Collaboration Vital to Acquisition: U.S. CNO

Defense companies must find ways to work together throughout the acquisition process, particularly as the U.S. military budget shrinks, according to the U.S. chief of naval operations.
“We get wrapped up a lot in our defense procurement process,” Adm. Gary Roughead said during an Aug. 19 speech at an Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International conference in Washington.
“If … industry doesn’t bring new ideas to us because we don’t ask for them, I think that that reveals an acquisition system that doesn’t accept failure and is not eager to learn from its mistakes,” he said. “Failure is not bad. Not learning from the failure is bad.”
A “risk-averse culture” coupled with acquisition processes that are not tooled for the current era contribute to this lack of collaboration, Roughead said.
“I think we need to take a look at how we can better engage with, collaborate with industry early on,” he said. “I think we fence ourselves away.”
The U.S. Defense Department must find a way to get multiple companies at the table early in the acquisition process and look to overcome proprietary boundaries, Roughead said.
“I think the fiscal environment that we’re going to be in, we have to figure out a way to do that and we have to take a look at the constraints, both official and cultural, that inhibit that from happening,” he said.
DoD must also find ways to remove bureaucratic processes from the weapons testing phase to get systems to the battlefield quicker, according to Roughead.
“I … believe we have a belabored operational test and evaluation regime that from time to time, more often tends not to be able to deliver the integrated and the interoperable systems that we’re going to need,” he said.
In addition, the Navy must integrate its unmanned systems with manned systems, particularly as budgets tighten, Roughead said. He also noted that industry must find a way to reduce the number of people needed to support unmanned systems, specifically with intelligence processing.
DoD officials have been calling for more automation in intelligence processing.


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