Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Atlantic Commanding Officer Capt. Scott D. Heller led an Information Day in Norfolk, Virginia, to engage with industry and explain the many small business opportunities across the command’s geographic locations, which include the headquarters in Charleston, South Carolina, and field locations in Norfolk; New Orleans, Louisiana; National Capital Region; Tampa, Florida; and Europe. (Slide 6)
With him, Capt. Heller brought Jacqueline L. Goff, Business Portfolio Manager for Navy and Federal Support, who outlined key command projects (Goff slide 2); Steve Harnig, Contracts Competency Lead with Kelly Cannady, who explained contracting improvements and resources; and Robin Rourk, Deputy Director for Small Business Programs, Office of Small Business Programs, who provided a small business update.
The event, Naval IT/Cyber Discussion and SPAWAR Systems Center Atlantic (SSC LANT) Industry Day, held May 11, was co-sponsored by the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA) Hampton Roads and the Tidewater Association of Service Contractors (TASC).
Rear Adm. Matthew J. Kohler, Commander of Navy Information Forces, kicked-off the discussion with a brief that outlined the lines of effort that NAVIFOR is executing in keeping with the Navy’s Design for Maintaining Maritime Superiority. The admiral summarized several high priority efforts in NAVIFOR’s man, train and equip role as information warfare type commander, including accelerating training for Sailors operating complex IT systems onboard ships, the critical mission of supporting afloat forces with a full-time IT professional in strike groups and task forces, and the stand-up of the first Navy Information Warfare Development Center, which will be initially collocated with NAVIFOR in Suffolk, Virginia. Initial operating capability (IOC) is slated in 2017 for the center.
Small Business Opportunities Abound
In his brief, Capt. Heller said his goal is to make business development easier and to reduce internal and external friction with the contracts office to encourage small business participation. He invited small business leaders to point out any points of friction within the contracting process.
Capt. Heller explained that significant resources are being redirected to the contracting office to expedite a backlog of contract actions. “Our aim is to make the contracting process predictive and responsive.”
Explaining SSC Atlantic’s mission, Heller said, “We deliver information warfare capabilities.” This includes cyber encryption, cyber surveillance, cybersecurity, satellite systems, undersea surveillance equipment, remote sensors, tactical and business IT capabilities.
The captain said he sets aside time to meet with small business owners who have innovative ideas that can meet warfighter demands, but he also cautioned that cybersecurity is a command priority.
“We advise [developers] to bake in IA (information assurance) at the beginning of capability development because if you wait to bolt it on at the end, it’s a train wreck,” Heller said. “You will see better performance and reduce risk.”
For guidance, the command follows the SPAWARSYSCOM Strategic Plan and the Navy’s Design for Maintaining Maritime Superiority, and promotes the SPAWAR Strategic Vision 2015-2022, Heller said.
Heller explained the projects supported for the command’s core customers: the Program Executive Office for Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence (PEO C4I), PEO Enterprise Information Systems (PEO EIS), and Marine Corps Systems Command (MARCORSYSCOM). (Slide 11)
Technical growth areas include cyber warfare, big data technologies, assured communications, cloud computing, enterprise resource tools, collaboration, autonomy, embedded systems and mobility, Heller said.
A critical goal of the command is to accelerate and streamline warfighter capabilities for less cost, Heller said. A vital part of this goal is an efficient contracts strategy, he said.
First and foremost, SSC Atlantic is an engineering command aggressively supporting 975 customer projects with a workforce that is about 4,100 strong, providing technical leadership and engineering excellence, Heller said. (Slide 7)
Discussing SSC Atlantic’s scope of work, Heller said that the command’s total obligation authority in fiscal year 2015 was $3.26 billion spanning projects in seven time zones that included a 34 percent participation rate by small business. (Slide 4)
Capt. Heller discussed the command’s thrust areas and greatest efforts, including Computer Network Defense (CND) in a Tactical Environment and Navy Tactical Cloud Software Development, and he urged small business innovation in these areas. (Slide 12)
Citing America’s eroding technical advantage over near-peer competitors, Heller said, “We want to be able to scale C4I capabilities better and faster.”
SSC Atlantic Contract Strategy
Steve Harnig explained the improvements the contracts office made as a result of a recent inspection from the Procurement Performance Management Assessment Program (PPMAP), which is a review of Department of the Navy contracting organizations. He said the improvements in contracts decisional documentation have exceeded PPMAP requirements.
Mr. Harnig then explained several of his initiatives, including improving the professionalism of the acquisition workforce and reducing contracting cost and risk.
Two FY16 focus areas are to reduce the time to award and increase the timeliness of awards, Harnig explained. He said 80 percent of the contracts backlog has been cleared. Staffing will be increased by 20 employees, and although the command is meeting all small business goals, the aim is to optimize competition for small business.
Small Business Resources
SPAWAR Small Business: http://www.public.navy.mil/spawar/Pages/SmallBusiness.aspx
SPAWAR Contract Directorate Office: https://e-commerce.sscno.nmci.navy.mil
Defense Innovation Marketplace: http://www.defenseinnovationmarketplace.mil/business.html
Defense Cybersecurity Requirements (Fact Sheet on “What Small Businesses Need to Know”): http://www.acq.osd.mil/osbp/docs/Cybersecurity_04272016.pdf
Woman Owned Small Business (WOSB) and Economically Disadvantaged (EDWOSB) Competitive Set Asides: http://www.sba.gov/wosb
SSC Atlantic Resources For Industry Partners: http://www.public.navy.mil/spawar/Atlantic/Pages/ForIndustry.aspx
Employment opportunities: http://www.USAJOBS.gov