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Christopher Lowman: DoD Eyes New Strategies to Help Address Long-Term Sustainment Costs

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The Department of Defense is working on a new project that seeks to tackle long-term sustainment costs upfront in weapons systems development, Federal News Network reported Tuesday.

Kathleen Hicks, deputy secretary of DOD and a two-time Wash100 AWard winner, approved the initiative called “rapid sustainment execution reserve” meant to help address the problem with long-term costs.

We want to provide the upfront investment to procure a commercially-available solution, something that can be executed in a single fiscal year, get the military services past that initial investment, and then scale it within the services,” Christopher Lowman, assistant secretary for sustainment at DOD, said at a conference.

We’ve developed some vignettes we’ll release on SAM.gov, and we’re looking for feedback from industry on what the solutions are. What are the available products? I’m not interested in developing anything. What I want are options and ideas on how to address the sustainment challenges with existing technology, and then we’ll allow them to compete,” he added.

The Pentagon also aims to leverage data to enhance its sustainment plans and Lowman noted that Hicks cleared new approaches to measure long-term performance of weapons systems. 

With the initiative called “sustainment health strategies,” Lowman said the department will use information in authoritative databases of service branches to gain measurements of those weapons platforms’ availability.