Competition throughout the life cycle of an acquisition program not only is possible, it is alive and well in the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) program. This article focuses on the JLTV program and the Better Buying Power 2.0 (BBP 2.0) effort to “Promote Effective Competition.” Although the JLTV program began before BBP 2.0, the overarching concept of competition throughout the life cycle of an acquisition program is not new and remains a key component of the Federal Acquisition Regulation.
U.S. history is replete with enterprises that succeeded due to effective partnerships. Today, the nation’s most complex partnership is the joint pursuit of the world’s best combat capabilities by the U.S. Department of Defense and the defense industry. These two complex enterprises, on behalf of the nation and its allies, are actively developing, producing, fielding, and sustaining combat systems for joint warfighters that are second to none. Does this shared interaction form an effective partnership? In this article, the authors analyze private industry’s perception of the challenges/opportunities that exist in the shared relationships with their government counterparts. Their findings pinpoint five focus areas, with corresponding actions, which can improve the partnership between government and the defense industry.