Untitled Accordion

Previous issues of ARP's Weekly Newsletter are archived here.

Click the dates below to see the full content. 

May 29, 2020

Noteworthy in Issue #10: The next round of papers from our research symposium turns attention to the art of contract management from three perspectives. In the news: SASC leaders want DoD to try a new way to budget and manage capabilities in the Indo-Pacific theater; acquiring AI continues to present challenges; and China-U.S. relations take a policy turn. As always, keep letting us know if you have work we can highlight in future issues. 

 

ARP Research: Symposium Spotlight

Panel #20: Contemporary Challenges in Contract Management

Non-Competitive Contracting: Lessons from Contracting Personnel
Latika Hartmann (Naval Postgraduate School), Josh Cissell (Contract Manager, F-22 Modernization/F-119 Sustainment), Rene Rendon (Naval Postgraduate School)

  • Micro-abstract: We survey a small group of Air Force contracting personnel to understand their views on contracting in sole-source environments. Our findings suggest Air Force contracting personnel in this setting know that sellers in noncompetitive relationships have more leverage and power than the buyer.
  • Read the paper and presentation.  

Evaluating the Impact of Contracting “Tripwires” on Service Acquisitions
William Lucyshyn (Center for Public Policy and Private Enterprise), Samuel Quist (University of Maryland)

  • Micro-abstract: The report evaluates how tripwire implementation, on the whole and in specific instances, has impacted acquisition outcomes and examines the empirical basis for specific tripwire thresholds and their approval authorities.
  • Read the paper.

A Rendezvous with Discretion: An Analysis of Federal Simplified Acquisition Procedure Contracts
Benjamin Brunjes (University of Washington)

  • Micro-abstract: This paper assesses how federal contracting officials use discretion afforded via simplified acquisition procedures (SAP) to influence equity and performance.
  • Read the paper.        

See more research in the full Proceedings of the 17th Annual Acquisition Research Symposium: https://event.nps.edu/conf/app/researchsymposium/home#!/page/148

 

This Week’s Top Story

The Pacific Deterrence Initiative: Peace Through Strength in the Indo-Pacific
Sen. Jim Inhofe and Sen. Jack Reed

The best way to protect U.S. security and prosperity in Asia is to maintain a credible balance of military power. But America’s ability to do so is at risk. And it’s not just U.S. interests at stake. Allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific are watching closely, and wondering whether they will be able to count on America.

With the stakes so high, the time for action is now. That’s why this year we intend to establish a Pacific Deterrence Initiative in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021. The Pacific Deterrence Initiative will enhance budgetary transparency and oversight, and focus resources on key military capabilities to deter China. The initiative will also reassure U.S. allies and partners, and send a strong signal to the Chinese Communist Party that the American people are committed to defending U.S. interests in the Indo-Pacific.

What the Pacific Deterrence Initiative Will Do

The Pentagon is taking challenges in the Indo-Pacific seriously, and has made some important progress implementing the National Defense Strategy in the region. That’s especially true when it comes to rebuilding readiness and investing in modernization. Unfortunately, the progress to date has been insufficient to achieve the “urgent change at significant scale” that is required. The Pacific Deterrence Initiative will improve the implementation of the National Defense Strategy in the Indo-Pacific, and incentivize the Pentagon to better prioritize the region in its annual budget process.

First, the Pacific Deterrence Initiative will enhance budgetary transparency and congressional oversight. The National Defense Strategy refocused the Pentagon on strategic competition with China and Russia, elevating the priority of the Indo-Pacific and European theaters. But while translating regional priorities into budget priorities is a critical aspect of implementing the National Defense Strategy, it’s also a major challenge for the current Pentagon budget process.

The United States needs to shift the balance from the current focus on platforms and programs toward the specific missions its warfighters may be called upon to perform. A mission-oriented approach will bring more attention to the joint and enabling capabilities that are essential to their success.

Read more.

