U.S. Special Operations Command's Special Operations Forces Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Center continues to be recognized as one of the best AT&L organizations in the Department of Defense. Recently, five people and one team from SOF AT&L were recognized for workplace achievement and workforce development by DOD.
The 2016 Defense Acquisition Workplace Individual Achievement and Workforce Development Awards were presented to the members of SOF AT&L because of strategies and practices they developed to bring the best equipment, in the shortest amount of time, to the warfighter.
The awards were presented in a ceremony at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia and was attended by some of the Pentagon's top leadership to include Frank Kendall the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics and Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work.
The SOF AT&L Center was recognized for its efforts in workforce development and the Rapid Response Light Tactical Vehicle Team was recognized for top performance. One military member and four civilians were also awarded with individual acquisition honors.
"It's an honor to accept this award on behalf of the entire team of SOF technologists, logisticians and acquirers," said James F. Geurts, USSOCOM's acquisition executive. "They work tirelessly each and every day to provide our SOF warriors with the very best, most effective technology to do their job."
The Defense Acquisition Workplace Individual Achievement awards are presented annually recognizing individuals and organizations within the Department of Defense who distinguish themselves in the field of acquisitions for professionalism, excellence and best practices. Awardees are selected based on their achievements and contributions to their organizational missions.
The SOF AT&L Center was recognized for its workforce development, being honored for its commitment to the career-long development of the SOF AT&L staff though talent management and leader development and their efforts to improve the qualifications and professionalism of its workforce. The Award also acknowledged SOF AT&L's exceptional success in finding innovative ways to mentor and develop staff members and attract high-caliber individuals for civil service careers.
"We have made heavy investments in developing our people and seeking out the very best to join our team here at SOF AT&L." Geurts said. "It's important to make these investments because we understand that it is the operators we support that will reap the returns on those investments."
SOF AT&L was also among some the biggest individual and team award winners this year as it worked to provide the research, development, acquisition, procurement and logistics needed to support the thousands of operators and enablers across USSOCOM. Individual standouts from SOF AT&L include Andrew Yee, Special Programs Branch chief, J-8 Requirements Division, who was acknowledged for his achievements in the requirements management category, U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Bernie Beigh, the former Manned Intelligence, Reconnaissance, and Surveillance and Non-Standard Aviation Systems Division chief, acknowledged for achievement in the acquisition in an expeditionary environment category, Christopher Harrington, Office of Small Business Programs director, recognized for achievement in the small business category, Robert Hurd, Jr., assistant program manager for Command Control, Communications and Computers, honored for achievement in program management and Ashley Farrier, a SOF AT&L contracting officer, was acknowledged for her work in services acquisition.
Hurd said he was honored to be awarded, but commented that the award was not about individual achievement, rather a recognition of the cumulative efforts of the many people throughout SOF AT&L.
"It was an honor that makes you reflect on the many people behind this achievement," Hurd said. "Although an honor, the real reward comes in fielding effective kit to the SOF operators around the world," he continued.
The Acquisition Rapid Response Light Tactical Vehicle Team was also one of 2016's standouts, receiving the David Packard Excellence in Acquisition Award. The award is given to teams that exhibit exemplary innovation and acquisition best practices. The ARRLTV Team was recognized for its success with acquiring, testing, and rapidly fielding a light tactical all-terrain vehicle capable of supporting the various needs of special operations forces across the globe.
The vehicle helps reduce the physical burden on operators inserted into
denied areas to negotiate long distances over rough terrain. Much of the AARLTV
Team’s success was due to the team members dynamic talents and the SOF AT&L
senior leadership’s willingness to break with conventional approaches and take
calculated risks to get things done according to U.S. Army Col. John Reim who
heads the SOF Family of Vehicles Program and helped see the project through from inception to completion.
"From the Commander of USSOCOM, through the acquisition executive, program executive officer and program manager, the team felt empowered to make decisions," said Reim. "The ARRLTV consisted of a talented and dynamic group of people that accomplished some amazing work in supporting the SOF warfighter. Without such a great team of professionals, often thinking outside the box when faced with a new challenge, this award would never have happened."
Geurts said he is honored to have his team of innovators, logisticians, acquirers, and supporting operators recognized for their hard work and he is looking forward to the coming year's challenges. He said SOF AT&L will stay focused on working closely with government, academia, and industry to innovate and refine its processes to support USSOCOM's special operations forces.