Acquisition Isn't Broken, but It Needs Fixing

May 17, 2012
By Robert K. Ackerman
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A perfect storm is coming as budgetary constraints are exerting pressure on efforts to transform the force with new technologies for emerging missions. In particular, the U.S. Navy must be able to build ships that are more versatile and flexible in a system that supports process rigidity. "Oversight has run amok," said Vice Adm. Walter M. Skinner, USN, principal military assistant to the assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition. "There it too much oversight in the current system. Somewhere between too much oversight and not enough oversight, we have to come together among the parties." Adm. Skinner spoke in a panel discussion at Joint Warfighting 2012 in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He and other panelists agreed that the acquisition system needs to be adjusted for new exigencies to have an effective force. Speed of acquisition is a major issue in this information-driven force. "It annoys me that Moore's Law changes computing power on a ship every 18 months, but it takes me 10 years to make those changes on a ship," Adm. Skinner stated. The admiral continued that the military knows how to field systems quickly. He cited the mine resistant ambush protected (MRAP) vehicle as an example of how the process can be adjusted with positive results.

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