Beginning in June, the Army Space and Missile Defense Command Technical Center implemented a significant reorganization to enhance their core competencies and improve organizational effectiveness and efficiency.
The reorganization was necessary to align the Technical Center to take full advantage of Science and Technology Reinvention Laboratory authorities. These authorities allow direct investment in laboratory facilities and workforce development.
“This will have a tremendous impact for our engineers and scientists because it allows them to intensify their focus on in-house research,” said Thomas E. Webber, Technical Center director. “By investing in new labs and equipment, we are enabling our government engineers and scientists to develop and enhance their knowledge and expertise in our core competencies of space, directed energy, hypersonic, and test and evaluation. We are giving our engineers and scientists the facilities, equipment, resourcing, and freedom to develop next-generation technologies for our warfighters.”
Webber said the reorganization will reap great benefits for the Technical Center and command, but it will also provide the perfect setting to develop and grow technical talent for the Army.
“These efforts will allow us to innovate and transform the future Army, through revolutionary research, development, test, and evaluation,” Webber said. “To keep the Army at the forefront of cutting-edge technology, we must develop and retain the absolute best and brightest people. By creating the environment for hands-on, interesting and exciting work, we enhance esprit de corps and ensure we retain a talented workforce.”
Webber said that despite the challenges the pandemic created his team continues to do great things for the Army.
“I could not be more proud of the Tech Center people and of what they do every day,” he said. “We have some top-notch talent and I cannot wait to see what they do when we finish out our laboratories and return to some normalcy.”
As part of the reorganization, the Systems Engineering Directorate was established and given the mission to manage and execute the systems engineering effort, bringing systems engineering disciplines into all Technical Center activities. The directorate executes the functions of chief engineer, mission assurance, cybersecurity and risk management framework. They are also responsible for developing Systems Integration Laboratories, which will provide virtual and distributed environments supporting integration and demonstration of weapon systems in space, integrated air and missile defense, directed energy, hypersonic and related technologies.
“Implementing systems engineering disciplines ensures sound engineering principles are applied during the early stages of technology development and testing,” said Jeannie L. Sommer, director, Systems Engineering Directorate. “Our methodical approach will increase efficiency, reduce risk and provide a greater level of confidence in capability transitioning to the warfighter.”
The Program Integration and Assurance Division was established in the Systems Engineering Directorate and given the mission to ensure the appropriate level of technical rigor and systems engineering principles are applied to the Technical Center science and technology laboratories and developments. The division became responsible for managing technology transfer, intellectual property, data rights, patents, science and technology metrics, cooperative agreements and educational partnerships for the Technical Center, among other duties.
“Instilling technical rigor and system engineering principles will ensure the science and technology developments within the Tech Center are postured to provide increased capability to the warfighter in a timely, cost-efficient manner,” said Kristopher “Kris” K. Graviet, division chief, Program Integration and Assurance Division. “The Tech Center reorganization has been well received across the directorates. Developing a culture of technical rigor and system engineering principles is a large undertaking, and I am very proud and appreciative of the team’s efforts. The Tech Center is a highly skilled organization, and we look forward to enhancing the science and technology development process.”
In December, Lyle Langston was assigned as the Program Integration and Assurance Division’s lead cybersecurity analyst. In this position, he will be the Technical Center’s information security system manager, responsible for managing all cybersecurity and risk management framework efforts.
Langston and his team ensure systems within the Technical Center have incorporated cyber survivability within the design phase, to include older and newer cyber processes.
“The SED cyber team is completely new, comprising smaller teams focused on specific systems,” Langston said. “Each separate team has been doing great things for their share of systems, but by coming together as one team, there is a tremendous amount of potential for knowledge sharing and troubleshooting. We can take best practices from each team and establish uniform processes to create efficiencies.
“From our perspective, the reorganization has only been positive,” he added. “We have been able to start gathering a significant amount of data for use in current cyber strategies and authorizations, as well as proactively plan for our next phase of implementation. Our approach is to develop processes based on defined threats, metrics and measures in addition to existing policies for cyber.”