Defense Acquisition: Grab Your Gear

January 30, 2012
By Beverly Schaeffer

It's an incredibly confusing world we now live in, with threats to the military and civilians posing vexing challenges that never truly existed before. There really is no "traditional" battleground anymore, because it continues to morph into a field of asymmetric warfare, violent conflict between a formal military and an informal, poorly equipped, but elusive opponent. According to Dr. Paul Monticciolo in his article, "Finding the Hidden Opportunities," in this issue of SIGNAL Magazine, trying to locate isolated explosives within densely populated cities, for example, or to identify small insurgent groups hidden in a mountainous wilderness, is like looking for a specific needle in a stack of needles. The never-ending roadblock to acquiring systems and technologies that are able to keep pace with and address new threats is, of course, budget containment and reduction. Radars must track faster; data must be delivered more quickly; systems have to reach the field immediately. But how will these items be funded? "Memorandum for Acquisition Professionals," published by Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter in 2010, identifies procurement challenges, and it addresses 23 areas for acquisition reform designed to "deliver better value to the taxpayer and warfighter." The Defense Department's focus on acquisition reform poses numerous difficulties that challenge the old way of doing business. But it also provides opportunities for those primes who can, in Deputy Defense Secretary Carter's words, "do more, faster, with less."

By adapting and partnering with companies that share risks and add business value, primes can profit in this new environment. Read the full article and share your opinions with us. We look forward to your input, criticisms and suggestions.


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