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
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.
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
"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."