 

Acquisition and Innovation

The Pentagon’s artificial intelligence hub wants unilateral acquisition power
Andrew Eversden, C4ISR Net

Army seeking technologies that will better ‘harness’ its data
Jackson Barnett, FedScoop

Space Acquisition: Speed May Not Fix Problems, Critics Say
Theresa Hitchens, Breaking Defense

F-35 Costs Drop for Building Jets But Rise for Operating Them
Anthony Capaccio, Bloomberg

DoD moves AI development to Air Force’s Cloud One as JEDI protest drags on
Jared Serbu and Scott Maucione, Federal News Network

CMMC looks to clear up questions about cybersecurity assessors
Jackson Barnett, FedScoop

A Snapshot of Government-wide Contracting for FY 2019 (infographic)
U. S. Government Accountability Office

 

Events (Upcoming and Recent)

Government Contract Pricing Summit
Hosted by ProPricing. June 24-25, 2020.

Challenges to the Industrial Base during Covid-19
Center for Strategic and International Studies.  Recorded May 28, 2020.

AI, Defense, and Intelligence: A Conversation with JAIC Director Lt. Gen. John N.T. “Jack” Shanahan
Center for Strategic and International Studies.  Recorded May 29, 2020.

 

Research and Higher Education

10 Predictions for Higher Education’s Future
John Kroger, Inside Higher Ed

2020 Annual Report: Additional Opportunities to Reduce Fragmentation, Overlap, and Duplication and Achieve Billions in Financial Benefits
U.S. Government Accountability Office

Prioritizing Weapon System Cybersecurity in a Post-Pandemic Defense Department
Morgan Dwyer, Center for Strategic and International Studies

 

Defense and Federal Government

Focus on US as main opponent, says China military strategist
Matt Ho, South China Morning Post

Here’s the Pentagon’s plan to help the US stay ahead on 5G
Jackson Barnett, FedScoop

New Cyber Office Will Unify NAVSEA’s Digital Efforts
Megan Eckstein, USNI News

Will defense budgets remain ‘sticky’ after the COVID-19 pandemic?
Eric Lofgren, Defense News

Marine Corps to Shut Down, Cut Back 7 MOSs as the Force Prepares for Change
Gina Harkins, Military.com

Here’s Big Navy’s COVID-19 deployment guidance
Geoff Ziezulewicz, Navy Times

 

COVID-19 and Contracting

Did acquisition restrictions exacerbate PPE supply challenges?
Mike Hettinger and Richard Beutel

Some major Army programs slip due to coronavirus effect
Scott Maucione, Federal News Network

The Pentagon has spent 23% of its COVID-19 response funds. Congress is asking why not more.
Joe Gould, Defense News

 

Policy

United States Strategic Approach to The People’s Republic of China
Office of the President of the United States

 

Congress

Senate’s NDAA markup is two weeks away. How will the pandemic change things?
Joe Gould, Defense News

Inhofe, Reed back new military fund to confront China
Joe Gould and Aaron Mehta, Defense News

HASC leadership outlines ‘concerns’ over Ligado in new letter
Aaron Mehta and Mike Gruss, C4ISR Net

May 22, 2020

Noteworthy in Issue #9: We continue to provide highlights from our 17th Annual Acquisition Research Symposium, sharing research on how DoD can build on current innovations in acquisition. This week’s top story explains the Space Force’s proposed acquisition system, which shows marked parallels with recommendations made by the Section 809 Panel. We point you to those recommendations, noting those files are now hosted by both ARP and DTIC. And a theme in this week’s news: contracting for artificial intelligence in the DoD.

 

ARP Research: Symposium Spotlight


Panel #15: Enabling Innovation Ecosystems in Defense Acquisition

Understanding the Incentives for Small Businesses to Participate in the Acquisition Process for R&D Intensive Products
Vivek Bhattacharya (Northwestern University)

Micro abstract: DoD could incentivize more firms to enter the procurement process by changing the structure of the SBIR program itself rather than changing the broader defense procurement ecosystem.  Read the Paper.         View the Presentation.

 

The Role of New Defense Innovation Intermediaries and the Emerging Defense Innovation Ecosystem
Jon Wong and Jon Schmid (RAND Corporation)

Micro abstract: We conducted analysis on the functions purported to be performed by a set of defense innovation intermediaries (DIIs). Based on analysis of publicly available resources, the DIIs considered here do not report to perform three functions: equity investment, patient capital, and alumni management.  Read the Paper.

