Members of government and industry are taking concrete steps to address long-standing problems in the procurement community through plug fests--events that test the interoperability of network devices by plugging them into functioning networks. Various organizations within and outside of government have hosted such programs, but recently a group of public and private partners in the defense industry decided to organize plug fests specifically to address problems in the military arena.
The Air Force Chief of Staff had but three critical requirements for the Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM): "It should work; it should hit the target; and it should cost under $40,000 each." If only every requirements document could fit on a sticky note!
After several months of drafts and comments, the U.S. Navy now has released the request for proposal (RFP) for its Next Generation Enterprise Network, or NGEN. The 1,100-page RFP provides guidance for prospective bidders on a contract that likely will total 4.5 billion dollars.
Shipyards must apply old and new lessons to give the Navy what it needs and can afford.
The national security strength of the United States is inexorably linked to its fiscal health, according to a high ranking member of the Joint Staff. Accordingly, the Defense Department must do its part in nationwide belt-tightening.
Top U.S. military officials are warning that the current fiscal crisis is the single biggest threat to the country’s national security. And, the most critical concern facing the United States is ensuring that it has the resources necessary to maintain its security globally—and that it is prepared for the challenges ahead.
Members of today's industry panel at LandWarNet discussed many of the issues that have long been a source of consternation to military contractors including the need for a level playing field and better, more agile acquisition policies especially for information technology. However, one person added a slight twist to the discussion by stating that not only do many in government not understand the acquisition process and its difficulties, but industry does not do a good job educating them.
The U.S Army signal community is preparing for budget cuts and a drawdown of personnel that includes reducing the number of contractors supporting the military branch by 30 percent without any replacement by military or government employees. However, with the Army's current plan only the officer corps would face reduction through means other than attrition; more drastic cut mandates could alter future decisions.
Ships and submarines being built by the U.S. Navy today will be in service 40 to 50 years from now, according to the commander of the U.S. Fleet Forces Command. Adm. John T. Harvey, USN, explained that the Navy cannot afford to re-procure its fleet, so it must ensure that its platforms last for several decades.
As the U.S. Coast Guard examines new ways to consolidate its logistics systems into a single business model, it is using social media platforms to open a dialogue with government and industry.
This month, Capt. Joseph A. Grace Jr., USN (Ret.) likens the state of government technology to that of an 8-track tape player--"now DIACAP-certified, ruggedized, encrypted and able to be thrown out of the car window at 60 miles per hour unharmed"--in an iPod world, thanks to a bloated procurement process.
If people want changes in the way the Defense Department procures and manages information technology (IT), then it may be time for them to put their money where their mouths are. The department is proposing sweeping reforms that will revolutionize every aspect of IT procurement and management. If successful, these reforms conceivably could address all of the IT acquisition complaints that have been echoing across the department. All this effort needs is a buy-in from all of the players. Elizabeth A.
At AFCEA International's Small Business Intelligence forum yesterday, experts revealed tips about how companies-large and small-can increase their business with member agencies of the intelligence community. But, yesterday's blog coverage was just too short to include all of the advice they shared, so here are a few more ideas.
The overwhelming feeling among small business owners and industry overall is that winning a contract with one of the three-lettered agencies is not worth the effort. But IC insiders say the opportunities are out there, and companies should be taking advantage of them.
Accreditation and certification of software is a vital, but time consuming process. On Tuesday afternoon, panelists at the AFCEA SOLUTIONS symposium discussed the challenge and ongoing attempts to streamline the process.
The final panel of the 2010 Joint Warfighting Conference focused on two topics that have been discussed consistently for more than a decade: lack of interoperability and convoluted acquisition. Though the panelists agreed on the problems, their opinions about solutions differed slightly.
The mostly static federal bureaucracy can use an entrepreneurial FCSA shot to the arm-but will this new acquisition process just add more layers of red tape to a system trying to streamline? Will it work smoothly, or does the FCSA have too many kinks? How about other potential methods? Please share your ideas.
Managing the myriad programs designed to provide border security has proved challenging. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has launched a variety of technology efforts designed to enhance border security. Likewise, civilian firms are deeply involved with DHS in supporting these programs. Two panels running Wednesday examined the government and industry perspectives of coordinating border security.
While many conferences suffer from waning interest as panel session after panel session present valuable information over two days, this year's AFCEA Homeland Security conference proved to be quite the opposite. Discussions about upcoming contracting opportunities was at least part of the reason.
It's rare that an audience of industry and service members at all ranks get the chance to hear first hand from the first of a kind.