Dec. 1, 2001
A professional and patriotic editorial, Shame on you for that editorial, The wait is not long for all military-grade electronic parts
A professional and patriotic editorialEditor's note: these letters concern the column that appears on page 1 entitled Coming to grips with thin wartime information. It also appeared Oct. 16 on the Military & Aerospace Electronics site on the World Wide Web.

To The Editor:
Finally, an editorial that looks at the information issue in a professional and patriotic manner.

I realize that it's hard on everyone not having the type of information that was forthcoming during Desert Storm.

However, having spent the majority of my Army Reserve life as a special operations planner, I applaud the job this administration is doing with operational security.

One thing that is glaringly obvious about much of the reporting of this war (as it was in Desert Storm) is the lack of basic military knowledge on the part of many journalists. In the past month, I have seen many badly researched pieces, especially on US Special Operations Forces. Can't these people read a book or go to a web site like Specialoperations.com?

Parallel to this lack of knowledge, is the parade of "experts". Every media outlet has several. Some like Merrill McPeak, David Grange, or Brian Jenkins have BTDT knowledge. However, every author or college department head who has ever used the word "terrorism" is suddenly deemed an "expert". Some of these "experts" are nothing but sensationalists who we least need at a time like this.

Everyone has an opinion, but that doesn't mean everyone's opinion is worth something.

Lt. Col. Joseph L. Crivelli
U.S. Army Reserve
Queens, N.Y.

Shame on you for that editorialTo The Editor:I guess I am confused about your editorial. On one hand, you "support" the government's actions restricting news and information and on the other — you whine about not enough information to conduct your business.

Try telling that to the 15,000 parent-less children in and around New York City!

Try telling that to the businesses who lost a great deal of their brain trust!

Try telling that to the 300+ fireman who gave their lives to save others!

Try telling that to our brave military who are now serving in harms' way!

Quite frankly, I am shocked at your callous attitude especially as an editor of a journal that deals in Military and Aerospace matters. You sound just like the CNN weenies who whine about being kept away from the battle action.

Shame on you.

Bob Davis
Product Support Services
Customer Technical Training
Clearwater, Fla.

The wait is not long for all military-grade electronic partsTo The Editor:This letter is in reference to the story entitled "Electronics suppliers told to stay with COTS, get ready to speed-up production" on page 1 of the November 2001 issue of Military & Aerospace Electronics.

I wish to take exception with two quotes from Clarence Peckham, president of SBS Technologies Inc. Government group in Raleigh, N.C. Specifically his quote in the 4th paragraph, "Military-grade parts would take 10 to 20 weeks because they are built to order," and "COTS helps because they can take components right off our production line, and expect to be at the head of the queue."

1st Exception
Aeroflex Circuit Technology offers dozens of "Military-grade parts" as "Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) parts". The pedigree (MIL-grade or Space-grade) of a component (electronic or otherwise) has nothing to do with whether or not it is available as a "COTS" solution. QML/SMD assignment from DSCC, Columbus, Ohio, continues to provide a strong system, available nowhere else, which allows military system designers rapid insertion of the best commercial technology. It is important to understand that whether the system designer uses COTS components or "custom" components, the device has to support the requirements of the end user. These components often operate in harsh tactical environments; mission success is put at great risk and we all stand to lose. Mr. Peckham's insinuation that military-grade products are not available off-the-shelf is incorrect. It is important that Military & Aerospace Electronics, which is highly respected and well circulated in the aerospace industry, does not propagate misinformation about any COTS products.

Aeroflex Circuit Technology offers microelectronic devices such as Data Bus, Memory Modules, Microprocessor Modules and Radiation Tolerant Analog Multiplexer MCMs, all of which are available as mil-grade or space grade COTS. Coincidentally, SBS Technologies in Albuquerque, N.M., is one of our customers for the ACT4419-D MIL-STD-1553 Databus transceivers. Please see our short form brochure at: http://www.aeroflex.com/ac t/pdf/utact-sf.pdf.

Aeroflex's management continues to make significant inventory investments to make our products available off-the-shelf for the military aerospace electronics industry. Because they are in a catalog and on a price list, they can many times be shipped within days of order receipt. These qualify as COTS solutions; however, you will notice many of the devices are available by an SMD number. By virtue of having an SMD number assigned they are MIL-grade devices.

2nd Exception
"COTS helps because they can take components right off our production line, and expect to be at the head of the queue."

The COTS initiative was borne out of Defense Secretary William J. Perry's memorandum dated June 29, 1994 now known in our industry as the Perry Memorandum, which states that:

"Performance specifications shall be used when purchasing new systems, upgrades to current systems ... If it is not practical to use a performance specification, a non-government standard shall be used. Since there will be cases when military specifications are needed to define an exact design solution because there is no acceptable non-government standard, or because the use of a performance specification or non-government standard is not cost effective, the use of military specifications is authorized as a last resort, with an appropriate waiver".

Mr. Peckham can ship parts in as little as two days because he has them sitting on a shelf, not because they are not Mil-grade. Aeroflex Circuit Technology's SMD parts are right off our production line. They do not have to go to an independent test house for "upscreening" or the like.

I disagree with Mr. Peckham's quotes as indicated above. I am also disappointed that Military & Aerospace Electronics published what I believe is incorrect information that, in this critical time, may affect the correct product purchase. I would hate to see a customer purchase a COTS product instead of a needed Mil-grade COTS product because a Military & Aerospace Electronics article indicates he has to wait 10 to 20 weeks! When he doesn't! There are many instances where Mil-grade COTS products are required and there are suppliers, such as Aeroflex Circuit Technology, who are able to supply these products quickly.

Joseph Castaldo
Strategic Business Manager
Aeroflex Circuit Technology
Plainview, N.Y.

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