Letter from the editor.
I am pleased to announce the line-up of articles for Issue 51 of the Defense Acquisition Review Journal (ARJ). In addition to six acquisition research articles, we are introducing a new section called the Technology Corner. This section is intended for general use by the DoD acquisition workforce and provides ARJ subscribers and readers with a look at some advanced educational/communications technologies being developed for DAU learning products. Finally, we present a letter to the editor where a reader responds to a recently published article.
The first article, "The Future Use of Corporate Warriors with the U. S. Armed Forces: Legal, Policy, and Practical Considerations and Concerns" by COL David Wallace, USA, describes the role of private security contractors in augmenting the U.S. military force structure. This article highlights some key considerations that policymakers, military leaders, and force planners should balance when analyzing the future use of private security contractors. Wallace addresses overarching legal policies, practical concerns, and risks associated with their future use.
The next article by David Ford and COL John Dillard, USA (Ret.), is titled "Modeling the Performance and Risks of Evolutionary Acquisition." The authors use computational modeling to analyze the implementation of Evolutionary Acquisition (EA) in several DoD programs. Their analysis revealed that EA may likely result in earlier delivery of the first increment with reduced costs; however, this approach may also cause inefficiencies in successive increments. Program Managers must be aware of the risks of EA and take appropriate steps to mitigate them.
The third article is "Transferring Conventional Munitions Industrial Base Capabilities to the Public Sector" by COL John Ferrari, USA. The author established the current status of the conventional munitions industry in the United States today and provides an economic theory for reviving this declining, but important industry.
The fourth article by Dr. Roy Wood, "Program Manager as Chief Executive Officer (CEO): Leading with Accountability and Empowerment," provides an entrepreneurial "corporate" view of program management. The author asserts that program managers who view their role merely as agents for program execution may be self-limiting. In this case, the external forces on the program are likely to contribute to disempowerment and reactive decision-making primarily focused on addressing immediate hot-topic issues. To counter this, a program manager should adopt a more long-term strategic view of the position as equivalent to a CEO of his or her own company. Operating within this framework is likely to contribute to behaviors that will be more effective, strategic, and empowering.
The fifth article is "Financial Accountability at the DoD: Reviewing the Bidding" by Christopher H. Hanks. The author makes the case that despite the good faith efforts over the last 20 years to institute the financial accounting and reporting practices required by the Chief Financial Officers (CFO) Act of 1990, the DoD has still not succeeded in full "CFO compliance." This article reviews the history and conceptual underpinnings of the CFO Act to analyze what may be possible. Based on the acknowledgement of the primacy of the budgeting process in the relationship between DoD and Congress, the author suggests one possible new approach.
The next article is "Determination of an Achievable Materiel Availability for the Joint Air to Ground Missile" by James Byrd and Michael Osborne. In this article, the authors trace the development of the materiel availability Key Performance Parameter (KPP) for the Joint Air-to-Ground Missile (JAGM). When the materiel availability KPP was established by the Joint Requirements Oversight Council in 2007, the Joint Attack Munitions Systems (JAMS) Project Office Logistics Directorate was faced with the task of developing a viable materiel availability KPP (threshold and objective) for the JAGM. This article describes the thought process and analysis that resulted in the JAGM materiel availability KPP contained in the JAGM Capability Development Document and System Specification.
The last article represents the kick-off of a new series of ARJ articles called the Technology Corner. This article, "Twenty Minutes From Now," is written by Mark Oehlert. Oehlert describes advanced communications technologies within the DoD enterprise, which are rapidly changing our professional and personal behavior. Oehlert works for the Research and Development Branch of the eLearning Technology Center at DAU.
We wrap up this issue with a Letter to the Editor called "Show Me the Money." The author of this letter is Bill Fournier, a former professor of systems engineering at the Defense Systems Management College. Fournier wrote this letter in response to a recent article published in the ARJ. He explains how incentive and award fee contracts can have unintended consequences, and that while some incentive approaches appear positive, they can actually be misleading.
Dr. Paul Alfieri