Chief of Naval Operations: Pentagon ‘Enslaved’ to Acquisition Process

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Photo: defense.gov

In recent House Appropriations Committee testimony, the now-canceled Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle was held up as a symbol of Pentagon waste by both members of Congress as well as Navy leaders.

Rep. Norman Dicks (D-Wash.) said the EFV, which, after years of development and speculation as to its fate  was finally axed by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates in January, was an example of potential Pentagon waste on research and development, DoDBuzz reported.

“I’m just worried that we are just wasting billions in development,” he said, according to the site, with the department often discovering years down the line and after many millions spent and a weapons systems “just isn’t what we wanted,” he added.

As for the DoD side, U.S. Navy Adm. and Chief of Naval Operations Gary Roughead said he feared the department was “enslaved to [the] process,” of acquisition rather than buying what it needs when it needs it.

Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus said the long crawl of development could get a shot in the arm.

For example, Marine Commandant James Amos has indicated he wants the development process on the EFV replacement to be far enough along to be able to drive a prototype of it before his term ends.

To put that in perspective, the original EFV plan began in 1988 and, had it been completed, would have been the first and only 40-year program, Mabus said, according to DoDBuzz.

Conway’s goal is possible, the secretary of the Navy said: “I believe we will get there in three-and-a-half years.”

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