ASCP gets a new boss

The Army Small Computer Program (ASCP) has a new boss to answer to, at least temporarily.

ASCP has moved from the Program Executive Office for Enterprise Information Systems (PEO-EIS) to the PEO for Command Control Communications Tactical (C3T).

Lt. Gen. Steven Boutelle, the Army’s chief information officer, and Lt. Gen. Joe Yakovac, military deputy to the assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition, logistics and technology, made the decision after realizing that the tactical community wasn’t taking advantage of the buying power ASCP was offering.

ASCP is in the middle of its third commodity-buying period. The program consolidates orders for laptop and desktop computers and uses that buying power to bargain for better prices from vendors.

Army policy statements indicate that all orders must go to ASCP first when acquiring commercial information technology products, if possible. But soldiers on the battlefield or preparing for deployment often did not participate.

“What we found is that a lot of tactical users didn’t think that applied to them,” said Michelina Laforgia, program director for ASCP. “They said, ‘But our equipment is deploying.’”

Boutelle has instructed that all computer purchases, for deployment or not, must go through ASCP first, Laforgia said.

Units that have requirements that fall outside the ASCP offerings can obtain a waiver from the program, she added.

PEO-C3T is also home to the Common Hardware Systems program, which has some product overlap with ASCP, Laforgia said. Now under the same roof, ASCP and CHS will use their time together to coordinate their efforts and inform deployed and deploying soldiers of their opportunities and obligations regarding purchases.

Both programs agree that the first priority is preparing warfighters for the battlefield. Current acquisitions in progress won’t be disturbed because savings should not come at the expense of warfighters’ safety, Laforgia said. The Army will work to transition toward a new process for organizing purchases in coming months, she added.

ASCP’s move will be reviewed after 60 days, sometime in mid-October.

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