The Pentagon has signed up a McLean company to help it learn to be more flexible in war planning and more effective in working with other organizations.

Alion Science and Technology Corp. won a contract worth $3.9 million over five years to assist the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Staff J7 for Defense Task Development, part of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, with training and coordination of the military's transformation initiative. It's part of an ongoing makeover of how the military wages war and resolves its aftermath.

Alion will help develop and put in place policies to move away from a rigid war planning process focused on a narrow set of scenarios to a more fluid process that helps U.S. forces react quickly to unexpected developments in hot spots around the globe.

The training also will address how the military services work together in an "adaptive planning" approach and how they work with other federal, state and local agencies as well as other governments.

The Defense Department "is in the throes of a great transformation not only in equipment but in the way it does business," said Rob Goff, sector manager and senior vice president with Alion. "One of the cornerstones of operating efficiently in a military organization is how it trains and interacts with other components, whether a training exercise or a real war contingency. This work is going to lead to a cornerstone of that foundation."

The Training Transformation Plan, known as T2, was revised last year to incorporate the Defense Department's experiences so far in transforming the military and the lessons learned from operations such as those in Iraq and Afghanistan. T2 focuses on knowledge development and distribution, national training and joint assessment.

The plan will help the Defense Department teach coordination as it trains personnel and conducts military exercises to prepare for a crisis.

Goff said the company won the contract largely because of the experienced team it assembled.

"They all have a strong background in the process, and most of them have been on the ground floor since the beginning of the [Defense Department] transformation period," he said. "They understand how all of this needs to come together and can make it work properly."

The company initially will assign seven people to the project but will provide more staffing as additional requirements surface, Goff said.

Alion Science and Technology is an employee-owned technology company that works with the Defense Department and other federal government and commercial customers. The company has about 2,600 employees and annual sales of $269.9 million.

William Welsh is deputy editor of Washington Technology magazine. For information on this and other contracts, go to