Magazine article National Defense

Air Force Touts Progress in Acquisition Reform

Magazine article National Defense

Air Force Touts Progress in Acquisition Reform

Article excerpt

Five years into a long-term plan to turn around the Air Force's bad reputation for poor acquisition management, the service is beginning to make progress, a senior service leader said.

Robert Pollock, the chief process officer for Air Force acquisition, said the Air Force acquisition corps in 2006 had hit "rock bottom" with regard to its credibility. The Government Accountability Office had overturned two major awards.

"We always had a low percentage of successful protests, but when we failed, we failed magnificently," he said at the Milcom conference.

While Pollock did not specifically mention the two programs that tarnished the Air Force's reputation, the aerial refueling tanker and the combat rescue helicopter were two examples of acquisitions gone awry in that timeframe.

Instead of doing what it normally did, "coming up with some miracle acquisition lightning bolt" that would instantly solve all its problems, leaders decided to create a long-term plan to change the way the service does business. The Air Force is now five years into the seven-year acquisition improvement plan, he said. …

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