Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey –
PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. -- The commanding general of U.S. Army Contracting Command (ACC), came here for a town hall meeting and to get a hands-on feel for their work and to acknowledge how their performance during the pandemic helped warfighters.
“I’m most definitely a people person,” said Brig. Gen. Christine Beeler. “I wanted to come see and meet the folks who are making it happen every day.”
Part of ACC’s mission is to ensure that Soldiers have what they need to be successful, from food and clothing, to bullets and bombs. The command enables Army readiness through contracting solutions in support of the Army.
Employing roughly 320 personnel, ACC-New Jersey -- which has offices here and at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst (JBMDL)-- plans, directs, controls, manages and executes the full spectrum of contracting, acquisition support and business advisory services in support of major weapons, armaments, ammunition systems, information technology and enterprise systems for the Army and other Department of Defense customers. It supports all phases of the acquisition life cycle, including research and development, low rate initial production and full rate production.
Especially at the Picatinny offices of ACC-NJ, employees provide expert contracting support to the Army's "ammunition enterprise" by integrating the people, organizations, infrastructures and processes necessary for the effective life cycle management of conventional munitions for the joint warfighter.
In fiscal year 2021, despite a global pandemic, ACC-NJ personnel awarded 616 contract actions that equated to $1.39B in support of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (DEVCOM) Armaments Center at Picatinny Arsenal alone. Throughout the same fiscal year, 59 action items totaling $1.64M were processed through the Government Purchase Card Program in support of the Armaments Center.
“Army Contracting Command is a small, but mighty force,” Beeler said to the ACC-NJ workforce during a town hall meeting upon her arrival at Picatinny. “There hasn’t been a crisis or conflict in my time that we haven’t somehow been involved in. COVID without a doubt, highlights how effective and efficient the Department of Defense’s contracting apparatus is.”
Here at the Armament Center, The work that goes into weapon design, ammunition, and protective systems that save Soldier lives and enable us to be more effective on the battlefield, and then how we tie that whole chain together to get product and service to a Soldier, is truly important.”
During her visit, Beeler received briefings on some of the Army’s emerging technologies and was able to see up close and personal what engineers are doing as a result of the contracting actions that ACC-NJ put into place.
Several of the demonstrations that Beeler witnessed were part of the Army’s modernization priorities. Examples include the precision sniper rifle, which supports the Soldier Lethality priority; Extended Range Cannon Artillery, XM1299 and XM1155 integration, which supports the Long Range Precision Fires priority, and an Armament and Protection System XM915 Fire Control Aviation (advanced rotorcraft demo), which supports the Future Vertical Lift priority.
“Every time I get a chance to go out and fire (new weapon systems) and see how we improved technology, reduce the weight, improve the effectiveness of something, I think back as a captain, ‘Will this help make my Soldier more effective when fixing or using them?’” Beeler said.
“What excites me is that if I am able to effectively use the weapon upon first use, then those who are skilled and trained to use them will be absolutely phenomenal with that particular system,” the general continued. “We will continue to be the most effective fighting force.”
While at Picatinny, Beeler also presented awards to several ACC-NJ employees and met with key leaders such as John F. Hedderich III, Director, DEVCOM Armament Center, Chris Grassano, Deputy Joint Program Executive Officer for JPEO Armaments and Ammunition, and Col. Scott Madore, Deputy Project Manager, Project Manager Soldier Lethality.
During her visit to NJ, Beeler also visited the JBMDL Campus, meeting with ACC-NJ employees and Col. John Brierton, Army Support Activity Fort Dix Commander and JBMDL Deputy Commander.