Program Update from the Chair

“The only easy day was yesterday!”

That Navy SEAL aphorism well describes our Acquisition Research Program experience over the past three months.  Our program and faculty have been busy conducting and publishing sponsored research and taking a leading role in transformations at Naval Postgraduate School (NPS), in addition to supporting our world-class student program and hosting events for the acquisition research community.

NPS faculty were awarded two of eight projects from the OSD Acquisition Innovation Research Center (AIRC) last summer. The AIRC projects are wrapping up later this quarter.

The Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development, and Acquisition (ASN RDA) funded six additional ARP research proposals, all in the fourth quarter.  All six of the fourth quarter ASN RDA research proposals are complete. One has already been published, and the rest are in final review. 

PEO Ships also funded several interdisciplinary research projects in FY21.  That work is proceeding apace.    

The Graduate School of Defense Management
was renamed the Department of Defense Management (DDM) and was selected to lead the “NPS Next” transformation effort.

DDM is in the midst of reconfiguring its acquisition education curricula into focused, tailorable and flexible 12-month Master of Science degrees with ability to expand to 15-month or 18-month options to accommodate additional academic certificates or joint professional military education (JPME).  DDM remains dedicated to meeting student and sponsor requirements for our prior curricular offerings through 2023 for inbound student cohorts.  Shorter degrees enable faster cycle times and higher student throughput while also allowing curricula sponsors additional flexibility to concentrate student and faculty studies and acquisition research into emerging critical new naval technologies and warfare mission areas. 

The Naval Warfare Studies Institute (NWSI) has now fully integrated ARP into NWSI as the Acquisition Warfare Chair, with yours truly performing temporary duties as NWSI’s Interim Director.

Our close, interdisciplinary association with NWSI opens new ARP research opportunities in technology implementation, operational fielding, financial management, using and assessing the Adaptive Acquisition Framework (AAF), implementing Budget Activity eight (BA-8) “software money,” technology Task Force effectiveness and productivity, rapid prototype concepts and methods, requirements generation in an agile/flexible/adaptable world and PPBE reform among many others.  Our faculty is excited to work in these emerging areas of acquisition innovation.

ARP also has started sponsoring acquisition-themed NWSI Warfare Integration Workshops. These are short one-to-three-day student/faculty/industry/sponsor events designed to explore a new concept or idea in depth.  Our first is scheduled for 02 Feb to conduct a case study on rapid acquisition. Details below!

We will be hosting our 19th NPS Acquisition Symposium virtually on 11-12 May with over 70 papers, two keynote speakers, two plenary panel sessions and more than two dozen topical panels and discussion sessions.  This Symposium is still the Defense Department’s only dedicated acquisition research event.  Invitations for Keynote speakers and Panels Chairs are being extended now!  Please mark your calendars; I look forward to seeing you in May for another exciting & informative Symposium.  Details below!

ARP, DDM, and NWSI have stepped up and taken leadership roles in the NPS Next transformation process, initiating, and implementing innovative, academically rigorous, topically aligned, operationally relevant educational and research programs that best meet the Navy’s evolving naval warfare missions, technologies, and requirements.  It is a very exciting and fulfilling time!


A insect on the ground

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VADM David H. Lewis, USN (Ret.)

Chair of Acquisition


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