Magazine article National Defense

Navy, Industry Leaders Attack Host of Acquisition Challenges

Magazine article National Defense

Navy, Industry Leaders Attack Host of Acquisition Challenges

Article excerpt

The Navy's requirements-based system of weapons acquisition requires drastic overhaul if the sea service is to remain the dominant force in future conflicts, officials said.

Anticipated foes are drawing their arsenal from a worldwide commercial sector that is producing systems four or five times faster than the Pentagon's traditional way of developing ships, aircraft, and tanks.

This point was underscored by Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development, and Acquisition Lee Buchanan at the fourth iteration of NDIA's Navy/Marine Crops CEO Conference in San Diego, California.

Buchanan noted that the U. S. military must be prepared to confront weapons and related sysgems that are evolving in a much more compact cycle-" every two to three years."

But senior leaders from the sea service and industry at the conference also probed an array of other issues that are getting in the way of a more harmonious military-industry partnership--considered vital to meeting tomorrow's challenges.

Following are the critical points that surfaced before three panels at the two-day conference:

The industry/government partnering group stressed the importance of colocating government and industry project managers. Customers and providers, panel members said, must learn to problem-solve as a team while maintaining a professional working relationship--government must safeguard the interest of the taxpayer while industry protects its shareholders. Each side must also be aware of the focus and direction of its partner group.

This partnering develops unique boundaries--government functions should remain with the government and the unique relationship between buyer and seller must be recognized and retained, panelists suggested. The government buyer and commercial seller relationship, which is an arm-lenght relationship also should be maintained. …

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