The Contracting Experience
About this podcast
The Contracting Experience connects government contracting professionals to the world around them through conversations with acquisition influencers, insights into evolving hot topics, and by sharing lessons learned from the field.
About this podcast
The Contracting Experience connects government contracting professionals to the world around them through conversations with acquisition influencers, insights into evolving hot topics, and by sharing lessons learned from the field.
The Contracting Experience
The Contracting Experience - Episode 26: Richard Delisio, Procurement Technical Assistance Center Specialist
This episode of The Contracting Experience podcast features Ohio Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) Specialist Rich Delisio. There are 94 PTACs, with over 300 local offices, that form a nationwide network of dedicated procurement professionals working to help local businesses compete successfully in the government marketplace. PTACs are the bridge between buyer and supplier, bringing to bear their knowledge of both government contracting and the capabilities of contractors to maximize fast, reliable service to our government with better quality and at lower costs. Rich talks about how PTACs can assist acquisition professionals and shares examples where PTACs have helped their clients reach successful outcomes. Acronyms PTAC – Procurement Technical Assistance Center Links www.aptac-us.org Contact the guest; Rich Delisio Procurement Technical Assistance Center Specialist firstname.lastname@example.org
The Contracting Experience - Episode 25: AFWERX Director – Dr. Brian “Beam” Maue
AFWERX was established in 2017 by the Secretary of the Air Force to be a catalyst for agile Air Force engagement across industry, academia, and non-traditional contributors to create transformative opportunities and foster an Air Force culture of innovation. On this episode, we welcome AFWERX Director, Dr. Brian “Beam” Maue to the podcast to talk about the AFWERX mission and how the organization interacts with its stakeholders. Maue discusses how AFWERX thinks about Agile Contracting and describes the culture of the AFWERX organization, how its people work, and how that has enabled AFWERX’s success in the last two plus years. The ultimate aim of AFWERX is to solve problems and enhance the effectiveness of the Air Force. Acronyms AFA - Air Force Association’s Air Warfare Symposium MDO – Multi-Domain Operations JADC2 – Joint All Domain Command and Control LCMC – Life Cycle Management Center SBIR – Small Business Innovation Research STTR – Small Business Technology Transfer Links AFWERX Homepage: https://www.afwerx.af.mil/ AFWERX Newsletters: https://www.afwerx.af.mil/stories/afwerx-newsletters.html AFWERX Challenges: afwerxchallenge.com If you would like to share feedback on the podcast, please submit via email@example.com.
The Contracting Experience - Episode 24: Spark Tank Finalists
Spark Tank is an annual competition put on by AFWERX where Airmen "pitch" innovative ideas to top Air Force leadership and a panel of industry experts. This episode we sit-down with six of the Airmen who pitched their ideas at the Air Force Association’s Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando, FL, in February 2020. These Airmen are solving Air Force problems using solutions like: robotic process automation, portable magnetic aircraft covers, C-17 loading aids, low cost threat emitter replicators, weapons loading smart checklists, and battery cell extraction tools. Check out the conversation with these innovators and visit the links in the show notes which include an article with details and videos of each of the Airmen’s ideas. Understanding the problems our Airmen face provides us with better insight as to the most appropriate acquisition solution and strategy will meet warfighter needs. This is directly in-line with leadership’s expectations to be Mission Focused Business Leaders. If you are an Air Force Military or Civilian with an innovative idea, check out AFWERX’s Ideation Platform site in the show notes to share your idea and find avenues for support and funding. Acronyms AOR – Area of Responsibility Links AFWERX Public Affairs article with Spark Tank Finalist videos: https://www.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2053169/air-force-announces-spark-tank-2020-selectees/ AFWERX Ideation Platform Site: https://www.afwerx.af.mil/ideation.html If you would like to share feedback on the podcast, please submit via firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Contracting Experience - Episode 23: Civilian Developmental Education
This episode of the podcast highlights the training and development opportunities open to civilian employees through the Civilian Developmental Education and Civilian Strategic Leader Programs. Applications opened Jan. 13, 2020 and close for boarded programs on Feb. 7 and non-boarded programs Feb. 28. This episode identifies things to consider when applying for CDE or leadership training regardless of when you choose to apply. The first part of the episode features Heidi Bullock, Air Force Materiel Command Contracting Director. Bullock discusses what she looks for in a CDE applicant, how CDE and leadership training can help grow a participant’s career in the Air Force, and some considerations for applicants who may not have been selected for a program in the past. The second part of the episode features four Air Force acquisition professionals: Casey Kopecky, Susan Winn, Robin Harrah, and Stephanie Sanchez. They talk about their experiences in applying for and participating in CDE and leadership training. All four are advocates for professional development and eager to share their experiences. Acronyms CDE – Civilian Developmental Education CSLP – Civilian Strategic Leader Program If you would like to share feedback on the podcast, please submit via email@example.com.
