News | June 11, 2018

DCMA UK increases communication radius of grenade production

By Elizabeth Szoke DCMA Pubic Affairs

Travel between nations is part of a typical work cycle for employees of Defense Contract Management Agency International. Air Force Lt. Col. Ferguson, the DCMA United Kingdom commander, and Paul Hudson, the host nation coordinator, recently traveled to Finland to meet with and recognize the collaborative efforts between DCMA and Defence Command Finland, or DCF, government quality assurance representatives. Those who attended the meeting included Finnish Army Lt. Col. Tim Linden; Oula Heikkinen, the director of Government Quality Assurance; and Johanna Lehmusoksa, a DCF quality assurance representative.

Ferguson presented Lehmusoksa with a DCMA coin in recognition of her surveillance of the Scalable Offensive Hand Grenade contract. This grenade offers a more effective blast radius and has been provided to the U.S. Special Forces Command since 2010. It is now a capability that is also used among more conventional warfighters.

“This is our first delegation to Finland and they have been doing an excellent job,” Ferguson said. “In 2017, we established procedures to execute our procurement memorandum for understanding and have been coordinating with DCF regularly since.”

A DCMA stateside office surveys the prime contractors of the Scalable Offensive Hand Grenade. The production of the grenade then needed to have a workload delegation, which was issued to DCMA International in 2017. Richard Long, a DCMA U.K. quality assurance specialist, works on the requirements of the contract delegations to Finland.

“We work on a mutually agreed upon delegation that I’m responsible for authorizing and managing,” said Long. “After the work was sub-contracted to Finland, I continued the process by further refining the requirements and translating them into a standardized NATO format, which could be further sub-delegated to Ms. Lehmusoka.”

Long began his career on the production floors and ballistic ranges with DCMA in 2009. He now spends more time authorizing delegations and managing administrative issues in accordance with Host Nation Quality Forces publications.

“I arrived in the U.K. last fall and have worked in England, Finland, Sweden and Norway with additional requirements to travel to Scotland scheduled in the near future,” Long said. “Depending on the project, I could have a weekly or even daily communication with any of those countries.”

Long’s work with DCF was also recognized during the Finland visit. “The Finnish Defence Force would like to sincerely thank Mr. Long for his great collaboration with us,” said Heikkinen. “His information sharing has been extremely open and punctual.”

Long said this delegation and his work in the U.K. has been a positive experience and has provided a culturally rich experience.

“The position has enhanced my skill sets while providing amazing opportunities for both professional and personal travel,” said Long.

Ferguson not only commends the work done by the Finnish quality assurance representatives, but also recognizes the efforts his team puts forth every day.
“It’s always important to establish and maintain relationships with our host nation partners,” Ferguson said. “There are different considerations to keep in mind when working in an office outside the continental U.S. and it adds to the workload that already exists.”

Assignments with DCMA International range from three to five years in length can make it difficult to build and maintain essential working relationships due to high turnover, like the more recent collaboration with Finland.

“If you’re going to come into a job with DCMA International, you need to trust your team of experts,” Ferguson said. “Host nation coordinators are located in the different countries we work in. Paul Hudson, for example, helps my team and me navigate cultural and language differences. This makes a big difference, especially since we work with different countries regularly as a part of our DCMA mission.”

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