the Air Force Comptroller's Office on major programs and issues within the ESC portfolio. They identified approximately $225 million in excess or early-to-need funds for redistribution to other Air Force programs, and the review received accolades for thoroughness and content.

- Re-established a Chief Architect Office, enabling more knowledgeable trades and investment decisions and better alignment with the Air Force Enterprise Architecture, especially at product centers. This enables stronger internal reviews, more rigorous configuration management and engineering baselines. It also improves enterprise-level integration and is a key part of improved systems engineering and acquisition.

- A U.S. Central Command 0-5 lauded ESC for doing a "Great job" delivering the Kyrgyzstan Airspace Management Study to CENTCOM March 17.

- We revised the ESC Contract Review Guide, referenced by the Air Force and other governmental agencies as the definitive contract review resource.

- The center released the Defense Enterprise Accounting and Management System (DEAMS) Increment 1 Beta Version to more than 300 subject matter experts for end-user training, familiarization and risk reduction. This is critical to our "train the trainer" concept, which will allow us to reach a May 2010 "go-live" date.

- ESC and Hanscom provided ceremonial support for Honor Flight New England sponsored by Home Box Office and American Airlines. The effort recognized 40 World War II Veterans and received local and national, television, radio, newspaper and internet coverage

- We demonstrated a counter-bomber system that can provide full suicide bomb detection at stand-off ranges, keeping our Airman and military service members safe from Personnel-Borne improvised explosive devices.

- Our Civil Engineering team and others worked tirelessly to ensure building 1604 will be ready for occupancy to support the ESC mission in time for the PEO reorganization.

Clearly in these demanding times, you continue to deliver the capabilities on which our warfighters rely daily to plan, execute and assess missions across the globe. Thank you for your professionalism, unwavering focus on ESC's critical mission, and adherence to our Air Force core values. Keep up the outstanding work!