The Contracting Experience - Episode 22: AFLCMC Pitch Day - Ryan Helbach and Brett Wray
This episode of The Contracting Experience podcast is about the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center Pitch Days. We speak with Air Force Research Laboratory’s Small Business Intrapreneur, Ryan Helbach, and LCMC Pitch Day Contracting Officer for the Fighters & Bombers Program Executive Office, Brett Wray. Ryan and Brett discuss what it takes to put on a Pitch Day and the value Pitch Days provide to the Air Force. They also talk to the new perspective government and industry participants have gained by participating in the process. Acronyms: AFLCMC – Air Force Life Cycle Management Center ISR SOF – Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance and Special Operations Forces If you would like to share feedback on the podcast, please submit via firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Contracting Experience - Episode 21: More on Industrial Security - Joyce Pappas
On this episode of The Contracting Experience we welcome back previous guest to the podcast, Joyce Pappas, who is an Industrial Security Program Manager at the Information Protection office, Air Force Materiel Command Headquarters. This episode will look at Industrial Security from a small business and Defense Contractor point of view. Check out Episode 6 to get refreshed on this important subject on the “Industrial Security Explained” episode. Enjoy! Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency (DCSA): https://www.dcsa.mil/ Center for Development of Security Excellence (CDSE): https://www.cdse.edu/ Acronyms: DoD – Department of Defense NISP – National Industrial Security Program FSO – Facility Security Officer If you would like to share feedback on the podcast, please submit via email@example.com.
The Contracting Experience Podcast - Episode 20: Air Force Installation Contracting Center – Brig. Gen. Alice Trevino
This episode features Air Force Installation Contracting Center Commander, Brig. Gen. Alice Trevino. Trevino talks about AFICC’s mission and how she encourages her teams to be “Change Agents”. She is an active promoter of continuous learning and development of the acquisition workforce and emphasizes the importance of communication at all levels. Trevino is a gracious supporter of the podcast and shares her vision on critical thinking, failing and learning fast, and empowering the workforce. Acronyms: AFICC – Air Force Installation Contracting Center AFIMSC – Air Force Installation Mission Support Center AFMC – Air Force Materiel Command AFDW – Air Force District of Washington WOATS – Worldwide Operational Acquisition Training Summit AFLCMC – Air Force Life Cycle Management Center CONS – Contracting Squadron JB MDL – Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst
The Contracting Experience - Episode 19: JB MDL Commercial Solutions Opening
In this next episode, we are going to try something a little different. MSG Mic’d Up is a podcast hosted by 87th Contracting Squadron Commander Lt. Col. Axel Clark. The podcast offers on-demand interviews and stories from around the 87th Mission Support Group at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, NJ. Hear from leadership across the joint base and get up to date on the latest MSG 2020+ initiatives. Lt. Col. Clark recorded an episode for The Contracting Experience to feature the base’s latest innovation initiative. In Spring 2019, the 87th Contracting Squadron at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst took on Air Force Leadership’s innovation challenge to “Think Big, Start Small, and Scale Fast” by hosting the first-ever base-level Pitch Day event using a Commercial Solutions Opening. In this next episode, 87th Contracting Squadron Commander Clark leads a discussion with the Contracting Officer and Contract Specialist that executed the effort, Tech. Sgt. Dustin Golden and Maggie Falkner. Clark and his team’s enthusiastic conversation about trying something different and working with non-traditional vendors to get commercial solutions to the warfighter is fun to listen to. They are candid in sharing their lessons learned and are eager to see how other teams put their own spin on the CSO process. Acronyms JB MDL – Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst NJIT – New Jersey Institute of Technology SBIR – Small Business Innovation Research BAA – Broad Agency Announcement CSO – Commercial Solutions Opening O&M – Operations & Maintenance Funds PTAC – Procurement Technical Assistance Center MOU – Memorandum of Understanding AFRL – Air Force Research Laboratory Links ARTICLE: Innovation challenge accepted! JB MDL hosts first-ever base level Pitch Day event https://www.jbmdl.jb.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/1898557/innovation-challenge-accepted-jb-mdl-hosts-first-ever-base-level-pitch-day-event/ ARTICLE: Joint Base MDL Pitch Day Delivers Results! https://www.jbmdl.jb.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/1976527/joint-base-mdl-pitch-day-delivers-results/ Questions for 87 CONS on the CSO: 87CONS.CSO.Team@us.af.mil
