Friday, June 26, 2015

Hanscom Airman lauded for small business efforts

by Justin Oakes
66th Air Base Group Public Affairs

6/24/2015 - HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. -- For the first time since 2006, the Air Force exceeded its small business goals, ushering in the highest performance rating in the Service's history. Directly tied to this accomplishment are a handful of outstanding performers and teams who have made a significant contribution to the Air Force's small business efforts.

Don MacMillan is one such example.

MacMillan, a Hanscom AFB program manager, recently received the coveted Air Force Special Achievement Small Business Champion Award for his unique approach and extensive work within the Platform Engineering and Integration for Tactical and Strategic Systems contract.

PEITSS is not an actual program, but a contract vehicle designed for the procurement, integration, fielding and support of battle management and command and control systems.

"For me, this is a team award," said MacMillan, referencing support he received from leadership and contributions made by the local Hanscom Small Business Office. "The beauty of PEITSS is that Battle Management programs will be able to utilize this contract to submit delivery orders to a capable pool of contractors. And by doing so, we're going to see more program offices embrace what small businesses have to offer."

What set MacMillan apart from the rest of the competition could only be described as "an unprecedented level of high-intensity market research," according to his award nomination.

Instead of accepting the status quo that only a large company would be able to provide the support needed for the PEITSS contract, MacMillan took a different approach and began his in-depth look into other options.

With the help of the Hansom Small Business Office, he was able to reach out to more than 200 potential contractors. The research continued with one-on-one evaluations of each company, where he individually assessed each candidate's technical and business suitability.

"The amount of work Don put forward researching and looking for ways to include smaller companies was unreal," said Bill Donaldson, Hanscom Small Business director. "He definitely chose a harder route, but in the end, one that will have a great benefit to the Air Force and the U.S. warfighter."

The deep dive into small businesses took three years, but finally the results were in -- smaller contractors were, in fact, capable of supporting the PEITSS contract.

"Small businesses have the capability to make the PEITSS effort a success," MacMillan said. "I was determined to take this path because we've had good experiences working with these companies in the past, and we'll be able to deliver capabilities to the warfighter faster while also keeping costs low."

PEITSS was originally planned as a $450 million full and open source multi-award contract. However, after surveying other Battle Management programs and determining their suitability, MacMillan and other team members were able to link several future efforts. This resulted in an increased $538 million estimate contract ceiling and a new type of contract -- a multi-award indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract, which will not limit any type of contractor teaming arrangements.

"The work Mr. MacMillan put forward to ensure small business participation should be applauded," said Steven Wert, Battle Management program executive officer. "I expect the PEITSS contract to enable more innovative and agile business relationships with industry, especially for our Theater Battle Control programs."

Currently, the PEITSS contract is undergoing source selection, and the Air Force anticipates an award in fourth quarter this year.

"Outstanding Airmen like Mr. MacMillan, willing to put forth the extra effort, make a big difference for the Air Force and the small business program," said Mark Teskey, Air Force Small Business Programs director. "These contributions directly and positively impact the ability of the Air Force to increase competition in the marketplace, develop the small business industrial base, and provide vital, agile and affordable support to our warfighters both at home and abroad."

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