2022 DSP Achievement Award Recipients


Distinguished Achievement Award Winner

Development of Department of Defense Digital Engineering and Modeling Practices, MIL-HDBK-539

U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Marine Corps, Space Force, the Department of the Navy, the Defense Logistics Agency, and the Office of the Secretary of Defense

Digital engineering (DE) maximizes agility, interoperability, reusability, and scalability by shifting from traditional document-centric activities to data-centric ones. This shift enables data-driven decision-making and continuous access to authoritative data for the DoD community, delivering the right information to the right people at the right time throughout the lifecycle. Recognizing the value of implementing DE, DoD management made DE a top priority initiative. However, program offices lacked direction on DE best practices, so often implemented approaches ineffective for their organizations, with contracting mechanisms inadequate for requirements or data management requirements not effectively supportive of logistics operations. These issues drove up costs and hindered full realization of DE’s benefits.

The Digital Engineering and Modeling Practices Handbook Integrated Product Team coordinated efforts to create MIL-HDBK-539, establishing guidance on DE and modeling strategies for a high level of confidence with integrated practices and collaboration. This handbook enables DoD activities and foreign partners to select standardized approaches that best meet their needs based on proven practices, improving data exchange, enhancing data quality, speeding incorporation of new technologies, offering lasting sustainment of acquisition items, increasing interoperability, and saving an estimated $2.5 million per year in reduced total ownership costs.

Team members honored include: Jeff Windham, Jim Sermersheim, David Voelker, Edilia Correa, and Bruce Burnside

Achievement Award Winners

  • U.S. Army DEVCOM Research Labortatory (ARL)

Army Regulation 750-1 requires chemical agent resistant coating (CARC) systems on all tactical and related support equipment in the U.S. Army inventory to protect against chemical agent attack. MIL-DTL-53039 and MIL-DTL-64159 specified use of polyurethane for these coatings. However, isocyanates in polyurethane pose environmental and human health risks. Therefore, the Army Research Laboratory team researched, developed, tested, verified, and validated resin systems, pigment packages, solvent alternatives, and antimicrobial formulations to create a new chemical agent resistant method and update the specifications. The research produced significant technological breakthroughs as well as in-depth requirements. Expanded CARC capabilities now include low solar-absorbing pigmentation and antimicrobial formations. Low solar-absorbing CARCs improve performance by reducing heat buildup associated with solar loading, resulting in cooler vehicle interiors for our Soldiers, lower energy usage for cooling assets, and increased coating lifetimes. The antimicrobial coating addresses health and safety concerns while enhancing color stability over time and improving readiness and maintainability by reducing the need for frequent fungal removal cleanings. The tri-services can readily adapt antimicrobial CARC technology to similar DoD paint applications. These specification revisions improve performance, sustainability, safety, and interoperability while enhancing functionality at a lower cost to forge the future for mission success.

Team members honored include:Thomas A.Considine, Dawn M.Crawford, Daniel M. DeBonis, William S.Lum, and Daniel A.Pope

  • MIL-PRF-32725, Fire Extinguishing Agent, Fluorine-Free Foam (F3) Liquid Concentrate, for Land-Based, Fresh Water Applications

The Department of Defense (DoD) has relied on aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) to extinguish fires and protect lives for over 50 years. However, chemicals in this foam have been classified as contaminants. Therefore, the Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 National Defense Authorization Act required the Secretary of the Navy to develop a new military specification for a fluorine-free firefighting agent during FY23 and make that agent available by FY24. Further, Congress has required DoD to cease use of fluorinated AFFF at all military installations by FY25. To fulfill these mandates, the Navy team developed, coordinated, and published MIL-PRF-32725 in just over 1 year. The Naval Sea Systems Command and Naval Research Laboratory collaborated with industry for market research into and research, development, testing, and evaluation of replacement agents. This specification balanced the needs and demands of the disparate stakeholder groups through early engagement, transparency, and extensive coordination. This complex endeavor relied on groundbreaking research performed concurrent with development of specification MIL-PRF-32725 to create a product that better protects human health and the environment while providing DoD, our nation, and our allies with a highly capable firefighting agent to continue meeting our global mission.

Team members honored include: Mary Hunstad (retired December 2022), Dan Berkoski, Tom Ruffini, John Farley, and Kesha Butler

  • Development of Military Specification MIL-DTL-32689 for Circular, Miniature, Lightweight, High Density, Quick Disconnect, Tri-Start Thread Coupling, Environmental Resistant with Crimp Contracts

While aerospace vehicles and other applications historically used MIL-DTL-38999 connectors, decreases in the size and weight of newer weapon and space systems led to commercial versions, smaller than the 38999 connectors, gaining popularity. However, lack of a regulation governing these miniature connectors resulted in each manufacturer creating its own version without standard sizes, pin arrangements, or mating requirements. These custom designs increase costs, reduce interoperability, decrease reliability, risk obsolescence, and complicate procurement. Mr. Jacob Bender revitalized ongoing discussions between industry and the military services to produce a new military detail specification, MIL-DTL-32689, as well as 27 specification sheets to cover various connector configurations, backshells, and accessories. Through his leadership, Mr. Bender brought connector, original equipment, and tooling manufacturers together with the military services and other industry experts to reach consensus on the requirements, optimizing them for military use while integrating the latest features from commercial products. The new standard provides requirements for highly reliable, miniature, lightweight, and rugged connectors for the military services, NASA, and industry. Qualifying manufacturers to the new standard will ensure supply availability for years to come and Mr. Bender continues to develop improvements to attain new sources of supply and offer additional solutions.

Individual recognized: Jacob Bender