The Contracting Experience - Episode 18: Startup Innovation Fellowship Part 2 --Turning Tables
This episode is Part II on podcast host Amber Pecoraro’s Startup Innovation Fellowship experience. Maj. Gen. Cameron Holt, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Contracting, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, takes the mic and interviews Amber on her fellowship experience. The Startup Innovation Fellowship program is run by the National Security Innovation Network and provides military and civilian employees with 4-15 years of experience an opportunity to embed with a startup company for 6 weeks. Amber was matched with startup Decisive Point in Washington D.C., which works with other startup companies to help them get emerging technologies into the government space. Her focus area was to better understand the challenges startups face in doing business with the government. This conversation focuses on those challenges and opportunities to address them. Amber also encourages the workforce to have more experiential interactions with industry. Acronyms: PCO – Procurement Contracting Officer AFRL – Air Force Research Laboratory AFLCMC – Air Force Life Cycle Management Center EWI – Education with Industry Links: 1. AFWERX Panel Discussion: https://youtu.be/Yv0x3dwxxxA 2. Defense Entrepreneurs Forum: https://defenseentrepreneurs.org/ 3. Procurement Technical Assistance Program: https://www.dla.mil/SmallBusiness/PTAP/ 4. DoD Small Business Programs: https://business.defense.gov/ 5. Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer: https://www.sbir.gov/sbirsearch/topic/current 6. Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) Solicitations: https://www.diu.mil/work-with-us/companies/cso-solution-brief 7. Federal Business Opportunities: https://www.fbo.gov/ If you would like to share feedback on the podcast, please submit via firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Contracting Experience - Episode 17: Startup Innovation Fellowship with Eric Horan, Decisive Point Co-founder
The next two episodes of the podcast will focus on the Startup Innovation Fellowship program that podcast host, Amber Pecoraro, completed in June. The Startup Innovation Fellowship program is run by National Security Innovation Network and provides military and civilian employees with 4-15 years of experience an opportunity to embed with a startup company to explore a command issue for six weeks. Amber was matched with the startup company, Decisive Point, in Washington D.C. which works with other startup companies to help them get emerging technologies into the government space. Her focus area was to better understand the challenges startups face in doing business with the government. This first conversation is with Decisive Point Co-founder Eric Horan, a former Navy Contracting Officer. He provides an interesting viewpoint on how we can better collaborate with startup companies to solve national security problems. Keep an eye out for Part 2 on Amber’s Startup Innovation Fellowship experience in the next episode where Maj. Gen. Cameron Holt, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Contracting, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, will be turning the tables and interviewing Amber on her fellowship experience. Acronyms: AI – Artificial Intelligence ML – Machine Learning CEO – Chief Executive Officer PR – Purchase Request DEF – Defense Entrepreneurs Forum National Security Innovation Network: https://www.nsin.us/ Decisive Point: http://decisivepoint.co/ Future Air Force Pitch Days: https://www.afsbirsttr.af.mil/AF-Pitch-Day/How-to-submit/ Defense Entrepreneurs Forum: https://defenseentrepreneurs.org/ FedTech: https://www.fedtech.io/ If you would like to share feedback on the podcast, please submit via email@example.com.
