In a briefing on Aug. 26  , the US Assistant Secretary of Defense for Acquisitions and Support (USD (A & S) for “Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment”, Ellen Lord, focus on the development of a strategy to address the following six priority objectives:
- Recruitment and retention of a diverse workforce by modernizing management and training methods;
- Promote innovation in the field of acquisitions to be able to contract at the speed required by the expression of need (” enable contracting at the speed of relevance “);
- Build a secure and resilient defense industrial base through not only defensive (such as CFIUS  and FIRRMA  ), but also offensive (encourage public-private partnerships, co-ordinate a coherent government and industrialists in the field of intellectual property protection (IP for “Intellectual Property”)) especially in the face of the Chinese threat; recover lost autonomy in certain sectors such as mini-aerial drones (UAS); etc);
- Ensure the security and resilience of Pentagon infrastructure, including energy and cyber security;
- Reduce operational costs (particularly with regard to the F-35) and increase the cyber-resilience of weapons systems;
- Promote acquisition and support initiatives with key international partners.
Regularly criticized for their bureaucracy and cost overruns difficult to control, US acquisition procedures are once again being reformed within the Pentagon. Ellen Lord identified four of the previously mentioned priorities as the four pillars of her arms programming innovation strategy, namely the restructuring of her governance model, the acceleration of the contracting procedures according to the needs, the strengthening and securing the defense industrial base and improving the training of specialized personnel in acquisitions.
For example, the Pentagon is working with the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, Carnegie Mellon and industry to develop a unified cyber security standard. This program – known as the CMMC for Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification – is expected to help strengthen the Defense Department’s supply chain security early next year.
1 See the transcript: www.defense.gov
*** See Ellen Lord’s biography, confirmed by the Senate since August 2017 >>> www.defense.gov
Photo © Petty Officer James K. Lee 2nd Class, 26/08/2019 (as published in: www.defenseone.com )