Official Shares DoD
Official Shares DoD’s
Technology Goals With Industry
By Terri Moon Cronk, DoD News,
Defense Media Activity.
Washington D.C. – (DoD
News) – February 5, 2015 – The assistant secretary of defense for
acquisition laid out the Defense Department’s areas of emphasis and goals for
technology for an audience of industry and government officials here yesterday
at the Naval Future Force Science and Technology Expo.
Because DoD faces budget and investment pipeline challenges,
Katrina G. McFarland said, industry and government leaders should think about
what they can do to contribute to offset the challenges of what she called “the
“Technological superiority is not assured, [research and
development] is not a variable cost, and time is not recoverable,” McFarland
To keep up with superiority in technology, DoD is looking for
“effective counters” in electronic warfare, long-range air-to-air missiles,
radars operating in nonconventional environments and bandwidths, counter-space
capabilities, long-range and more accurate ballistic and cruise missiles,
improved undersea warfare capabilities, and cyber and information operations.
“We’re trying to find effective, innovative low-cost
solutions against low-cost targets,” she said.
Time Not Recoverable
“Time is not recoverable,” McFarland said, citing historical
military solutions and noting that DoD focused on GPS to give the military
“locations, precision-guided munitions and stealth aircraft [technology] that we
relied on from the Gulf War to today.”
And now, she added, DoD must figure out a “new offset
Research and Development
And with research and development not being a variable cost,
McFarland said, “the combined effects of increased technology challenges with
the current budget challenges have led us to a very uncomfortable place.”
History shows that when research and development investments
have declined, those programs that had forethought are the ones that survived.
“The people who think carefully about what we have to face in our future are the
ones who will position us, and that is you,” she told the audience.
Better Buying Power Initiative
A few years ago, when DoD officials saw an economic decline
in its future, the department developed the Better Buying Power initiative.
BBP 1.0 prepared the acquisition community and services to
improve spending and get as much from less money as possible. Building on 1.0,
BBP 2.0 focused on addressing challenges to national security that exist today
and are likely to exist in the future, as well as affordability in the existing
and future systems and developing technology.
Better Buying Power 3.0, now in a draft stage, takes the
lessons of 1.0 and 2.0 and focuses on technological superiority, McFarland said,
encouraging audience members to read the 3.0 draft and submit input to help in
The main topics of Better Buying Power 3.0 are:
-- Achieve affordable programs;
-- Achieve dominant capabilities while controlling lifecycle costs;
-- Incentivize productivity in industry and government;
-- Incentivize innovation in industry and government;
-- Eliminate unproductive processes and bureaucracy;
-- Promote effective competition;
-- Improve tradecraft in acquisition of services; and
-- Improve the professionalism of the total acquisition workforce.
“Our goal is to achieve dominant capabilities through technical excellence and
innovation,” McFarland said. “And the purpose is to continue strengthening our
culture of cost-consciousness, professionalism and technical excellence.”
McFarland said DoD is focused on four specific mitigations to
existing and emerging threats.
“Our enhanced emphasis is on countering weapons of mass
destruction, electronic warfare, delivering space-based capabilities with or
without a space layer, and cyber,” she said
To mitigate such issues, DoD will make program improvements
rather than start new ones, McFarland explained. The department also will work
on how it does business to stay ready for threats, and to be able to insert new
technology quickly and efficiently, she added.
“That’s what we need from industry,” she said.
McFarland noted that this isn’t the first time the Defense
Department and industry have faced fiscal challenges. “We know we’re going
through troubled times,” she said. “We’ve done it before and succeeded. … Take
that energy [and] focus on things that bring what’s naturally inside of you to
(Follow Terri Moon Cronk on Twitter: @MoonCronkDoD)
Better Buying Power
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