Guard Ebola response team trains at Volk Field

Two hand-selected teams of Wisconsin National Guard Soldiers and Airmen trained at Volk Field, Wisconsin, Oct. 30-Nov. 2 to respond in the event of an Ebola Virus Disease outbreak in the state.

The teams, known as Joint Healthcare Assistance Teams, could augment hospitals and medical professionals if the virus were to surface in Wisconsin. The National Guard will train and prepare a third JHAT Dec. 10.

Made up of Wisconsin Army and Air National Guard nurses, physicians’ assistants, doctors and medical liaison personnel, the teams trained at the state’s Regional Emergency All-Climate Training Center at Volk Field, where officials from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services validated their training. The partnerships between the National Guard and other state agencies have been crucial to preparing the teams.

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Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel To Step Down

US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel resigned Monday, leaving unclear who will lead the Pentagon over the final two years of the Obama administration.

Hagel submitted his letter of resignation to President Obama on Monday morning but vowed to stay in the job until the Senate confirms his replacement, an official said. It was not immediately known who the nominee would be.

Obama and Hagel made the “mutual decision” that now was the time for this to happen, an official said.

Obama thanked Hagel for his service in a ceremony at the White House on Monday morning.

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DoD Shifts Acquisition, Tech Efforts Toward Major Powers

WASHINGTON — After spending 13 years fighting non-state actors in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria, the US Defense Department is shifting its institutional weight toward developing a new acquisition and technology development strategy that focuses more on major state competitors, the Pentagon’s No. 2 told Defense News on Nov. 21.

Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work said that at the top of the agenda are powers like China and Russia, both of whom have “regional and global aspirations, so that’s going to increasingly take a lot of our attention.”

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Big changes may be awaiting GSA’s schedules program

The Federal Supply Schedules — the government’s large catalog of contracts that generates tens of billions of dollars worth of federal purchases — appears likely to see major revisions in the months ahead.

The General Services Administration, which manages the schedules, is reviewing whether the current supply schedules program still makes sense in an era of when most agencies make purchases via bulk-purchasing contracts such as blanket purchase agreements and strategic sourcing programs.

“Everything should be on the table with schedules,” GSA Administrator Dan Tangherlini said at a conference earlier this month.

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Oshkosh Defense L-ATV Achieves Key Milestone in JLTV Program Testing

OSHKOSH, Wis. (Nov. 19, 2014) Oshkosh Defense, LLC, an Oshkosh Corporation (NYSE: OSK) company, announced today that its Light Combat Tactical All-Terrain Vehicle (L-ATV) successfully completed Limited User Testing (LUT) with the U.S. Army and Marine Corps for the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) contract.
The completed LUT focused on the JLTV system capabilities, functions, operations and interfaces in a range of simulated tactical environments. It also covered operator and crew level preventive maintenance for the entire JLTV system, ensuring operators could proficiently and safely operate the JLTV during test and evaluation. The Army user testing was conducted in September and October. Three of the tests were held as 96-hour cycles meant to simulate operational missions, and one of the tests incorporated a live fire demonstration. The Marines similarly completed two test cycles in October and November, including one with a live fire demonstration.

Hagel Announces New Defense Innovation, Reform Efforts

WASHINGTON, Nov. 15, 2014 – In a keynote speech tonight at the 2014 Reagan National Defense Forum, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced a plan to harness the brightest minds and cutting-edge technology to change the way the Department of Defense innovates and operates.

On the second day of a five-day trip nationwide to see some of the critical training the force receives to maintain readiness, Hagel addressed members of Congress, DoD officials, military leaders, and members of the defense industry during the annual forum held in Simi Valley, California.

Along with the new innovation initiative, the secretary also announced a project to reform the defense enterprise, preparing it to deal with dwindling budgets in an uncertain future.


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Milwaukee Firms To Graduate Emerging Leaders Initiative

Milwaukee, WI –CEOs of eleven small firms have completed SBA’s 26-week intensive “streetwise MBA” Emerging Leaders course.  Taught by the director of UWM’s Executive MBA program, Gene Wright, the course culminates in each business owner completing a growth plan. Past participants have used the course to springboard to higher employment and greater revenues. Natalie Bell, owner of Aladdin Engineering & Manufacturing, Inc. will be the class speaker. Graduates include:

Maretes Hein, COR Improvements LLC, Glendale

Natalie Bell, Aladdin Engineering & Manufacturing, Inc. and Aladco, LLC, Waukesha

Adonica Randall, Abaxent LLC, Pewaukee

Guillermo Montoto Garza, Magic Maintenance, Milwaukee

Hussein Badani, Avantti Design Group, Milwaukee

Tommy Grabowski, Vita Physical Therapy & Fitness, Milwaukee

Charles Carter, Clean Tec, Milwaukee

Lesa Bunce, Management Decisions Inc., Milwaukee

Dr. Ingrid Hicks, Transformation Services, Milwaukee

Carrie Bristoll-Groll, PE, CFM, Stormwater Solutions Engineering, LLC, Milwaukee

Christine Reese, Avantti Environmental Group, Milwaukee

WHO:             U.S. Small Business Administration

WHAT:          Emerging Leaders Graduation

WHEN:          Monday, November 10

5:00 pm:  reception and interview opportunity

5:30 pm:  graduation           

WHERE:       Global Water Center, 247 Freshwater Way, Milwaukee



Procurement Chief Vows to Simplify Federal Contracting

If one word could describe the state of federal contracting, that word would be “complex,” Anne Rung, in her third month as administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, told a contractors gathering on Tuesday.

“For vendors, it’s difficult to navigate and find opportunities when the proposals are long and government-centric, but it’s complex for a number of good reasons,” Rung said at the National Contract Management Association’s 33rd symposium in Washington. She cited agencies’ “intricate” needs ranging from disaster forecasting to inventing vaccines.

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Pentagon’s Buying Managers Resist IG’s Call for Central Oversight Office

The Defense Department’s acquisition operation would perform better with a central oversight office to improve organizational feedback on supply chain performance trends, the Pentagon inspector general said in a report released Monday.

The Office of the Defense Undersecretary for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics “has not established an overarching quality management policy to ensure the consistent application of quality management system requirements across DoD components,” the watchdog wrote. Creation of a central quality management oversight office would help reduce delays and cost overruns on major weapons systems by building in management steps “to evaluate and revise policies, procedures and guidance,” it said.

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Operation Small Business: An interview with the Pentagon’s small-business director

Andre Gudger has heard the argument many times that, as he puts it, “small businesses don’t build planes and ships and nuclear weapons.”

It’s his job — or at least part of it — to change that perception.

A Maryland native, Gudger has been the director of the Defense Department’s Office of Small Business Programs since 2011. During the three years prior to his arrival, the share of the agency’s contracts awarded to small companies had shrunk every year. Moreover, in the more than three decades since federal small-business contracting goals had been put in place, the agency had never once accomplished them.

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