Navy Making Big Adjustments to Accelerate Acquisition Efforts

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Senior Navy officials said the service is making changes to take advantage of previous updates in authorities by Congress for rapid acquisitions across the military, National Defense Magazine reported Monday. Congress allowed the U.S. Navy to accelerate how it develops, buys and fields new technologies through the fiscal year 2016 National Defense Authorization Act. 

Rear Adm. James Kilby, director of warfare integration at the office of the chief of naval operations, said the Navy created two paths to leverage its new rapid acquisition authorities. The service is working on faster prototyping, experimentation and demonstration projects and the maritime accelerated capability office as part of its high priority initiatives.

Commander Todd Philips, of the Navy appropriations matters office, said the Navy faced “a lot of initial bumps and bruises” implementing the accelerated acquisition process. However, he noted the service is “at a much better place” following the 2018 update on the process, which sets initiatives that are designated as “accelerated” to receive immediate funding.

Rear Adm. Douglas Small, program executive officer for integrated warfare systems, said the Navy is assigning program managers and executive officers to speed up the process to manage acquisition authorities and speed up processes.

“Just removing entire layers of oversight and really empowering people to be able to go off and deliver is going to… speed up a lot throughout the system,” he said.

Amid the efforts to buy and field technologies faster, Kilby called on industry to reach out to the Navy to help in the changes. He added the Navy is shifting millions of dollars in research and development funding towards fast-tracking acquisition priorities.

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