 

Harnessing Rapid Innovative Culture to Invigorate the Adaptive Acquisition Framework​
Matthew MacGregor, Colleen Murphy, Jen Choi, and Ryan Novak (MITRE)

Micro abstract: The Adaptive Acquisition Framework provides an opportunity for programs to exercise creativity in a way not possible for many years. It will take acquisition professionals time to grasp the nuances of the options available to them. Acquisition leaders need to encourage their people to explore and use flexibilities and resist the urge to impose restrictions.  Read the Paper.

 

This Week’s Top Story


Space Force proposes ‘alternative acquisition system’ with less red tape
Sandra Erwin, Space News

The U.S. Space Force on May 20 delivered a report to congressional committees asking for changes in the rules that currently are in place for buying new weapon systems.

Congress in the legislation that established the U.S. Space Force directed Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett to propose an “alternative acquisition system” for the new service. The report was written by Barrett, the top civilian leader for the Air Force and the Space Force, with input from the chief of space operations for the U.S. Space Force Gen. John Raymond.

The report argues that many of the Pentagon’s rules for procurement programs create unnecessary burdens and squelch innovation. The current systems “produces systems that take too long to develop and deploy, cost more than expected, and yield exquisite point solutions to fulfill stable requirements for a closed architecture.”

The United States has to modernize fast to keep up with adversaries, Barrett says in the report. “Space threats demand a shift to a system that more broadly delivers agile solutions.”

The report proposes nine specific actions:

  • Delegate oversight
  • Flexibility in budgeting
  • Change the definition of “new start”
  • Fewer budget line items
  • Simplify Pentagon reviews
  • Reduce reporting requirements
  • Change how “end items” are defined
  • Separate Space Force topline budget
  • Create separate head of contracting

Read more.

 

Section 809 Panel Updates


A number of the changes proposed for Space Force’s alternate acquisition parallel recommendations made by the Section 809 Panel, particularly the budget recommendations to group investments by portfolios and to allow new starts during a continuing resolution. See those recommendations online.

Recommendation 52: Permit the initiation of all new starts, provided Congress has appropriated sufficient funding.

Recommendation 36: Transition from a program-centric execution model to a portfolio execution model.

Read more of the panel’s recommendations on portfolio management and the budget process in the full Volume 3 Report. Visit the Section 809 Panel page hosted by the Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC) and click on the tab for “Volume 3.”

 

Events


Former CNO Mullen Talks Leadership, National Security Challenges in a Post-COVID-19 World
MC2 Tom Tonthat, Naval Postgraduate School

Years of leadership experience as a Naval officer, culminating as the Navy's Chief of Naval Operations then as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, retired Navy Adm. Mike Mullen offered his views on requirements of leaders and national security issues in the post-COVID-19 world during the Naval Postgraduate School’s (NPS) first virtual Secretary of the Navy Guest Lecture (SGL), May 19.

Click the link to read more and watch recorded video of this week’s event.

 

The Big Ideas Exchange (BIX)
An NPS initiative that brings forward new and potentially game-changing thinking developed by NPS faculty and students to address grand challenges in American national security.

Next event: May 27, 2020.

 

Artificial Intelligence in the DoN
View recording from this week’s NavalX event discussing Artificial Intelligence in the Department of the Navy.

 

Acquisition and Innovation


Booz Allen Hamilton wins massive Pentagon artificial intelligence contract
Andrew Eversden, C4ISR Net

A Pentagon Procurement Program That Seems Doomed to Fail
Dan Gouré, Real Clear Defense

These eight satellites will track hypersonic weapons
Nathan Strout, C4ISR Net

Citing TransDigm, DoD seeks new acquisition powers, and trade groups oppose
Joe Gould, Defense News

JAIC needs its own acquisition authority within next two years, Shanahan says
Jackson Branett, FedScoop

Emerging and Disruptive Technology: Workshop on NATO engagement with Non-Defence Technology Companies
North Atlantic Treaty Organization

What Google’s New Contract Reveals About the Pentagon’s Evolving Clouds
Patrick Tucker, Defense One

Navy hopes new NGEN contract will lead to ‘domain singularity’
Jared Serbu, Federal News Network

 

Research and Higher Education


Finally Getting Serious About Professional Military Education
James Lacey, War on the Rocks

A culture of learning: Why the Marine Corps is promoting education, training in its new doctrine
Diana Stancy Correll, Marine Times

