Saturday, September 01, 2018

The FULL e-mail from the SAIC supporter. A quick discussion before I extricate myself from SAIC internal turmoil...

Well shit boys.  Looks like we stepped into a huge pile of festering bullshit with the discussions on the AAV-SU stop work order.  What do I mean?  Remember the posts I did confirming the stop work?  Remember the post I did where a whistleblower talked about some of the stuff going on inside SAIC?

Well I put out a challenge to anyone  to dispute what was written. 

I got the response but the bubba wanted me to put his views into my own words.  Before actually tackling the project I told him I would post it the following day (when I told him that it was with the idea that I would leave off his name, but would be able to post the response that he made only later did he ask me to use my wording instead of his own).

Let me tell you something.  Its hard to do.

So I've been stuck.  In the meantime I've gotten notes saying that I'm not ready to post the truth?

Utter bullshit!  Below is his e-mail to me with the name removed.  IN FULL!
Pretty clear you only got one side of the story on this whole SAIC AAV-SU program. You either talked to a disgruntled former employee or one of the three morons celebrating getting laid off this week.

So here’s the truth about the Stop Work: It’s a 90 day stop work for CONVENIENCE, not cause. That means it is not related to any lack of ability to deliver tracks on time. It looks like the Corps is waiting to see how the ACV Sea State 3 swim tests go next month and will possibly be transferring the funding from AAV-SU over to ACV. The ACVs swam better than they were ever supposed to and seem to be more capable of replacing the aging AAV fleet sooner than expected.

Now for the other fallacies your source has led you to believe. SAIC didn’t run off its SMEs and replace them with Joe Schmoes off the street.

1) Six Marines left the project. So when your source says “all” realize they’re talking about six people out of a project that employs 300+. There were still Marines and trackers who were tech writers, analysts, integrators, engineers, quality assurance, logistics, FSRs, and test directors.

2) The guys that left were never Subject Matter Experts to anyone except themselves. The handful who left all had an enlistment or two of Amtracking experience. There is still over 300 years of Amtracking experience on the project’s payroll. Two retired trackers added after EMD had more combined experience then the combined lot of the six guys who left.

3) The guys who left were going to take paycuts because all they did during ACV was bitch and moan. For the entire year that ACV went on they never once bothered to learn how the vehicle was assembled or properly operated. They let other assembly technicians come in and replace them on the production line so they could become “test drivers”, a position and task not required under the PCM AAV-SU contract. The guys who built AAVs during EMD and ACVs got promotions and pay-raises when PCM started up because they were experienced, had the tribal knowledge, and hadn't spent the last year complaining and refusing to work.

4) ZERO Subcontractors were cell leads. In fact, every one of the cell leads on the production floor were there for the EMD build.

5) 80% of the work force brought in was either former military or guys with overseas contracting experience. It was an exceptionally low-blow to read that you only believe former Amtrackers care about the lives of Marines. Those of us who work in Defense Contracting, especially us veterans, take great pride in knowing our time away from our families is for the noble cause of helping our brothers and sisters on the front lines return safely to their loved ones.

The entire reason SAIC was instructed to build four PCM vehicles was because the “SME’s” as your source has labeled them couldn’t build two vehicles that were the same during the EMD phase. The only reason SAIC got the win was because of a very strong team of experienced FSRs who received vehicles with hundreds of quality hits against them and worked out all the kinks so they could perform well during the Operational Assessment phase of government testing. The “SME’s” used mis-matched hardware and put “dick slots” in bolt holes to make the parts fit. Then they never bothered to document the changes or correct the work instructions so SAIC could build more vehicles when they won the next lot. These guys built million dollar combat vehicles with zero professionalism or understanding of production. That’s why the Program Office put the PCM asterisk on the awarded LRIP contract, and demanded new management be put in place. They wanted to see SAIC improve HOW it built the vehicles because the “SME’s” EMD build was FUBAR.
Did the new management always make sound decisions? Absolutely not. However, the program isn’t behind schedule because of the management or the laborers. There were several issues including procurement, staffing, tooling, design changes, bad parts, etc. . The government dictated certain design changes be made and the project never stopped changing the design even after parts were procured. So parts were ordered based on drawings that were 3 or 4 revisions old by the time the parts arrived. The government also had part sourcing and delivering problems for the legacy components. Certain systems were terribly engineered, other parts just didn’t fit. Workers had to be brought in by the dozens to meet the schedule demanded by the customer. Luckily experienced integrators were laid off from BAE and Boeing in the area and were able to come over to SAIC. It all compounded into a nightmare of a project in which most of us realized the company was just sprinting to failure.

Hopefully now that you’ve received the facts you can come out with a nice post about how disgruntled former employees are a terrible source of information. The "Old Team" is still on the team, minus six guys. Those six guys were a huge part of the reason SAIC almost didn't win the project and was given four more vehicles to prove their processes on. When you look at the facts, it looks like the Corps is just reassessing the need for a band-aid on a 50 year old platform when its replacement is ahead of schedule.

No attach on you, your posts can only be as good as the information you received. Unfortunately, your source sucks.
My view now?

SAIC's armored side of the house needs an enema from top to bottom.  I don't know what's going on there but I stand by my assessment that they're failing to execute.

The Terrex 2 should have been a much better competitor to the BAE/Iveco Super AV.  The vehicle had "the right stuff" written all over it.  Something is going on with the AAV-SU.  What exactly I don't know.  What I do know is that the armor package they developed for the USMC could EASILY be sold to other nations operating the AAV into the near future and it looks like they're blowing that opportunity too.

As far as the "disgruntled" employee stuff?

Don't know.  Don't care.

Internal politics inside a corporation happens everywhere but SAIC seems to be the only place where we're seeing this kind of thing taking place.

Something in that culture is broken.

At the end of the day we waddled into a family fight and since I ain't a cop I don't want to get involved in their domestic.

Find a big sand berm, put out spotters and settled whatever issues you have like men.  We're not in it and don't want to be.

The only thing me and my readers care about is SAIC getting the job done with this project.

My final recommendation to SAIC?

Stop playing secret squirrel, talk to the readers of this blog and other defense publications that have an interest in your products, clean up whatever is wrong in house and take a beat to get yourself reoriented on the task of serving the military of the United States and our allies.

Get that shit done and I'll move back into the fan camp.  As things stand today I'm deeply disappointed.

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