Government Technology Insider recently sat down with Thamar Main, Technical Project Manager / PMO A&AS Lead for Chemical and Biological Technologies Department at ARServices, to talk about his extensive Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) experience and what that means for ARServices’ prime contact with DTRA, which will include bringing a team of niche experts to support DTRA’s programmatic, financial, and policy operations across the CBRN spectrum.
Government Technology Insider (GTI): You joined ARServices shortly after the DTRA contract win, bringing the distinctive credential of extensive CBRN expertise to the team. What does this mean for the DTRA contract?
Thamar Main (TM): As a former Army CBRN officer, I’ve had the privilege of serving at the tactical level, commanding a CBRN battalion, and learning how to support Maneuver forces. In the Army G-8, representing the Army as Executive Agent to the Chemical and Biological Defense Program, I’ve also seen directly how budgeting and staffing work in the Pentagon. Leveraging operational and budget experience and understanding of the Joint Capabilities Integration and Development System (JCIDS) process, I’ve seen much of what it takes to field capabilities to the warfighter.
Building defensible requirements is an important part of the defense procurement process. You must have defined requirements and be able to determine and describe operationally relevant needs for materiel capabilities. The DTRA contract is an opportunity for us to employ unique experiences to resolve programmatic issues and assist DTRA-RD in delivering capabilities and communicating effectively to the warfighter.
GTI: You have worked directly with DTRA – tell us what this experience brings to the contract.
TM: With DTRA, I served as Deputy Director for the Joint Science and Technology Office (JSTO) for the Chemical and Biological Defense Program providing basic research and early development, where I coordinated across all JSTO divisions. Now, as a civilian contractor, the tables have turned for me – I am running a team that supports these same divisions. What this means in practical terms is that I can offer meaningful technical and programmatic advice and have the rapport with leadership to be heard.
While at DTRA, I gained an appreciation for the complexities of early R&D in chem-bio defense. The chem-bio defense community is very small, with a different decision-making and funding process. The funding is Defense-Wide (Joint), which means that all services must agree on capabilities and funding. To defend chem-bio defense needs, leaders must understand basic research and development, how to make it relevant to the warfighter, and then be able to nest it within the larger chem-bio defense program.
GTI: That’s a unique position to hold. How does this shape CBRN initiatives at ARServices?
TM: At ARServices, we have a huge level of trust within our company, so we take initiatives and make decisions without the pressure to constantly circle back or run things up to a board. This level of trust creates the agility needed to be responsive to our clients. Within our company, we are empowered to act when we see an opportunity. In turn, our clients are also empowered, because they trust us to go out there to find opportunities, solve problems, and bring best-in-class solutions.
To learn more about how ARServices has helped federal agencies with research and development, business transformation, and integrated logistics, click here.