Can College Be Saved in the COVID-19 Era?
John Kroger, Inside Higher Ed

Building a Broader Evidence Base for Defense Acquisition Policymaking
Elizabeth M. Bartels, Jeffrey A. Drezner, and Joel B. Predd (RAND Corporation)

 

Defense and Federal Government


Pentagon legislation aims to end dependence on China for rare earth minerals
Joe Gould, Defense News

Coronavirus pushed Air Force to move industry engagements online. Officials wish it had been sooner.
Jared Serbu, Federal News Network

TTS’s demand has grown ‘significantly’ during the pandemic, Anil Cheriyan says
Billy Mitchell, FedScoop

Navy still sees ship maintenance delays despite new contracting strategy
Caitlin M. Kenney, Stars and Stripes

STRIKEWERX Aimed at Quick-Turn Fixes to Global Strike Problems
John A. Tirpak, Air Force Magazine

 

COVID-19 and Contracting


Lockheed slated to miss F-35 delivery target in 2020 as supply chain struggles to keep up
Valerie Insinna, Defense News

Federal Data Strategy Deadlines Shift Due to COVID-19
Aaron Boyd, NextGov

3M billed government $7.63 for 85-cent earplugs. It now has $1 billion COVID contract
Tara Copp, McClatchy

The White House Is Rewriting Contracting Language to Clarify Security Liability
Marian Baksh, NextGov

 

Policy and Regulatory Updates


Delegating Authority Under the Defense Production Act to the Chief Executive Officer of the United States International Development Finance Corporation To Respond to the COVID-19 Outbreak
Federal Register

 

Congress


House changes its rules during pandemic, allowing remote voting for the first time in its 231-year history
Mike DeBonis, The Washington Post

Citing financial cost of pandemic, House liberals demand cut in military spending
Mike DeBonis, The Washington Post

House panel to hold private Ligado call with FCC and defense officials
Aaron Mehta and Joe Gould, C4ISR Net

Kenneth Braithwaite Gets Senate Confirmation to be Navy Secretary
Brenda Marie Rivers, GovConWire

May 15, 2020

 

Noteworthy in Issue #8: plenty of news from ARP and NPS this week! We celebrate the original dates for the 17th Annual Acquisition Research Symposium with the publication of our full symposium proceedings. NPS embarks on a new initiative with NavalX’s new Central Cost Tech Bridge. And the public is invited to tune in to NPS’s Secretary of the Navy Guest Lecture in its new virtual format. As always, keep letting us know if you have work we can highlight in future issues. 

 

ARP Research: Symposium Spotlight


Full Symposium Proceedings Now Available Online

We miss you! While we could not gather in person this week for the 17th Annual Acquisition Research Symposium, we are thinking of you and look forward to seeing you in Monterey, California next year on May 12-13, 2021! This year’s symposium had a great line-up, and we are excited to share with you the papers, presentations, and NPS graduate student research posters on our conference website:

https://event.nps.edu/conf/app/researchsymposium/home#!/page/148.

Note that papers and presentations include contact information for the authors. If their research sparks your curiosity or admiration, please take a minute to reach out and connect.

 

This Week’s Top Story


Central Coast Joins NavalX Community of Emerging Tech Centers
Rebecca Hoag, CHIPS: The Department of the Navy’s Information Technology Magazine

 

The new Central Coast (C2) NavalX Tech Bridge is one of six new locations announced today in a significant expansion of the Navy’s innovative approach to rapid acquisition and tech evolution. Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) Associate Dean of Research for Technology Development Christopher Manuel, an NPS alumnus, will serve as director of the C2 Tech Bridge, which will be managed under the umbrella of the university’s new Emerging Technology Center (ETC).

“The goal is to link problem-solvers to folks with problems,” said James F. Geurts, assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition, who leads the NavalX program, which oversees the Tech Bridge program. Tech Bridges will increase the efficiency of technological advancement by reducing redundant projects across the sea service, initiated through stovepiped acquisition processes and a lack of communication among diverse agencies, Geurts said.

NavalX, established by the Navy in February 2019, initially formed six Tech Bridges across the nation to act as “super connectors” focused on scaling non-traditional agility methods across the DON workforce. Tech Bridges are developed in locations where there is an opportunity to capitalize on a regional strength with applicability to Navy challenges and issues.

For the Central Coast Tech Bridge, that “sweet spot” resides in its access to Naval Postgraduate School students and faculty, and its proximity to the Silicon Valley.