The Contracting Experience - Episode 16: Jacob Kolb and Dustin Tatum on C-17 Training Systems Fair Opportunity Selection
This episode features a team that changed the way training systems and support were being competed in the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s Simulators Program Office. Program Manager Jacob Kolb and Contracting Officer Dustin Tatum led the C-17 Training Systems acquisition team in its use of Federal Acquisition Regulation 16.5 Fair Opportunity Selection procedures for a program valued over $900 million. They discuss how they tailored their selection criteria for a best value decision and how they also cut down the acquisition timeline significantly by documenting that the team may do interchanges with one, some, none or all offers. They stress the importance of following your process, communicating with stakeholders, and of course – having fun! Acronyms: FMS – Foreign Military Sales ASP – Acquisition Strategy Panel KC-135 BOSS – Boom Operator Simulator System TSA III – Training Systems Acquisition MAC – Multiple Award Contract IDIQ – Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity AFMC – Air Force Materiel Command EN – Evaluation Notice IN – Interchange PWS – Performance Work Statement SOW – Statement of Work AFLCMC – Air Force Life Cycle Management Center I/ITSEC – Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference ACE – Acquisition Center of Excellence Air Force Materiel Command Guiding Principles for Fair Opportunity Selection: https://www.dau.mil/cop/ace/_layouts/15/WopiFrame.aspx?sourcedoc=/cop/ace/DAU%20Sponsored%20Documents/Fair%20Opportunity%20Guiding%20Principles%20AFMC%20v2.6%20Final.docx&action=default&DefaultItemOpen=1 If you would like to share feedback on the podcast, please submit via firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Contracting Experience - Episode 15: Defense Contract Management Agency
Ever wonder who those professionals are that get to crawl around planes and productions lines to inspect government supplies and services to check quality and ensure adequate performance? Don’t forget the cost and financial analysts that ensure tax payer dollars are spent correctly on products and services that support our missions. Well in this episode you get a big picture view of what Defense Contract Management Agency does to support the Department of Defense from DCMA’s Commander of the West Regional Command, Col. David Learned. Enjoy the episode and make sure your check out the “What DCMA Does” video in the show notes to hear more about what DCMA does from the folks doing the job and the warfighters who use the products and services administered by the Defense Contract Management Agency. Acronyms: FAR – Federal Acquisition Regulation DFARS – Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement CMO – Contract Management Office PMO – Program Management Office What DCMA Does: https://www.dcma.mil/News/Videos/videoid/480264/nav/Default/ DCMA by the numbers fiscal year 2018: https://www.dcma.mil/Portals/31/Documents/InsightMag/DCMA-By-the-Numbers_FY18.pdf?ver=2019-03-12-142023-397 If you would like to share feedback on the podcast, please submit via email@example.com.
