By Mr. Michael BoldJanuary 3, 2017
FORT BELVOIR, Va. (Jan. 3, 2016)--Just what is strategic acquisition? It's a holistic, cradle-to-grave view of acquisition, from design to procurement to testing to deployment to sustainment to disposal. Strategic acquisition is about finding ways to get better capabilities to warfighters faster, and it's the theme of the January-March 2017 issue of Army AL&T magazine. Read about:
The Army Capabilities Integration Center, with groundbreaking efforts by its professional combat developers, requirements writers and program managers, is looking to thaw the glacial pace of acquisition and speed capabilities to the warfighter as the Army warms to new ways of doing business, welcoming innovation and involving industry early and often. See "RECALIBRATING REQUIREMENTS."
None of what the Army Rapid Capabilities Office does can be found in a requirements document, so the office's director of operations, Maj. Gen. Walter E. Piatt, provides an overview and answers questions about how strategic demand drives its battle rhythm and ground rules in "GETTING TO WORK."
Instant food, repair parts or even flesh may sound like something from a sci-fi movie, engineers and scientists at the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command are looking at ways to use additive manufacturing (also known as 3-D printing) to supply Soldiers with customized nutrient-dense food, or repair critical parts on demand, or print new cells to repair burned skin. Read about other ways 3-D printing can meet Soldiers' needs in "A NEW DIMENSION OF ACQUISITION."
The Defense Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUx), DOD's outreach to the tech community, has worked with Army Contracting Command -- New Jersey to develop the speedy "commercial solutions opening," an other transaction authority mechanism designed to acquire innovative solutions from nontraditional contractors that moves from first contact to final contract in 60 days or less. And DIUx is sharing its guidebook with the rest of the federal government. See "SPEED CONTRACTING."
With a startup mindset, military know-how and a wide-ranging network of technology partners, Peter Newell, the former head of the Army's Rapid Equipping Force, and Jackie Space, a former Air Force officer and space systems program manager, work to construct a bridge between DOD and the high-tech innovators of Silicon Valley through BMNT Partners. They talk about their experiences and challenges in "SPEED AND URGENCY IN SILICON VALLEY."
When a bad acquisition decision develops a life of its own and leadership fails to intervene, Soldiers pay the price. A former paratrooper changed course to pursue a career in acquisition after he witnessed the folly of the "steerable" MC1-1 parachute, a program based on questionable objectives that resulted in lives lost. Read about it in "RULE NO. 1."
Improving communication with the intelligence community will improve the acquisition process and strengthen the Army Acquisition Workforce. The director of the U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center tells how that will happen in "SWAPPING INTEL."
Even if you're a die-hard hard copy reader, there are many reasons to take a sneak peek online. Go to http://asc.army.mil/web/publications/army-alt-magazine/ to read the current issue. In addition to reading the e-magazine with all of its online extras, you'll find individual articles, and information on how to submit articles and subscribe to the magazine. To download a PDF of the current or past issues of the magazine, go to http://asc.army.mil/web/magazine/alt-magazine-archive/.