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SSGN Conversion Program Received David Packard Excellence in Acquisition Award

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS071212-01
Release Date: 12/12/2007 8:30:00 AM

From Team Submarine Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Guided Missile Submarine (SSGN) Program Office received the prestigious David Packard Excellence in Acquisition Award during a Nov. 7 ceremony at the Fort Belvoir Officers Club in Fairfax County, Va.

Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition and Technology) James Finley presented the award.

The David Packard Excellence in Acquisition Award is given to individuals and groups within the Department of Defense that exhibit significant innovation in the acquisition process.

The SSGN Program Office received the Packard Award for a number of acquisition successes during calendar year 2006 including delivering two ships, USS Florida (SSGN 728) in April and USS Michigan (SSGN 727) one month early in November; conducting three modernization periods including one on the first converted SSGN, USS Ohio (SSGN 726); and for devising and implementing an innovative and flexible testing strategy and schedule that helped to bring the SSGNs into deployable service.

To facilitate Test and Evaluation (T&E), the program office relied heavily on the SSGN's T&E Working Integrated Process Team (T&E WIPT). The T&E WIPT is chaired by the program office, but has membership from all the acquisition oversight agencies, including Chief of Naval Operations, Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Research, Development, and Acquisition), the Navy's Operational Test and Evaluation Force, and Office of Secretary of Defense (Defense Systems, Live Fire Test and Evaluation, and Director for Operational Testing).

The T&E WIPT promoted testing efficiency by coordinating the SSGN Program's Technical and Operation Evaluations of the SSGN's new primary missions, as well as testing of the ships' Common Submarine Radio Room, AN/BYG-1 Combat Control System, and the Acoustic Rapid Commercial Off-the Shelf Insertion (ARCI) Sonar System. The T&E WIPT streamlined test readiness reviews, facilitated communication and collaboration, and was an efficient way for the program office to keep the test program moving forward throughout the entire process.

"The breadth of work accomplished by this team of more than 120 individuals from 26 different organizations and companies is truly impressive," said SSGN program manager Capt. Mark Bock. "Delivering two boats and conducting three modernization periods... required a lot of hard work and dedication. In the end, it proved highly successful."

Rear Adm. William Hilarides, the Program Executive Officer for Submarines concurred, saying "The SSGN Program's success is truly remarkable. We went from receiving the first of our money in Fiscal Year 2002 to having Ohio deployed today." Hilarides concluded that, "none of this could have happened if we didn't have an amazing team that includes a number of Navy and industry partners."

Hilarides mentioned multiple Team Submarine Program Offices; Strategic Systems Programs; Naval Reactors; Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR); Naval Special Warfare Command; Submarine Type Commanders; the ships' crews; Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA)'s Contracts, Logistics Maintenance, and Industrial Operations, Ship Integration and Engineering Directorates; the Warfare Centers in Newport, Carderock, Panama City, Dahlgren, and Port Hueneme; Space and Naval Warfare (SPAWAR); Puget Sound and Norfolk Naval Shipyards, and General Dynamics Electric Boat as being integral to the SSGN Program's success.

"They all have made significant contributions to the SSGN Program and have earned a piece of the David Packard award. This is a true team award," Hilarides concluded.

The SSGN program has converted the four oldest Ohio Class SSBNs into conventional Strike, Special Operations, and Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance platforms. Each SSGN has its two forward-most missile tubes converted into Dry-Deck Shelter / Advanced SEAL Delivery System (DDS/ASDS) capable Lock-Out Chambers. The remaining twenty-two missile tubes utilize Multiple All Up-Around Canisters (MACs) to store up to 154 TOMAHAWK missiles. The SSGN also contains facilities for up to 66 Special Operations Forces (SOF) personnel. Additionally, stowage canisters can replace MACs to provide more SOF capability or to extend the submarine's patrol time.

Three of the four SSGNs have completed conversion and returned to service. The last, USS Georgia (SSGN 729) is scheduled to deliver in December 2007.

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