Nuclear weapons experts win Defense acquisition awards

  • Published
  • By Leah Bryant, AFNWC Public Affairs
  • Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center
Several Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center experts recently won the Defense Department’s most prestigious acquisition awards.

Under Secretary of Defense Ellen Lord announced last month the winners of the 2020 Defense Acquisition Workforce Awards, which included Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent Systems members at Hill AFB, Utah:
  • 2020 David Packard Excellence in Acquisition Team Award:  GBSD Program Office
  • 2020 Defense Acquisition Workforce Individual Achievement Award:  Laura Lucas, GBSD Proposal Evaluation Team
The Packard awards are named in honor of David Packard, a former deputy secretary of defense who also co-founded the Hewlett-Packard Company.  The awards were established to recognize organizations, groups and teams demonstrating exemplary innovation and using best practices in acquisition excellence. 

The GBSD program office was recognized with DoD’s highest acquisition team award for their efforts in pioneering digital engineering for the development of a major weapon system. GBSD is widely regarded as the most advanced application of digital engineering within the DoD.

“We have an incredible team with an extraordinary mission,” said Col. Jason Bartolomei, GBSD Systems director. “The innovations we are seeing inside the GBSD enterprise are accelerating change in how we engineer and develop major weapon systems. It’s exciting to be a part of a team that’s being recognized for bringing the future faster in this important domain.”

In 2020, the program office reduced by at least two years the time required to perform the Technology Maturation and Risk Reduction (TMRR) phase of the GBSD acquisition effort. As a result, the GBSD program office realized a savings of $200 million in comparison to traditional TMRR contracts that did not use digital engineering.

“The Packard award is arguably the most prestigious recognition in the acquisition community and is awarded for overall excellence in acquisition to a team,” said Brig. Gen. Anthony Genatempo, AFNWC commander and Air Force program executive officer for strategic systems.  “I can’t think of any team more deserving of this recognition.  I’m very proud of every member of the GBSD team and want to especially recognize Colonel Jason Bartolomei for his outstanding leadership of this winning team.”

The Defense Acquisition Workforce Individual Achievement Awards recognize individuals who demonstrate the highest levels of excellence and professionalism in their acquisition functional area.

Lucas, lead cost analyst for the GBSD Proposal Evaluation Team, was recognized for leading hands-on data analyses and process optimization efforts critical to source selection for the GBSD Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) contract.  She created an effective cost/price portion of the source-selection plan, which included support of source-selection evaluators from multiple geographical locations. 

“Congratulations to Laura for winning in the cost-estimating category,” Genatempo said.  “Given the complexity of GBSD and the integration and synchronization required within both the Air Force and the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration, this is an extraordinary accomplishment.”

“Her contribution was vital in GBSD’s EMD price negotiations and will help ensure our time-certain delivery efforts of the nation’s new ICBM nuclear deterrent,” Bartolomei said. “She led her team in identifying key assumptions and data from the previous GBSD cost estimate that provided the critical information necessary for achieving best value for the EMD effort. She’s a superstar.” 

The center is developing the Air Force’s new GBSD weapon system to replace the aging LGM-30G Minuteman III ICBM, which first became operational in the mid-1960s. While some Minuteman III components and subsystems have been upgraded over the years, most have supported over 50 years of continuous operation. The GBSD ICBM is expected to begin deploying to U.S. missile fields in the late 2020s.
Headquartered at Kirtland AFB, New Mexico, the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center is responsible for synchronizing all aspects of nuclear materiel management on behalf of Air Force Materiel Command, in direct support of Air Force Global Strike Command. It has more than 1,700 personnel assigned to 18 locations worldwide.