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JFCOM's limited acquisition authority helps speed equipment to warfighters.

The U.S. Joint Forces Command (JFCOM) has a new tool to help get new capabilities to joint warfighters sooner. The National Defense Authorization Act of 2004 granted JFCOM limited acquisition authority (LAA), subject to delegation by the Secretary of Defense. In a subsequent memorandum, Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld acknowledged the authority and directed the armed services and Defense agencies to help JFCOM identify LAA requirements. The authority expires on 30 September 2006.

According to JFCOM officials, LAA is designed to accelerate the acquisition process so that new technologies will be available to frontline warfighters years sooner than with the normal process. So far, the command has used the authority to fund four projects and has more under consideration.

The authority is limited to $10 million for research and development and $50 million for procurement. LAA funds must be used for the development and acquisition of specific items, such as joint battle management command and control, communications, and intelligence, and other equipment that the JFCOM commander believes can facilitate the use of joint component forces in military operations and enhance the interoperability of their equipment. LAA cannot be used to acquire weapons.

One LAA project was the 2,000-pound Joint Precision Aerial Delivery System (JPADS) used to deliver supplies to forces in remote locations. JFCOM adapted it from an advanced concept technology demonstration for 10,000- to 20,000-pound loads. Delivering large loads to small units operating behind enemy lines was impractical because the units did not have sufficient manpower to handle them. Money was not available to develop the JPADS for small loads, so a combatant commander submitted a request to JFCOM to develop the system. Once the request was approved, it took a little more than a year to get the capability to the field. JFCOM officials estimate that, using normal procurement procedures, the smaller JPADS would not have reached warfighters until 2009.
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Title Annotation:ALOG NEWS
Publication:Army Logistician
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 1, 2005
Words:317
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