News story

Best in Defence acquisition recognised at Min DEST awards

Seven teams from across Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S), as well as a team from HQ Joint Force Support, based in Camp Bastion, were presented…

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Seven teams from across Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S), as well as a team from HQ Joint Force Support, based in Camp Bastion, were presented with awards by the Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology (Min DEST), Peter Luff, during a specially held ceremony at MOD Main Building in Whitehall.

Two of the teams were also given special awards - which are presented to teams who have excelled in areas that hold specific relevance to the current acquisition climate.

Congratulating the teams at the formal presentation of the awards, Mr Luff said:

These awards recognise and reward good performance and demonstrate that we in the MOD can deliver best-in-class project management. This year these awards represent the full scope of MOD acquisition, covering Urgent Operational Requirements [UORs], support to operations, equipment and estates.

Acquisition is a team effort and all of the winners here today have demonstrated this; even more so in our Department, where civilians and military work side by side to deliver the best possible capabilities to our Armed Forces.

It is also a joint endeavour. We are in a partnership with industry, an industry that produces ideas, innovations and solutions that allow us to deliver capability to our serving personnel, and I would like to acknowledge this joint contribution in delivering equipment and support for our Armed Forces, often in challenging conditions.

In the current financial climate these conditions are even more pronounced but all of you have demonstrated that we can meet those challenges and achieve successful acquisition outcomes.

Ultimately, I am passionate about getting the right equipment at the right time and at reasonable cost to the taxpayer, and these awards reflect your dedication and ethos and your strong work to help me realise this vision.

Special awards were also presented to the Project Kestrel Team for their role in delivering the project as a UOR to theatre, and the Op HERRICK Equipment Capability Branch for its contribution to operations.

The winners were:

Collective Counter-IED Trainer UOR Acquisition Team

The first award went to the Counter-IED Trainer UOR Acquisition Team. Their objective was to acquire a collective counter-IED training capability to reinforce learning and confidence among personnel preparing for deployment on Operation HERRICK. They also delivered the capability in record time, with only five months between capability concept demonstrator and deployment to theatre. Vital IED-search training is being delivered in the UK and in-theatre, improving confidence in our deployed personnel, improving IED search performance and, crucially, leading to fewer injuries.

Project HERCULES Management Team

The team identified a problem with stock in depots and set up a pilot scheme to improve processes and collect data. The project addressed problems and inaccuracies in the stock management systems that have been around for well over a decade. Previous attempts to deal with these issues have been unsuccessful; a recent Chief of Defence Materiel audit confirmed the team’s best practice approaches. The project has exceeded its target during its first year and has delivered £355m of disposals, with £28m of ‘lost’ stock recovered. The team has also improved airworthiness by delivering a better inventory and, therefore, equipment which is fit for purpose.

**Op HERRICK Equipment Capability Branch and the special award for contribution to operations **

The requirement was to staff Urgent Statements of User Requirements, support theatre in integrating UORs and manage the provision of scientific advice to operational commanders in support of our personnel on Op HERRICK. The team also has to work with a multitude of stakeholders and their relationship management with Permanent Joint Headquarters, the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory and DE&S Project Teams is integral in delivering battle-winning and life-saving capabilities. This team’s contribution to protecting our people, particularly from IEDs, is of the highest significance.

Welfare Communications Team

This small team, comprising only six personnel, is responsible for providing the full spectrum of welfare communications services worldwide. The team manages a £48m annual investment programme and has delivered a reduction of 50 per cent in the cost of calls to UK landlines, providing an invaluable service to our deployed personnel. The team’s focus and dedication has seen the establishment of wireless internet capability at forward operating areas, ensuring vital service delivery to our personnel on the front line.

Project KESTREL Team and the special award for the delivery of Urgent Operational Requirements

The requirement was to design, acquire, deploy and install communications and computer networks for UK forces on deployed operations, notably in Afghanistan. The provision of communication services, for counter-IED and force protection, to name but a few, is an absolutely vital component to the success of our operations and the protection of our people. The team has successfully provided the expansion of this network to sites not previously supported, especially forward operating bases. The team showed outstanding initiative in bringing this project to fruition, and achieved considerable savings, while delivering it in record time, in extraordinary conditions.

**Nimrod R1 Life Extension Team **

The requirement was delivery of in-service support to the Nimrod R1 surveillance capability for Operation ELLAMY for three months beyond its planned out-of-service date. The team performed under extraordinary conditions; support contracts were about to expire, team members had moved on, and contractors were already on site to begin dismantling the first aircraft. Nimrod made a valuable contribution during Op ELLAMY to protect the Libyan civilian population.

Apache Engineering and Logistics Team

The team had to provide the in-service support to Apache aircraft at short notice in support of Op ELLAMY/Op UNIFIED PROTECTOR. The project focused on means to provide support to Apache aircraft which would enable them to deploy within hours of being tasked and allow them to operate from HMS Ocean shortly after their arrival, while making sure that this did not impact on Op HERRICK and the all-important pre-deployment training.

CRETHEUS Project Team

The requirement was to mitigate the detrimental impacts onshore and offshore wind farms have on MOD radar. No one team had responsibility to mitigate the effects wind farms have on our capability. The team advised energy companies on a new radar opportunity and convinced them to adopt it. The team was instrumental in convincing these companies to collaborate and share the cost of the solution, roughly £40m. Their skills and innovation in the contractual work achieved a 25 per cent saving on radar costs. They have also averted a confrontation between the Department, Scottish law and three other Government Departments.

Published 2 November 2011