Tag Archives: September 2015

Defense AT&L: September – October 2015


To print a PDF copy of the complete issue, click here. Individual articles can be printed from the posts themselves.


To print a PDF copy of the complete issue, click here. Individual articles can be printed from the posts themselves.

DoD Use of Commercial Acquisition Practices—When They Apply and When They Do Not


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

kendall-200The Department of Defense (DoD) generally buys major weapon systems through the defense acquisition system, a process that is highly tailorable but still built around the assumption that the DoD will compensate suppliers for product development, contract through Defense Federal Acquisition Regulations and be heavily involved in all aspects of the product life cycle. A number of organizations—including the Defense Business Board, some think tanks and some in Congress—have encouraged or recommended greater use of commercial practices. There are indeed times when using more commercial practices makes sense, and we should be alert to those opportunities—in any aspect of defense procurement.

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Tailoring and Critical Thinking—Key Principles for Acquisition Success


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Authors: Mike Kotzian, D.M., Michael Paul, and Jesse Stewart

Kotzian is a professor of program management in the Mid-Atlantic Region of the Defense Acquisition University (DAU). He has a doctorate in management from the University of Maryland University College. Paul is the associate dean for Outreach and Mission Assistance at the DAU’s Mid-Atlantic Region. Stewart is the Major Defense Acquisition Programs Director at the Defense Systems Management College.

Based on recent Department of Defense (DoD) acquisition guidance, programs now have the opportunity to approach acquisition program management in ways previously viewed as nontraditional. Unfortunately, many programs are hesitant to veer too far from accepted routines, thereby not taking advantage of opportunities to explore new acquisition approaches. In one partnership between the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and U.S. Navy, however, such opportunities have been fully embraced and may provide future programs with touchstones on how to increase program cost-effectiveness and efficiency as well as program success.

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Cost Capability Analysis Introduction to a Technique


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Author: Frank Delsing

Delsing is retired U.S. Air Force lieutenant colonel and was the T-X (trainer jet) deputy program manager and helped to develop the application of the Multi-Attribute Decision Model techniques to the acquisition process for Air Force Materiel Command. The author expresses special thanks to Retired Lt Col Len Cabrera for the example used in this article, as well as the United States Air Force Academy Capstone team for its computer-based tool.

Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics Frank Kendall and Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James have introduced many new initiatives in an effort to improve U.S. Air Force Acquisition, including Better Buying Power, Owning the Baseline, Bending the Cost Curve, and others.

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Are You Experienced? The Case for Acquisition Professional Qualification Standards


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Author: Thomas H. Miller

Miller is the program manager for Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles within the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) Program Executive Office for Land Systems and is a former assistant program executive officer and Army contracting officer. He also was the USMC lead for Program Management Acquisition Qualification Standards (AQS), serving as the USMC representative on the Office of the Secretary of Defense AQS development Integrated Product Team.

Many professions require both rigorous training and months, if not years, of hands-on practice under the close supervision of experts prior to declaring the trainee proficient enough to perform the job on their own. Physicians are required to complete years of schooling and residency training, as well as pass rigorous board examinations. Airplane pilots require hours of supervised flight time before receiving a license to fly solo.

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Boosting System Reliability Through Modeling and Simulation


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Authors: Lisa Carroll with Keith D. Adkins, Jr.,Mark J. Brudnak, Ph.D., and Michael F. Pohland

Carroll is an operations research analyst in the Reliability Branch U.S. Army Materiel Systems Analysis Activity (AMSAA) at Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG) in Maryland. Adkins is an automotive reliability evaluator at the U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command at APG. Brudnak is associate director of Physical Simulation and Test, U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center in Warren, Michigan. Pohland is the Physics of Failure Mechanical Systems Team Lead at AMSAA.

To maximize return on investment (ROI) in the face of increasing budget constraints and failure of half of all Army programs to demonstrate established reliability requirements, test and evaluation (T&E) programs must be executed more efficiently and incorporate more aggressive reliability growth techniques. One way to accomplish this is by leveraging existing modeling and simulation (M&S) tools, including purely computer-based as well as hardware-in-the-loop (HWIL) tools.

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Did the Navy Get Taken?


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Author: John Krieger

Krieger is an intermittent professor of contract management at the Defense Systems Management College’s School of Program Managers at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, and is an independent consultant with more than 35 years of government experience in contracting and acquisition.

“Think. The first responsibility of the acquisition workforce is to think. We need to be true professionals who apply our education, training and experience through analysis and creative, informed thought to address our daily decisions. Our workforce should be encouraged by leaders to think and not to automatically default to a perceived school solution just because it is expected to be approved more easily. BBP 2.0, like BBP 1.0, is not rigid dogma—it is guidance subject to professional judgment.”

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The Defense Systems Trade Show—An Industry Perspective


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Author: Lawrence E. Casper

Casper is a former U.S. Army colonel who is retired from defense industry management. He has authored a number of articles in defense and military Service-oriented journals as well as the book “Falcon Brigade–Combat and Command in Somalia and Haiti’ (Lynne Rienner Publisher, January 2001).

This is the third in a series of articles by the author on international defense sales. The first two appeared in the September–October 2014 and March-April 2015 issues of Defense AT&L magazine.

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Defense Labs: The Innovation Engine for Sustaining Our Quality Edge


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Authors: Dale Ormond  and  Edie Williams, Ed.D.

Ormond is principal director for Research in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (ASD[R&E]). Williams is consultant to the ASD(R&E).

The recently released National Military Strategy (NMS) characterizes the strategic environment as one in which globalized, diffused technology in the hands of not only nation-states, but also violent extremist organizations, is challenging the competitive advantage we have enjoyed for decades. The NMS calls for investment in future capabilities like space, cyber, integrated and resilient Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR), precision strike, missile defense, autonomous systems and other changes, to retain or increase our fighting edge.

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Briefing Executives


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Author: Roy Wood, Ph.D.

Wood is the Acting Vice President of the Defense Acquisition University and former Principal Assistant Deputy Under Secretary of Defense. He is a retired naval officer and acquisition professional.

So, you are on the calendar to brief a general or flag officer or senior executive. You are understandably anxious—there’s a lot at stake. You need approval of your plan in order to move forward. You have to report some bad news. Or maybe it is just an information brief to someone with a reputation for asking hard questions.

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