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Defense Acquisition University
Middle Tier Acquisition brings big changes to DoD
Written by: DAU Public Affairs
August 29, 2018
Middle Tier Acquisition - A panel discussion with Mr. Ben FitzGerald, Office of the Secretary of Defense; Dr. Will Roper, U.S. Air Force; and Dr. Bruce Jette, U.S. Army)
In an effort to streamline rapid prototyping and fielding, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment Ellen Lord released a memo April 16 providing interim guidance on one of the most foundational changes to Defense acquisition in years --
Middle Tier Acquisition
This new acquisition approach, which was authorized in the
FY2016 National Defense Authorization Act
, is an attempt to get "middle tier" capabilities into the field as quickly as possible - in under 5 years compared to large-scale acquisition programs that sometimes take longer than a decade for research and prototyping. Middle Tier Acquisition does this by streamlining the testing and deployment of prototypes or upgrading existing systems with already proven technology. Under this new acquisition authority, designated programs are not subject to the more traditional Joint Capabilities Integration Development System or DoD Instruction 5000.01, except as provided in the implementation guidance.
With this interim authority in hand, Services have already started providing Middle Tier Acquisition proven practices and guidance to their acquisition workforces. The U.S. Navy released an
April 28 memo
providing their own specialized guidance for a Navy-specific incremental approach to incorporating Middle Tier Acquisition into the fleet. This was followed by a memo on
Rapid Acquisition Capabilities
released by the U.S. Air Force service acquisition executive in mid-June.
Additional guidance from the U.S. Army is expected in the near future.
Related content - MITRE Acquisition in the Digital Age resource page
Related content - U.S. Air Force Memo - Seven Steps for Incorporating Prototyping into Acquisition
Related content - DAU Brief on Middle Tier Acquisition
The header image show Air Force Capt. Leland Quinter wearing night vision goggles during a C-130J Super Hercules training flight over Poland, Aug. 2, 2018.
Photo by Senior Airman Joshua Magbanua