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<i>US Department</i><i>of Defense</i>
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  • 2020 | CommerceBasix Contact Us 0

US Departmentof Defense

DoD has recognized that much of the technology needed to meet the capabilities identified by DoD is being developed in the commercial sector. And as noted by many senior defense officials, the speed of commercial innovation could give the US military a competitive advantage on the battlefield, if that innovation can be integrated with on-going defense development activities.

DoD recognized that technology developed from start to finish for military use and only by defense suppliers is often costly, inefficient and has often prevented the military from taking advantage of commercial products and services that leveraged private-sector research and development.

To address this DoD split its purchases into three categories: 1) products that were available in the commercial market, 2) commercial products that would need to be customized and 3) defense-unique products that would serve only the military.

Beginning in 2001, CBX developed and applied a process which did exactly that. Its CSAC (Commercial Search Assess Contact) process identified products that were available in the commercial market, commercial products that would need to be customized and defense-unique products that would serve only the military.

Commercial Search Assess Contact (CSAC)

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The CSAC process was built on: CommerceBasix's knowledge of:
  • DoD 5000.02
  • Interaction between capability Requirements Process and the Acquisition Process
  • Hardware Intensive Program
  • Incrementally Deployed Software Intensive Program
  • The “Color of Money”
  • PB&E – impact of Continuing Resolutions (CRs)
Its experience and expertise in the commercial sector in technology development and deployment of communication, data and supporting technologies in the commercial sector working with VC backed startups to national and multinational international corporations with revenues of $24B+ national and multinational corporations who’s product lines encompassed hardware, software and services.

US Army Secretariat

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Client: Dr. Francis Harvey, SecArmy

Organization: Office of the Secretary of the Army

Program: Affordable Soldier Radio Feasibility Study; predecessor to the Rifleman Radio project

Role: Study team
CBX was tasked to determine the feasibility of developing a COTS-centric soldier radio for use by non-cleared uniformed service members in areas of operation. The target price for this radio was $1,000.

CBX assembled a commercial team from outside the organic supply chain including firms located in the US, UK, Sweden, Italy, and India. This team based its design on a TRADOC-approved use case and modeling of the systems as performed by a Swedish firm that modeled use cases for NATO.

The key silicon components were based on a design provided by Texas Instruments in Dallas and the design expertise for this dual band radio was provided by an Indian firm that at the time designed 80% of all cellular handsets.

The resulting bill of materials was $277, yielding a fully burdened cost of $1,000.

This study demonstrated that a COTS-centric approach could save the Army nearly $18 billion in procurement costs over the life of the program. This research project stimulated seven other projects to reproduce the findings and the result was the fielding of what is now known as the Rifleman Radio.

Client: Dr. Myra S. Gray

FCS Futures Command

Program: The Application of Commercial QOS Technology to the FCS Network

Role: Market Research Team

CBX was tasked to evaluate the commercial QoS technology then being developed and implemented in 3G networks and emerging WiMax networks to determine how they might be employed within the FCS network. Of particular interest was QoS prioritization, for instance, giving the highest priority to a "call for fires."

Mr. Bill Sverapa

PEO C3T

Commercial Market Research of Technology Required for Wireless Network After Next (WNAN) Project

Role: Market Research Team

LTG Ross Thompson, MILDEP, ASAALT

ASAALT

Rare Earth Mineral Availability Study

Role: Market Research Team

The MILDEP to ASAALT requested CBX to evaluate the use of titanium in armored vehicles. Of specific concern was the location of supply for titanium. The market research identified two risks:

  1. The largest source of titanium is China
  2. The US lacks sufficient reserves to continue use of titanium if a conflict with China were to ensue
Though this study was completed in 2008, the supply gap remains. China produces 100,000 metric tons of titanium, Russia produces 50,000 metric tons, and Japan is the third largest producer. The US does not have sufficient domestic mining capability or reserves to risk large scale use of titanium in weapons systems.

US Army Materiel Command

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GEN Paul Kern

Army Materiel Command

An Assessment of the Challenges Associated with Technology Transition

Role: Research Team

GEN Kern had identified that many of the Army's research projects (early TRL levels) were not able to successfully transition from the labs into the PEO organization of the Secretariat. CBX was chartered with studying this problem and recommending Courses of Action. One outcome of the study was the formation of RDECOM, a predecessor to the Army's Future Command.

GEN Paul Kern

Army Materiel Command

Evaluation of OCONUS Centers of Technology Innovation

Role: Research Team

CBX was tasked with evaluating AMC's OCONUS Centers of Technology Innovation and the risk these presented to the US Army, specifically those technologies developed in China. This evaluation led to further search and assessment of technology being developed in the US and in friendly countries.

US Army Research and Development Command (RDECOM)

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Carol Fitzgerald, TPM

NSRDEC

Advisors to the Chairpersons of the Source Selection Advisory Board

Role: Management consultants

CommerceBasix was retained as the first ever private contractors to advise NSRDEC's Source Selection Advisory Board on the Army's largest to date S&T program: the $160M Future Force Warrior program.

In this capacity, CBX provided private sector-based source selection guidance in a manner that conformed to Federal Acquisition regulations but was also based on due diligence practices common in the private sector (specifically private equity acquisitions and divestitures).

