Services Acquisition in the DoD: A Comparison of Management Practices in the Army, Navy, and Air Force
Rene G. Rendon, Uday M. Apte, and Aruna Apte
This article presents the results of empirical studies of current practices in services acquisition in the Army, Navy, and Air Force. The authors studied the management practices in areas such as contract characteristics, acquisition management methods, use of the project management approach, acquisition leadership, and ownership of requirements. They also studied areas such as the ability of personnel responsible for acquisition, adequacy of acquisition billets and their fill rates, and training provided to services acquisition personnel. The data confirmed that the Navy uses a regional contracting approach, while the Army and the Air Force use an installationlevel approach. These differences have important implications for other acquisition management practices, such as the use of project management and contractor surveillance.
Proposed Leadership Structure for Joint Acquisition Programs
Howard Harris and Mark Lewis
Department of Defense (DoD) acquisition programs are becoming more joint, and joint acquisition programs are critical to mission success. In the current DoD acquisition and requirements structure, joint programs are usually assigned to one of the Component Acquisition Executives (CAEs). This causes or exacerbates some of the shortfalls of the existing joint acquisition process. This article investigates the benefits and difficulties of one specific organizational change: creating a Joint Acquisition Executive (JAE), managing joint programs only and reporting to the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, as a peer to current CAEs.
Experience Catalysts: How They Fill the Acquisition Experience Gap for the DoD
Col Robert L. Tremaine, USAF (Ret.)
In any business, trade, or profession, experience matters. Not surprisingly, the public tends to look at experience as a necessity when personal safety is paramount. Professions like the medical, transportation, and construction industries all rely heavily on experience. They take considerable time to qualify their respective corps through various experience incubators like internships, fellowships, apprentices, etc.—all on the job. They learn by “doing.” Without “doing,” these personnel may face challenges later they cannot easily overcome when “know-how” matters the most. The defense acquisition profession is no different. Experience has always been a vital constituent component. This article addresses the experience catalysts that matter most to the Defense Acquisition Workforce.
U.S. Space Acquisition: Challenges in the Final Frontier
Barry “Jay” Borst, Shahram Sarkani, and Thomas Mazzuchi
Space contributes to the security and economic stability of the United States. However, numerous studies, articles, and surveys state export control is hurting the space industrial base. The nation’s ability to acquire space systems, according to many published sources, is diminishing and may impact its leadership in the field of space. Many claim excessive export controls as one of the primary causes and often cite statistics, data, and information contained within a 2007 Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) survey to validate their claim. While the AFRL survey certainly provides insight and should not be entirely discounted, the application of System Dynamics Modeling suggests the survey’s findings on export control are outdated.