The Contracting Experience - Episode 14: Services Acquisitions - Nancy Andrews
Services Acquisitions make up approximately 50% of the Air Force expenditures. A significant amount of that spend is for specialized services outside of the Weapon System Program Offices that are overseen by the Program Executive Office Combat and Mission Support. These services range from support of test operations, design and engineering, and technical data to support of facility services of our bases and emergency services to forward deployed locations. Nancy Andrews is the Program Executive Officer of Combat and Mission Support and is also the Senior Services Manager for Services. In this episode, she talks about some of the biggest challenges in Services Acquisition and what goals and initiatives her team has to tackle those challenges. She also gives perspective as a former contracting professional working in a program manager role. If you would like to share feedback on the podcast, please submit via firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Contracting Experience - Episode 13: Air Force Pitch Day and Beyond - Dr. Will Roper
Speed Chess. In this episode, Dr. Will Roper, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, challenges the workforce to make good decisions faster. He highlights how contracting professionals are shifting the pace in which we buy capabilities through events like Air Force Pitch Day, use of Section 804 authorities, and agile software development. Dr. Roper emphasizes the importance of bolstering commercial start-ups and shines a light on the creativity and innovation being done in Air Force Sustainment. Enjoy this episode and heed Dr. Roper's call for acquisition professionals to help him solve some of the biggest problems facing the Air Force's competitive edge. For more information on Air Force Pitch Day: https://www.afsbirsttr.af.mil/AF-Pitch-Day/ If you would like to share feedback on the podcast, please submit via email@example.com.
The Contracting Experience - Episode 12: Supply Chain Risk Management
SCRM stands for Supply Chain Risk Management. Supply chain risk is not just part of another government acronym. It is a critical risk that needs to be managed as part of our national security. In this episode, we sit-down with Trixie Brewer who is the Mission Readiness Supervisor in Air Force Materiel Command’s Logistics Directorate. Trixie provides candid insight into the integral part we as acquisition professionals play in the important job of managing supply chain risk. If you’re thinking about skipping over this episode, don’t. The information inside is priceless and will make you rethink acquisition processes. Acronyms: IP – Information Protection R&D – Research and Development AFMC – Air Force Materiel Command AFMC/CV – Deputy Commander, Air Force Materiel Command A4 – Installations, Logistics, and Force Protection DoD – Department of Defense DOTMLPF – Doctrine, Organization, Training, Materiel, Leadership and Education, Personnel, and Facilities PK – Contracting FM – Financial Management A1 – Personnel OSI – Office of Special Investigations AFRL – Air Force Research Laboratory OEM – Original Equipment Manufacturer CFIUS – Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States POTUS – President of the United States DMS – Diminishing Manufacturing Sources DID – Data Item Description CDRL – Contract Data Requirements List Subs – Subcontractors AFIMSC – Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center To learn more about recent SCRM efforts, check out: https://www.afmc.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/1700969/afmc-capability-roadmap-key-to-evolutionary-supply-chain-risk-management/ If you would like to share feedback on the podcast, please submit via firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Contracting Experience - Episode 11: Kessel Run - Tory Cuff
Kessel Run is the Software Capability Development Division within the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center's Program Executive Office - Digital, with a mission to “continuously deliver war-winning software our Airmen love.” On this episode we speak with Tory Cuff, former Agile Acquisitions Branch Chief at Kessel Run. Cuff discusses how Kessel Run is different than other program offices in the Air Force. She goes into detail about the types of challenges the team has faced in doing things differently and how industry has responded to working in a non-traditional Department of Defense environment. This episode is not just for teams that acquire information technology. Cuff talks about lessons learned at Kessel Run and how other acquisition teams can apply those concepts to their organizations. Acronyms in this episode: GEOINT – geospatial intelligence DEVOPS – development and operations OT – Other Transaction DoD – Department of Defense AFMC – Air Force Materiel Command Learn more about Kessel run through a video put out by Airman Magazine (https://vimeo.com/296877646) and another article and video from Defense Acquisition University (https://www.dau.mil/training/career-development/program-management/blog/PE-Kessel-Run-Smuggling-Innovation-into-the-DoD). If you would like to share feedback on the podcast, please submit via email@example.com.
