Responding to soldier feedback, the Army has asked for industry input and plans Industry days as it moves toward a competition for the next increment in the Distributed Common Ground System-Army (DCGS-A) program, expected in 2016.

DCGS-A Photo: U.S. Army
Photo: U.S. Army

DCGS-A is the Army’s current system for intelligence information sharing, processing, operational use and storage.

Some government reports, including one from a 4th Infantry Division Brigade Combat Team in 2013, questioned the system’s utility.

On Aug. 8 the first of several Requests for Information (RFI) was issued on, that sought written feedback from all potential commercial vendors. The responses will inform the Army’s competitive strategy for the next phase of DCGS-A development known as DCGS-A Increment 2.

The market survey aimed to identify potential sources capable of providing Program Manager Distributed Common Ground System-Army (PM DCGS-A), Counterintelligence (CI)/Human Intelligence (HUMINT) Automated Reporting and Collection Systems (CHARCS), and Machine Foreign Language Translation Systems (MFLTS) Engineering Support Services.

The government anticipates the requirement to be a cost-plus fixed fee (CPFF) contract, consisting of one 12-month base period and two 12 month option periods–for a total of 36 months.

The RFI, in conjunction with a series of planned industry days, wants feedback on ways to improve and replace the software-based tools soldiers use to analyze and integrate data and visualize intelligence information.

The announcement builds upon ongoing efforts to address well-publicized soldier concerns regarding the existing DCGS-A system’s “ease of use” in the field.

The Army expects to formally conduct a full and open competition for DCGS-A Increment 2 development in Fiscal Year 2016.

This first RFI wants input on the state of evolving commercial technologies and seeks feedback on ways to leverage new commercial software technologies in the areas of data ingestion, analytics, and visualization.

DCGS-A Increment 2 will also conform to current intelligence community standards to enhance interoperability of information.

Specifically, the RFI requests feedback from potential DCGS-A vendors regarding aspects of the developing acquisition strategy:

*A potential shift from the government acting as the prime integrator of DCGS-A components (Increment 1 strategy) to a model where a prime contractor develops and integrates  software technologies;

*Feedback regarding the utility of DCGS-A Increment 1 systems and software, and the opportunity for vendors to propose new and different technology solutions that meet Increment 2 requirements;

* Input regarding what discriminating technical factors and potential contract incentives should apply in the forthcoming competition;

* Vendor experience managing software development projects similar in scope to DCGS-A; and,

* Feedback on how industry proposes to address requirements for data management infrastructure and data visualization in conjunction with emerging intelligence community standards.

DCGS-A Increment 2’s emphasis will focus on two areas:  using the best of breed commercial technologies to improve the tools soldiers use to analyze, process and visualize information on the battlefield, as well as compliance with Intelligence Community Information Technology Enterprise (IC ITE) standards for shared information by the intelligence community.

In preparation for this competition, the Army has established a new product management office led by Lt. Col. Laura Poston, who will be responsible for preparing for and executing the competition and the next version of DCGS-A.

Additionally, the overall DCGS-A program management is under the new leadership of Col. Robert Collins. A DCGS-A Increment 2 industry day is anticipated in first quarter of Fiscal Year  2015.