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If you’ve heard me speak recently or read about any of my recent congressional testimony, you may be aware that I’m fairly vocal about my concerns regarding our ability to sustain the unchallenged technological superiority our military has enjoyed for several decades. This isn’t a new concern but, given the budget cuts we face and the difficult trade-offs among competing needs for force structure, readiness and investment, I decided it was time to be much more public and vocal about our current and future risks. The Secretary and the acting Deputy Secretary have been extremely supportive and are expressing the same concerns.
“Captain’s log, star date 2821.5. On route to Makus III with a cargo of medical supplies. Our course leads us past Murasaki 312, a quasar-like formation. Vague, undefined, a priceless opportunity for scientific investigation. On board is Galactic High Commissioner Ferris, overseeing the delivery of the medicines to Makus III.”
How well will weapons work? The answer to this question is not simple, but is necessary to develop effective weapons and survivable systems. The fundamental knowledge required to answer this question comes from energetics experts—researchers and developers of warheads, explosives, propellants and pyrotechnics. Ideally, real-world tests are used to determine weapons effects, but they are not always possible, particularly due to cost.
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John DelGreco starts each morning at 0600 at the Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) Raytheon Tewksbury Contract Management Office (CMO). He’s been doing it a while. January 2014 represented the start of his 27th year as a contract price/cost analyst at DCMA. Over the course of his career, he has seen many changes within the agency and the pricing career field.
The Department of Defense (DoD) continues to look for ways to encourage innovation and the transition of innovative concepts into its programs. The federal government has continued to support DoD rapid acquisition programs to get great ideas out to the warfighter. For example, the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Vehicle Stopper Challenge encourages hopeful innovators to solve a specific problem. Similarly, the government website Challenge.gov offers prizes to people who can help solve technical problems in a wide variety of government programs.
A military construction project is a large and incredibly complex undertaking. It requires enormous individual responsibility, considerable planning and constant, highly effective coordination and communication to complete a military construction project successfully.
The Life Cycle Logistics career field comprises professionals responsible for planning, development, implementation and execution of effective and affordable weapons, materiel and information systems product support strategies. Life Cycle Logistics encompasses both acquisition and sustainment activities spanning a weapon system’s life cycle. It is today the third largest Defense Acquisition Workforce career field, made up of more than 17,000 civilian and military personnel from the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and a range of Department of Defense (DoD) agencies. It has not, however, always been so.
The Department of Defense (DoD) builds the most technologically complex weapons and communications systems in the world today, yet the government officials charged with overseeing these programs rely mostly on manual, paper-based processes to create the acquisition plans and analyses needed to manage these programs. Not surprisingly, collecting information for the dozens of acquisition documents required during a program’s life cycle is labor intensive and time consuming. Documents shuttle back and forth among groups of creators, reviewers, approvers and other stakeholders, often introducing unintended but consequential inaccuracies as they add their personal and positional insights when refining these program plans. Version control can be a nightmare. Worst of all, decision makers are unable to fully exploit the valuable troves of program information because the process creates innumerable separate and often conflicting data sources, rather than authoritative and searchable information sources.
This article uses the DOTmLPF-P construct (defined below) usually associated with non-materiel solution requirements analysis to propose recommendations for U.S.-coalition and host nation government (HNG) forces plus host nation vendors (HNV) when conducting procurements for HNG forces using the host nation (HN) industrial base in a contingency environment. These proposals are by no means exhaustive but are intended to provide some major areas to consider when executing an HN-first procurement policy.