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News | June 25, 2024

DCMA Land Systems supports M10 Booker combat vehicle

By Keith Walker DCMA Land Systems

Defense Contract Management Agency Land Systems is at the forefront of supporting the Army’s newest combat vehicle, the M10 Booker.

DCMA plays an integral role in ensuring the best product is delivered to the Army. DCMA Land Systems includes team members in Anniston, Alabama; Lima, Ohio; and Sterling Heights, Michigan. The dispersed program support team collaborates to engage General Dynamics Land Systems, the Booker’s prime contractor, to ensure risks, issues, and opportunities are addressed as the program evolves.

The combat vehicle is currently in the Low-Rate Initial Production phase of the production and deployment phase of the acquisition lifecycle. The workload is dispersed across multiple states with the turret structure being manufactured at Joint Systems Manufacturing Center in Lima. The hull structure is manufactured in Saginaw, Michigan, and the hull and turret final assembly is completed in Anniston.

“Collaboration is the key to success with any program, especially one that is so geographically dispersed,” said Carlos Lago, the director engineering & manufacturing for DCMA Land Systems. He also mentioned that effective communication with stakeholders is critical to the success of DCMA when dealing with our customer and the product manager of the M10 Booker combat vehicle.

“Because of our early acquisition engagements with the product manager of the M10 Booker, we were able to prioritize, understand, and improve our stakeholder engagement and relationships,” said Lago. “That communication allowed our PST to be fully integrated with PM Booker, which positively impacts our program accomplishments by providing them the acquisition insight across the defense industrial base that only DCMA can provide.” 

In strategizing personnel support for the M10 Booker program, Army Maj. Jared Ryan, who is the software and program integration team leader, said “the M10 Booker program is a great example of the DCMA Vision and why we transitioned from DCMA Detroit to DCMA Land Systems.”

The program integrator for the M10 Booker has traditionally served in Sterling Heights, but having individuals based in Anniston, where the vehicle is being assembled and inspected, allows the program integrator to be in the plant.

“They are working in-person with the contractor and other DCMA functional specialists and gaining insight that is not possible in a virtual environment,” said Ryan. “I’m looking forward to watching this program grow from a Low-Rate Initial Production to full-rate production and sharing the lessons we learn here across DCMA Land Systems and the agency.”

The DCMA PST has an important mission. The team ensures contractor compliance with contractual quality assurance requirements utilizing a risk-based process approach. The team also identifies contractor key and core business processes that affect the build quality, assesses risks associated with these processes, and applies the appropriate risk-based surveillance activity to mitigate risks associated with these processes. In addition, the PST leverages the expertise of the various DCMA functional specialists at key subcontractors to influence better performance and inform the Army Program Office and the prime contractor of DCMA’s surveillance results.

The M10 Booker will deliver infantry brigade combat teams with mobile, protected direct fire capability to apply lethal and sustained long-range fires to light armored vehicles, hardened enemy fortifications and dismounted personnel. The integrated weapon system is supported by an M-35, 105mm cannon with the Abrams M1A2 System Enhanced Package class fire control system.

In June 2023, the Army announced the vehicle platform was named to honor two enlisted Army soldiers who served during times of conflict. The vehicle is named after Medal of Honor recipient Pvt. Robert Booker, who died in World War II at 22, and Distinguished Service Cross recipient Staff Sgt. Stevon Booker, who died at 34 from injuries sustained in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The M10 Booker program received a favorable Milestone C production decision in June 2022. The decision permits the government to authorize production of the product or system. For a major defense acquisition program, it authorizes entry into Low-Rate Initial Production. DCMA accepted the first Low-Rate Initial Production vehicle Feb. 29, 2024. To date, four production delivery vehicles and four production delivery retrofit vehicles have been delivered to the Army.

The DCMA PST supporting the M10 Booker program include the following team members:

  • Keith Walker, program integrator
  • Charles Boyd, industrial specialist
  • Mark Dulworth, industrial specialist
  • Jeff Eberwine, quality assurance engineer
  • Dianne Gagnier, quality assurance specialist
  • Dina Krause- Scott, quality assurance specialist
  • John Gorman, lead quality assurance specialist
  • Michelle Gorman, administrative contracting officer
  • Josh Laird, quality assurance specialist
  • Jennifer Leis, quality assurance specialist
  • Julie Stammen, contract administrator
  • Andrew Maurer, Earned Value Management analyst
  • Shawn Moses, software specialist
  • Stephanie Van Daele, engineer
  • Andy Van Valkenburg, industrial specialist
  • Ward Acker, quality assurance specialist