As the DoD’s premier educational institution on the West Coast, NPS supports a full spectrum of graduate level research across the STEM disciplines and beyond. Through the expanded networks provided by the C2 Tech Bridge and the full cadre of NavalX Tech Bridges, Navy leaders hope to further leverage the intellectual resources of NPS to address key operational requirements.

Within the university’s student population, every U.S. uniformed service is represented across the full range of warfighting specialties, providing a unique level of expertise. Additionally, C2 will bring in access to expertise from research and education institutions around the Peninsula and into Silicon Valley as well.

“The Central Coast Tech Bridge is the front door for entrepreneurs to work with the Navy and DOD on technology solutions,” Manuel said. “Our partnership with the Naval Postgraduate School provides access to expert faculty and experienced military students who understand operational challenges and are eager to work with business to solve research challenges. The C2 Tech Bridge will facilitate growth of public/private partnerships and dual-use technologies.”

Read more.

Contact Information:
Chris Manuel
Associate Dean of Research for Technology Development
Director, Central Coast Tech Bridge
Naval Postgraduate School
Office (831) 656-3533 / Cell (925) 628-4889
Email: cemanuel1@nps.edu
Website: https://www.secnav.navy.mil/agility/Pages/tb_centralcoast.aspx 

 

Upcoming Virtual Events from NPS and NavalX


The New Reality: Leadership and National Security in the Post-COVID-19 World
Admiral Michael Mullen (Ret.) will deliver the first Virtual Secretary of the Navy Guest Lecture hosted by Naval Postgraduate School President Rondeau, with a moderated Q&A session with NPS students. Tune in to the live video event May 19 at 3:00 PST.

 

Artificial Intelligence in the DoN
Join NavalX on May 20th as we host a webinar with leaders in the Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) Community, aka Naval Warriors, across the Department of the Navy. Register now for the online event, May 20 at 4:00 EST.

 

Acquisition and Innovation


Pentagon Wants Better Data For Its Predictive Aircraft Maintenance AI
Frank Konkel, NextGov

Navy to divide PEO EIS into two new offices for enterprise IT acquisitions
Jackson Barnett, FedScoop

Some F-35 suppliers are having trouble delivering parts on schedule, and Turkey’s departure could make that worse
Valerie Insinna, Defense News

Problem curation and lean methodology with Pete Newell
Eric Lofgren, Acquisition Talk

Special Operations Command Launches ‘Engage SOF’ Tool
Yasmin Tadjdeh, National Defense

Federal Marketplace (FMP) Strategy Spring 2020 Release
U.S. General Services Administration

The Army network plan to ‘compete everything’
Andrew Eversden, C4IRS Net

GSA modernizes its ‘knowledge repository’ for cloud services
Andrew Eversden, Federal Times

Defense firm advocates for ‘hybrid procurement system’ to save billions in the UK
Andrew Chuter, Defense News

The 8 Most Original Military Tech Ideas for the Fight Against COVID-19
Matthew Cox, Military.com

 

Research and Higher Education


RFP: United States Naval Community College Partnerships
Office of the Chief Learning Officer, Beta.sam.gov

Online Learning in a Post-Pandemic World
Diana LaChance, Defense Acquisition University

CSU plans to cancel most in-person classes and go online this fall, chancellor says
Nina Agrawal, Los Angeles Times

 

Defense and Federal Government


SBA’s Maria Roat Officially Named Deputy Federal CIO
Aaron Boyd, Nextgov

Inside DoN CIO (video)
Government Matters

Navy Scraps Big Carrier Study, Clears Deck For OSD Effort
Paul McLeary, Breaking Defense

GAO: Navy Seeing Improvements in Surface Ship Maintenance Costs, But Schedule is Still An Issue
Megan Eckstein, USNI News

Space Force vice commander: China can’t be allowed to buy bankrupt U.S. space companies
Sandra Erwin, Space News

 

COVID-19 and Contracting


Pandemic Delays Industry Day for Marine Corps Light Armored Vehicle Replacement
Matthew Cox, Military.com

USAF Executes $126 Million Contract for In-Demand N95 Masks
Brian W. Everstine, Air Force Magazine

Pentagon Task Force Turns to Data to Shape COVID-19 Response
Brandi Vincent, Nextgov