The impact of CBX's contribution earned the firm a Letter of Commendation from NSRDEC's then chief executive, Mr. Philip Brandler.

Carol Fitzgerald, TPM

NSRDEC

OFW Technology Search and Assessment

Role: Management consultants

CommerceBasix was retained to provide commercial technology search and assessment as a means of identifying potential commercial suppliers that could satisfy the program's technology functional objectives and potentially be available for a Section 845 OTA contract.

Carol Fitzgerald, TPM

NSRDEC

Eagle Program Management Audit

Role: Management consultants

During its role as advisors to the Source Selection Advisory Board chairpersons, CBX identified as a material risk the fact that one of the competitors for the contract was an entrepreneurial firm with a key man, who had no replacement.

Six weeks after the contract was awarded to this firm, the CEO and founder of the winning firm suffered a stroke. His replacement was a much younger and less experienced executive who subsequently suffered a nervous breakdown under the pressure of the program's performance. He was hospitalized as a result of the breakdown.

CBX was retained to work with the firm's owner, a large prime contractor, to first audit the internal program management capabilities of the firm and then identify the human resources that would be required to restore effective leadership to the organization.

Carol Fitzgerald, TPM

NSRDEC

FFW Collabortive Work System

Role: Management consultants

One of the challenges that the FFW government team faced was managing the communications not only within the government organization but with the 150+ contractors that comprised the winning LTI (Large Technology Integrator).

CBX was tasked with identifying a technology solution to the communications problem, writing a statement of work, managing the process of obtaining bids to develop the solution, managing the execution of the project, and then managing its roll out. The winning solution was based on SharePoint and in functionality anticipated what can now be obtained in Microsoft Teams.

Matt Correa, Project Manager

NSRDEC

Body PAN for Dismounted Soldier Communications

Role: Technology Search and Assessment Team

One of the key problems facing the dismounted soldier is networking the many electronic devices that are part of his/her weapons, computing, and communications systems. Early attempts to connect these disparate devices with wires proved flawed because the wires would a) disconnect b) become tangled in underbrush c) inhibit soldier movement.

An alternative to this was to implement a body personal area network (PAN) that would connect these systems. This approach had many strengths but one of the weaknesses were concerns raised by NSA regarding RF emissions. The operating belief was that ANY RF emission created a signature that the OPFOR could employ to their advantage.

CBX teamed with a former NSA signals officer and through research and testing identified several commercial technologies that had a signal signature that was very close to the noise floor AND were difficult to detect.

Nonetheless, the NSA raised objections to this approach and that drove an important information policy debate and decision within the Secretariat. It was decided that certain classes of information, particularly at the squad level, could be protected with commercial grade encryption technology (thus obviating the need for a security clearance to use the device) end not present an operational risk to the squad, platoon, or other friendly force operations.

Andrea Taylor, Project Manager

NSRDEC

Capabilities Requirements Visualization Database

Role: Technology Developer

Prior to the organization of the Army Futures Command, Army requirements were developed exclusively by the Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC). These Capability Requirements, numbering over 2,000, were and are the basis for investments in Army S&T.

These CR's are overlapping and every year are reprioritized based on what Army leadership deems most important. But for the Army's S&T community, the CR's are vital because every S&T program must support the achievement of one or more CR's. The result of this process is a dizzying matrix of funded programs with overlapping charters, duplication of effort, and in some cases repeatedly poor outcomes that do not contribute to the needed innovation.

CBX was chartered to design a visual database system that could trace EVERY CR, to every program (or programs), including funding source, color of money, program outcomes, and transitions. This enabled Army leadership to manage the investment of funds in a more capable manner.

Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA)

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Col. Will Marshall (ret)

Defense Threat Reduction Agency

Research into the use of commercial LiDAR technology as a means of developing 3D models for use by DoD forces in protecting HVT structures and venues

Role: Market Research Research Team

DTRA was developing 3D virtual models of high value targets (HVTs) that could be targeted by domestic or foreign terrorists. These models are designed to assist US and allied forces in planning a ground force response to a terrorist team seizing control of an HVT.

The then current method of constructing these 3D models was to obtain legacy 2D architectural renderings, use software to construct a 3D model, and then seek to update the model with structural changes that had been made in the past several decades. The work was both time consuming and tedious.

CBX investigated the use of ground-based and airborne commercial LiDAR systems, which when paired with a high resolution digital photography system, could quickly produce high fidelity 3D models of both the interior and exterior of the HVTs. CBX researched potential domestic and friendly nation LiDAR firms, obtained the necessary technical and financial information regarding the use of the tools, and prepared COAs for DTRA's modeling team.

Army Science Board (ASB)

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Dr. Francis Harvey

ASB Communications Committee

Participate in the ASB communications committee to research, evaluate, and prepare reports for the SecArmy

Role: Committee member

The SecArmy, Dr. Francis Harvey, requested that Mark Goode join the Army Science Board and work on the communications committee. CBX's work in demonstrating the viability of a COTS-centric low cost solder radio persuaded Dr. Harvey that this approach could benefit other communications programs in which the Army was involved.

Mr. Goode served on the committee from 2005-2007.