By Lt. Lauren Bailey, SC, USN, Lt. Phil Robinson, SC, USN,
and Lt. Tyler Vaughan, SC, USN
“We are the independent eyes and ears of DoD and its partners, delivering actionable acquisition insight from the factory floor to the front line … around the world.” – DCMA Mission Statement
Out in the Sonoran Desert lies Tucson, Arizona. Just two hours south of Phoenix on I-10, Tucson is rich in Southwestern history and cul ture, surrounded by beautiful mountains and golf courses, and home to the iconic Saguaro cactus and illusive Gila Monster. The city is base to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, U.S. Border Patrol Tucson Sector Headquarters, the University of Arizona, Raytheon Missile Systems, and (last, but not least) Defense Contract Management Agency Raytheon Tucson.
Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) Raytheon Tucson is a rewarding assignment that challenges you professionally. It is also an environment that supports a wealth of contracting knowledge and business interaction with one of DoD’s largest contractors, Raytheon. The command offers a wide variety of contract administration and support services, guaranteeing the integrity of the contractual process, and providing a broad range of acquisition management services across 27 unique missile programs. Missile programs the command administrates include: Tomahawk, ACM, AIM-9X, AMRAAM, SM-3, EKV/RKV, SDB II, Excalibur, Griffin, Harm, Javelin, JSOW, MALD, SM-2/6, Maverick, Patriot, Paveway, Phalanx, RAM, ESSM, Stinger, and TOW.
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DCMA Raytheon Tucson Supply Corps officers Lt. Phil Robinson, Tomahawk Contract Administrator (left), Lt. Tyler Vaughan, Standard Missile Contract Administrator (Middle), Lt. Lauren Bailey, Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile Contract Administrator (Right)
The 150-person command, composed of nine military officers and 141 government civilians, serves as a data broker and in-plant liaison for buying agencies, both during the initial stages of the acquisition cycle and throughout the life of the resulting contracts. DCMA personnel provide technical and management expertise not only in contracting services, but also in the core areas of engineering, quality assurance, supply chain predictability, manufacturing, production, and other major program support. In addition, the team ensures that consistent policies and standards are applied to all contracts across all branches of the military.
Being a Joint services command, the officers of DCMA Raytheon Tucson gain valuable insight, early in their careers, into how the Navy, Army, and Air Force communities operate in their respective battlefields. This experience showcases the unforeseen benefits and difficulties of how each service operates in a Joint environment. With increasing globalization, this tour will, no doubt, pay dividends later on in their military careers.
DCMA Raytheon Tucson is commanded by a Navy Supply Corps O-6. The O-6 is supported by a cross-service wardroom of eight officers. There are four Supply Corps officers: one O-4 (normally fulfilling a payback tour following Naval Postgraduate School), and three 0-3 contracting billets, one of which is a Navy acquisition contracting officer. The command is also comprised of four additional Joint officers coded for contracting and program management: one Army O-4, and three Air Force O-3s.
Each officer is strongly encouraged to bring his or her own experiences to the team, enabling multiple ideas and/or solutions to be formed to address issues that arise. These military officers are primarily assigned to administer acquisition category (ACAT) 1 programs, totaling $50.3 billion, for customers from Missile Defense Agency (MDA), Special Operations Forces Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics (SOF AT&L), Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), Air Force Materiel Command (AFMC), and Joint Munitions & Lethality (JM&L) Life Cycle Management Command (LCMC).
In summary, DCMA Raytheon Tucson is a rewarding experience, both personally and professionally. The supply officers at DCMA Raytheon Tucson hold a wide range of responsibilities, and are key to the command’s integration between industry and the warfighter. In regards to professional growth and development, the supply officers also benefit greatly from the wealth of knowledge and business experience available to them. An added perk is the opportunity to see a part of the nation not normally available to sea-going Sailors.