Some Christmas miracles came early this week! Senator Tuberville lifted his hold, and the Senate readily confirmed over 420 general and flag officers that have been languishing for the past ten months. Some four-stars and civilian positions are still pending.
The HASC and SASC completed their conference version of the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2024. Among other provisions, it provides multiyear procurement authority for Virginia class submarines, MK-48 torpedoes, and critical minerals, as well as adds language that the authority supports industrial base stability.
A draft of the first National Defense Industrial Strategy is being circulated, with the final draft expected to be released next week. Bill LaPlante discussed its four priority areas last weekend at the Reagan National Defense Forum. They are:
- Resilient supply chains
- Workforce readiness
- Economic deterrence
- Flexible acquisition
- The definition of "flexible acquisition" heavily considers the need to minimize "inappropriate customization" and advocates for more use of standardized or off-the-shelf capabilities that can be more interoperable and timely.
- "Flexible acquisition strategies would result in reduced development times, reduced costs, and increased scalability."
The annual report from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute on global arms sales is out, finding a slight decrease in revenue for US and European companies.
- Part of the explanation: "companies in Asia and Oceania and the Middle East saw their arms revenues grow significantly in 2022, demonstrating their ability to respond to increased demand within a shorter time frame. This was especially true in countries where companies maintain responsive ‘ever-warm’ manufacturing capabilities, such as Israel and South Korea, and those where companies tend to rely on short supply chains."
In our top story, Vice Chairman of the Joint Requirements Oversight Council is advocating for a more "top-down" approach to requirements that takes a portfolio approach in coordination with acquisition processes.
The Defense Business Board recently published an assessment of space acquisition, finding that the current processes have been around for decades and will not keep pace with emerging threats.
- "The DoD acquisition system should not be abandoned, but it must endure more as a guide than the rule in the future. It must give way to smart people to apply smart techniques..."
- Among its recommendations: create a single color of money for space programs, minimize oversight positions in the Space Force to maintain a lean organization, and conduct a follow-on study considering reform to the JCIDS requirements process.
GAO conducted a study of how OMB and GSA can create authoritative websites for purchases that qualify for waivers from the Buy American requirements, part of the governmentwide effort to increase domestic sourcing. They find the needed information is not yet readily available or consolidated.
In ARP news, we hosted a student poster show on the NPS campus to showcase recently completed research from graduating students in the Department of Defense Management. We've shared some of this research already, and will continue to include it in future newsletters. Congrats to those students who have produced excellent research under tight timelines!
And in NPS news, NPS inducted two new Hall of Fame members, both of whom graduated with degrees in management and served nobly during the Vietnam War and afterwards.
This Week's Top Story
Vice Chairman Says JROC Shifting to Top-Down, Portfolio Requirements Approach
John A. Tirpak, Air & Space Forces Magazine
The Joint Requirements Oversight Council, which decides which service equipment requests get funding priority, is changing its approach, making joint utility a top consideration rather than simply letting the services chase whatever technology they want, according to Adm. Christopher W. Grady, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and chair of the JROC.
Grady, speaking with the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center said Dec. 4 that “we’re … making the JROC more effective” by “taking a top-down approach.”
The JROC is transitioning away from the traditional approach, in which the services bring a new requirement to the council and “we rubber stamp it and then they can go out and buy it,” Grady said, pegging this as a “bottom-up approach.”
“We’re doing a top-down approach which says, these are the requirements, and oh by the way, they devolved from … the Joint Warfighting Concept 3.0, which is now Joint Pub 1,” he said. Requirements are now “instantiated into the [joint] doctrine.”
“So now we write a good requirement and then any stakeholder can come forward and say, ‘OK, we can meet that.’ And so we try to close the gap, that requirement,” he added.
Stovepiped approaches have also been dropped in favor of “looking at [requirements] across portfolios of capability,” Grady said.
“That’s in line with the next thing that we tried to do to improve the efficiency of the JROC, and that is meld our process kind of simultaneously, as opposed to sequentially, with the acquisition side,” Grady said. “They have portfolios review … and so we’re bringing those together,” along with those under the undersecretary for research and engineering team, led by Heidi Shyu.