The Contracting Experience - Episode 10: Air Force Contracting Roundtable
This episode broke a record for the number of guests on The Contracting Experience podcast at one time! We sit-down with Air Force Contracting’s top leaders to discuss their outlook on Maj. Gen. Holt’s Contracting Flight Plan and provide additional insight into how the four "Lines Of Effort" will be executed. We also have a little fun talking craziest acquisitions and what our Air Force leaders wish they would have known when they started out in contracting. The Air Force leaders featured in this episode are as follows: Maj. Gen. Cameron Holt – Deputy Assistant Secretary for Contracting, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics Scott Kiser – Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary of Contracting for headquarters U.S. Air Force Tom Robinson – Air Force Life Cycle Management Center Director of Contracts Heidi Bullock – Air Force Materiel Command Director of Contracts Renee Richardson – Representing Brig Gen Ali Trevino as Air Force Installation Contracting Agency Commander David Block – Space and Missile Systems Center Director of Contracting (Acting) Col. Tom Ficklin – Rapid Capabilities Office Director of Contracting (Acting) Chief Master Sgt. Larry Conger – Chief, Enlisted Policy for SAF/AQC Keep an eye out for the Air Force Contracting Flight Plan when it is released to the workforce! If you would like to share feedback on the podcast, please submit via firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Contracting Experience - Episode 9: Questions from the Field - Maj Gen Cameron Holt (Part 2)
This episode features a continued conversation with Maj. Gen. Cameron Holt, with a focus on questions from the Air Force contracting workforce. Holt candidly addresses questions on retention of the workforce, CON-IT and information technology instability, contracting officer authorities, use of the Government Purchase Card and bringing Air Force business professionals up to the level of industry in utilizing software. Enjoy his direct and honest approach to addressing issues that impact the contracting workforce every day. And if you missed it, go back and check out Episode 7 to hear the first part of our discussion with the Air Force contracting leader. If you would like to share feedback on the podcast, please submit via email@example.com.
The Contracting Experience - Episode 8: Mission Focused Business Leaders - Maj. Gen. Cameron Holt (Part 1)
This episode is for all of those acquisition professionals out there who are interested in the new direction of Air Force Contracting. We talk with Maj. Gen. Cameron Holt, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Contracting, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics. Holt discusses the importance of being a critical thinker and not accepting the status quo. His focus is on “The Why” of what we do, not just “contracting for contracting sake.” This leads to discussion on mission-focused business leaders and the introduction of Holt’s “Air Force Contracting Flight Plan.” Enjoy his straightforward point of view and fresh perspective on what mission-focused business leaders can do to change the acquisition game. Summary of the National Defense Strategy of the United States of America: https://dod.defense.gov/Portals/1/Documents/pubs/2018-National-Defense-Strategy-Summary.pdf To share feedback on the podcast, please submit via firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Contracting Experience - Episode 7: What Business Intelligence Can do for You - Pete Herrmann
Pete Herrmann is a program manager for the Air Force Installation Contracting Agency Business Intelligence Competency Cell. He explains what business intelligence is and how acquisition teams can use it to effectively manage costs. If you haven’t heard about tools like the Air Force Business Intelligence Tool, Procurement IQ Research Reports or the Product Service Code (PSC) prediction tool, check out this episode. Pete explains how these valuable resources can provide actionable business intelligence for acquisition teams and the Air Force. For more information on the tools discussed in this episode, check out the following sites: --AFBIT Lite: https://public.tableau.com/profile/afbit#!/ --Procurement IQ Reports: http://client.procurementiq.com/processlogin.aspx?u=ecGA9Dgmi0gKf3D%2b0bKp9NWtZxiX3cH0uX5NuJQbKkU%3d&p=xhPLKG%2fpZ0G%2fGKEdjWOklg%3d%3d If you would like to share feedback on the podcast, please submit via email@example.com.