US Defense Firms Hiring Thousands Amid Record Unemployment  
Marcus Weisgerber, Defense One

 

Policy and Regulatory Updates


Priority Open Recommendations: Office of Management and Budget
U.S. Government Accountability Office

 

Congress


Three Commissions Ask Congress to Consider Workforce Recommendations for FY 2021 Defense Policy Bill
Jane Edwards, Executive Gov

See the letter: Joint Commission Letter to Congress on National Security Workforce Recommendations
US-China Commission Urges Tougher Space Cooperation Restrictions
Theresa Hitchens, Breaking Defense

DoD asks Congress for a two-sub Columbia-class buy
Joe Gould, David B. Larter, and Valerie Insinna, Defense News

Senator Pushes to Require National Cyber Director in Defense Authorization Bill
Mariam Baksh, Nextgov

30 senators to urge FCC to reverse Ligado decision
Joe Gould, Defense News

 

 

May 8, 2020

Noteworthy in Issue #7: continuing highlights from our 17th Annual Acquisition Research Symposium, a new Navy approach to education and officer evaluation, and updates on the Section 809 Panel. Plus, the ongoing saga of the JEDI contract, as well as other key news items in acquisition, policy, government innovation, and research. We appreciate hearing from you. Keep letting us know if you have work we can highlight in future issues. 

 

ARP Research: Symposium SpotlightA group of people sitting at a crowded room

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This week we continue our weekly highlight of one of the panels from the 17th Annual Acquisition Research Symposium, with its scenic virtual tour of the peninsula. In this issue: How can advanced data analysis help improve acquisition decisions? And two photos: the sculpture of Humpback Whales Breaching at Berwick Park, and a view of last year’s symposium.

 

Panel #11: Analytics in Acquisition Management

 

System-of-Systems Acquisition Analytics Using Machine Learning Techniques

Authors: Ali Raz (Purdue University), Prajwal Balasubramani (Purdue University), Apoorv Maheshwari (Purdue University), Daniel DeLaurentis (Purdue University), Stephanie Marie Harrington (Purdue University), Cesare Guariniello (Purdue University)

  • Micro abstract: This research investigates how the System-of-Systems (SoS) capability evolves from the individual system preferences and how we can leverage the datasets employed for siloed system-level decision-making for the SoS-level decision making.

Read the paper.

View the presentation.

 

Analysis of Contractor Data in Federal Acquisition Databases​

Authors: Ningning Wu (University of Arkansas), John Talburt (University of Arkansas at Little Rock), Richard Wang (University of Arkansas at Little Rock), Mihail Tudoreanu (University of Arkansas at Little Rock), Sanketh Siruvolu (University of Arkansas at Little Rock)

  • Micro abstract: This research uses information from publicly accessible acquisition databases and the web to identify the distribution of federal contractors in areas at high risk of natural disasters. The work is part of an ongoing research project whose ultimate goal is to develop a risk assessment framework that can help acquisition decision-makers assess potential risks to a supply chain or project and mitigate such risks.

Read the paper.

View the presentation.

 

Using Natural Language Processing, Sentiment Analysis, and Text Mining to Determine if Text in Selected Acquisition Report Executive Summaries Are Highly Correlated with Major Defense Acquisition Program (MDAP) Unit Costs and Can Be Used as a Variable to Predict Future MDAP Costs​ 

Authors: Brian Joseph (OUSD(A&S)), Michael Smith (OUSD(A&S)), Darris Sconion (OUSD(A&S))

  • Micro abstract: This research conducts sentiment analysis of SAR executive summaries to determine whether their average emotional valence sentiment is highly correlated with MDAP unit cost metrics.

Read the paper.

View the presentation.

A person in a green field with trees in the background

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This Week’s Top Story


Education and Learning, an Operational Imperative
John Kroger, Chief Learning Officer, and Vice Adm. John Nowell, Chief of Naval Personnel

 

Learning, innovation, and personal and professional development are part of our Naval heritage and continue to be important in enabling the warfighters of today.

Our service is moving forward in recording and recognizing educational and learning achievements in our formal fitness reports to ensure it is viewed as a strategic priority, alongside our ships, aircraft and weapons systems.

This will give our Navy a warfighting advantage and allow us to thrive and win against any competitor in this rapidly changing and complex global environment.

