Serious Changes Coming for Military Acquisition

The Acquisition Agility Act of FY 2017 is a good start to repairing a severely broken system. It reforms the acquisition system to provide more warfighter input and less from DOD bureaucrats. Additional modifications to address auditing prototypes and defense contractors’ performance incentives would only strengthen the bill.

The proposed aleglistation would no longer allow officers and enlisted to be single-tracked in an Acquisition career. Officers and enlisted would return to “dual tracking,” which means they would retain their career field, but could serve an assignment as an acquisition officer. This approach would allow an active duty member to bring knowledge and the on the ground experience to the acquisition field to ensure the military purchases products that units need.

The bill could also improve incentives for delivering weapon systems on time and on budget, especially for major defense programs like the U.S. Air Force’s latest next generation project, the Long Range Strike Bomber (LRS-B). One critical piece of this involves holding the services accountable by creating a milestone system for these enormous programs.

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