Tag Archives: January 2015

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Military Throwaways? Why Acquirers Should Go Disposable


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Maj. Patrick Dugan, USAF, Maj. Jon D. McComb, USAF, Maj. Chad Steipp, USAF

The military tends to keep equipment for a long time. Unfortunately, extended product life cycles leave many operators with worn-out or obsolete gear. Aircraft, vehicles, ships, radars and radios are examples of the outdated equipment our Armed Forces use daily.

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Freedom of Information Act Requests – Six Keys to Handling Them


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Author: Michael A. Rodgers

When I worked at an Air Force major command, I noticed that receiving a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request consistently caused program and contracting personnel to become distracted from their mission. Today, the risk of distraction has increased alarmingly. Money and effort have been diverted from accomplishing tasks. According to the Department of Defense (DoD) Chief FOIA Officer’s Reports for Fiscal Years 2013 and 2014, the DoD spent $166,542,828 ($166.5 million) to process 127,000 FOIA requests.

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Risk and Risk Mitigation—Don’t Be a Spectator


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Author: Frank Kendall, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics

As I have watched programs come through for Milestone Decisions and other reviews, I have gained the impression that our processes for risk management may have focused too much on the process and not enough on the substance of identifying and controlling risk. I think I may be seeing risk identification—categorization in the “risk matrix” showing likelihood and consequence and with risk burn-down schedules tied to program events. From my perspective, this by itself isn’t risk management; it is risk watching. We need to do what we can to manage and control risk, not just observe it.

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Test and Evaluation Myths and Misconceptions


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Author: Steve Hutchison, Ph.D.

Test and Evaluation (T&E) is essential to successful system acquisition. For the last 43 years, the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) has included various formations providing T&E oversight. Interested readers can review some of the history in the articles “The Original DT&E” and “What Happened to DT&E?” in the January–February 2014 and March–April 2014 issues, respectively, of the Defense AT&L magazine. Having been witness to just over a third of this history, I thought I would share some of the great myths and misconceptions about T&E that I have observed over the years. If we can dispel some of these myths, perhaps we can reduce the tension between testers and developers and get on with helping acquisition programs deliver capabilities more effectively and efficiently. After all, the Department of Defense (DoD) is not investing the nation’s resources for programs to fail—our job as testers is to help programs succeed.

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The 21st-Century Acquisition Leader


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Author: Paul E. Turner

Acquisition leaders of the 21st century face challenges that differ from any previous time in history. A constant change in technology, government financial instability and a diverse workforce require leadership attributes that may seem unattainable.

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Performance Based Logistics For Achieving Affordable Readiness


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Authors: Betsy Lederer and Knob Moses

In February 2014, the Secretary of Defense announced a plan to shrink the Pentagon’s budget by more than $75 billion over the next two years. Secretary Chuck Hagel said these cuts would come by reducing manpower without degrading training or readiness. In order to help achieve these aggressive goals, there has been an increased focus on greater efficiency and productivity. This is reflected in the April 24, 2013, memorandum from Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics (USD[AT&L]) Frank Kendall, “Implementing Directive for Better Buying Power 2.0—Achieving Greater Efficiency and Productivity in Defense Spending.” As part of a broad range of initiatives, Kendall’s BBP 2.0 memorandum promotes Performance Based Logistics (PBL) as one tool for achieving the Department of Defense (DoD) goal of affordable readiness. Using an outcome-based sustainment strategy, PBL offers a well-tested contribution to meeting the DoD’s budgetary challenges.

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Defense Exportability Features Initiative: A New Paradigm for International Cooperation


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Authors: Frank D. Kenlon and Jay Mandelbaum

Department of Defense (DoD) program managers (PMs) are now required to consider developing and incorporating Defense Exportability Features (DEF) into a system or subsystem likely to be exported to enable future U.S. Government-DoD International Cooperative Programs (ICPs), Foreign Military Sales (FMS) or Direct Commercial Sales (DCS) or other U.S. Government-authorized Building Partner Capacity (BPC) transfers.

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What Program Managers Need to Know A New Book to Accelerate Acquisition Competence


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Authors: Col. William T. Cooley and Brian C. Ruhm

The Department of Defense (DoD) acquisition management process is complex. Despite the DoD’s best efforts to standardize acquisition processes and strategies, running a large acquisition program rarely lends itself to a “checklist” approach.  Success as a program manager (PM) requires not only understanding acquisition principles, processes and terminology but also attaining a sound working knowledge of the acquisition functional areas—contracting, financial management, systems engineering and integrated logistics.

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Swamped by Regulations Perils of an Ever-Increasing Burden


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Authors: Allen Friar

The Department of Defense (DoD) acquisition process is too complicated, too slow, too expensive and includes too many competing objectives. The ever-increasing new laws, regulations and policies are adversely affecting the federal acquisition process and the ability of federal agencies to provide services and perform their missions.

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