Education and a commitment to continuous learning is an operational imperative and, through our enhanced talent management processes, we will empower and reward officers who accelerate their intellectual development and improve their performance through education and learning opportunities.

To support these goals, and in conjunction with MyNavy HR’s efforts to integrate education effectively into Sailor 2025 talent management initiatives, fitness reports (FITREPs) will include specific comments regarding education, learning, and support for a learning culture. This requirement will allow us to identify, select, and reward those officers who have demonstrated the commitment and ability to learn, as well as those who encourage and support the learning of others, by placing them into positions of influence at the tactical, operational, and strategic levels.

Read more.

 

Section 809 Panel News and Updates


Viewpoint: Bring Back the Rapid Innovation Fund
Chip Laingen, National Defense Magazine

Key points: The Defense Department’s Rapid Innovation Fund, which accessed innovation largely from small businesses using Broad Agency Announcements, was part of an effort to accelerate critical technology to the warfighter […]. It was, however, abruptly ended in 2020 after nine successful years. […] The fiscal year 2020 NDAA adjusted the language to increase the cap on projects from $3 million to $6 million. However, Congress did not appropriate funds for the program this year. […]

“Congress made the program permanent in 2017, and DoD’s own Section 809 Panel on streamlining the acquisition process recommended $750 million in funding for RIF. It’s time for the DoD to fully commit to RIF and put it in their budget requests,” Jere Glover said.

 

Status of Section 809 Panel recommendations
ARP continues to monitor the implementation status of recommendations made by the Section 809 Panel. Latest version available here.

 

Acquisition and Innovation


AWS files yet another JEDI protest, challenges DoD’s process for reconsidering the contract
Jared Serbu, Federal News Network

THE JEDI ACQUISITION: Innovation Rejected
Vernon J. Edwards, The Nash & Cibnic Report

Air Force Realigns PEOs to Give Bombers More Focus, Capture Mobility ‘Synergies’
John A. Tirpak

6 pathways and 14 functional areas to make up new acquisition policy framework
Eric Lofgren, Acquisition Talk

The Army’s future vertical lift plan may have a supplier problem
Aaron Mehta

Acquisition Tool: Justifications and Approvals / Sole Source Acquisitions
Defense Pricing and Contracting

 

Research and Higher Education


DOD Invests $3.6 Million for the Defense Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research Competition Winners
Department of Defense

Dave Dilegge, the ‘grandfather of urban warfare studies,’ has died
Howard Altman, Military Times

 

Defense and Federal Government


Pentagon’s chief reform job is ineffective and needs to go, study says
Joe Gould, Defense News

NDIA’s Wesley Hallman on a liability shield and other defense priorities for the next stimulus
Joe Gould, Defense News

Esper: Flat budget could speed cutting legacy programs
Aaron Mehta, Defense News

Defense Innovation Board Director Moves to Google
Patrick Tucker, Defense One

Navy Announces New VCNO, Other Top Assignments, in First Notification Since Policy Reversal
Megan Eckstein, USNI News

Here’s the DARPA project it says could pull the Navy a decade forward in unmanned technology
David B. Larter, C4ISR Net

5 things you should know about the US Navy’s new frigate
David B. Larter, Defense News

The United Kingdom Needs a Maritime Strategy
Dr. Anthony Wells, U.S. Naval Institute

 

COVID-19 and Contracting


Air Force rolls out Advanced Battle Management System devices in COVID-19 fight
Nathan Strout, C4ISR Net

How Will The Pandemic Affect National Security Innovation?
Rachel Olney, War on the Rocks

Pentagon reports boost in predatory foreign investment to US tech firms amid pandemic
Valerie Insinna, C4ISR Net

 

Policy and Regulatory Updates


Class Deviation—Original Documents, Signatures, Seals, and Notarization
Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment

Procurement Integrated Enterprise Environment Capabilities
Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment

Update to Standard Procurement System Sunset Date
Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment

 

Congress


Top Armed Services Republican expects to address Pentagon border wall funds in defense policy bill
Rebecca Kheel, The Hill

Proposed rule banning Chinese tech needs to consider small contractors, senators warn
Andrew Eversden, Fifth Domain

Nominations: Braithwaite--Anderson—Brown (video and transcripts)
Senate Armed Services Committee

May 1, 2020