US Military News, Reports, Data, etc.


Tyrant King
It will be interesting to see what happens, particularly around this statement

"OA-X "is actually not about the hardware -- it's about the network," he said, adding he wants the service to train more often with coalition partners -- who may not have high-end fighter aircraft"
Historically twice before US firms Lockheed and Northrop started independent aircraft programs. The F104 and F5. Both proved successful in arming allied states and worked their way into limited US service.
Both also left there DNA on successor US designs. The 104's 20mm Vulcan cannon would be found in the F5, F14, F15, F16,F18, FA18 and F22.
The concept of the F5 light weight single seat high maneuver, easy to fix fighter intended to serve more in the functional of stike bombing light intercept and recon would lay the conceptual ground for the light fighter program giving birth to the F16, F18 and eventually F35.


Lieutenant General
Registered Member
Super Tucano flight hour only 1000 $ !

Congress Eager for Results of Air Force's Light Attack Aircraft Demo
The results are in.

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revealed Thursday it has the findings from the "light attack" aircraft demonstration, which took place in August at
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, New Mexico, though it has yet to disclose them.

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Members of Congress are eager to hear the verdict.

During a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on acquisition reform Thursday, senators said they are hopeful the light attack aircraft --
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-- procurement strategy may improve how future weapons systems are acquired.
Related content:

Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson said she had not yet reviewed the report but emphasized the speed of the entire process.

"This is the letter of invitation and four-page set of requirements," she said, holding up the original proposal, which was released to the defense industry on March 8.

"In less than five months, we had four aircraft on the ramp to test at Holloman Air Force Base and, last night, I just got the test report. So in less than 11 months, with five pages, we have tested four aircraft for a potential light attack aircraft for the United States and allies," Wilson said.

Last month, key lawmakers agreed to provide the
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to explore buying a new light attack aircraft for missions in the Middle East.

Addressing Wilson during Thursday's hearing, Sen Angus King, I-Maine, added, "What you told us about the light attack aircraft and the process is incredibly encouraging, and I hope that you will be able to continue along those lines."

Light Attack's Journey -- So Far

Four aircraft --
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; Sierra Nevada and Embraer's
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; and Textron and AirLand LLC's Scorpion, as well as their AT-6B Wolverine -- conducted live-fly exercises, combat maneuver scenarios and, on some occasions, weapons drops during the Holloman demonstration.

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen David Goldfein in September told that the light attack initiative should be viewed as a new way of doing business -- not just a plane, but part of a larger communications system.

OA-X "is actually not about the hardware -- it's about the network," he said, adding he wants the service to train more often with coalition partners -- who may not have high-end fighter aircraft.

Goldfein, who served as the U.S. Air Forces Central Command commander between 2011 and 2013, said, "Is this a way to get more coalition partners into a network to counter violence?

"Can I -- at the same that we're looking at a relatively inexpensive aircraft and sensor package -- can I connect that into a network of sharable information that allows us to better accomplish the strategy as it's been laid out?" he said.

Buying Power

During Thursday's hearing, Sen. David Perdue, a Georgia Republican, highlighted the need for interim solutions, such as light attack, given that the U.S. increasingly seems to require off-the-shelf technologies in times of rising tensions.

"After 30 years of disinvestment and only one major recapitalization, and after 16 years of combat, I believe we have a crisis," he said.

"How do we find quick, low-cost solutions for the battlefield? These high-cost solutions -- flying an F-35 into battlespace where an A-29 might be OK, those types of examples" are what's needed, Perdue said.

Light attack could be a refreshing start, considering the
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program -- the Pentagon’s most expensive program to date -- took more than 15 years to produce, between its first design to its date of operation.

Ellen Lord, undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, told the committee hearing that the Defense Department's goal is to shorten major acquisition programs from two-and-a-half years to 12 months.

"Now, that's a first step," she said.

Lord did not say whether that would apply to off-the-shelf experiments such as light attack, but touted OA-X's accomplishments.

The Air Force said it would share the findings of the report when appropriate.

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Lieutenant General
Registered Member

How the U.S. Military’s New Ship-Killing Missile Turns Targets' Radar Against Them
The Long Range Anti-Ship Missile homes in on the enemy’s own signals.

The Pentagon’s newest anti-ship missile uses technology from the B-2 stealth bomber to home in on and sink enemy ships. The Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM), the U.S. Military’s first new anti-ship missile in more than thirty years, homes in on the very radar signals an enemy ship broadcasts to defend itself. The result is a missile that can work in so-called “denied” environments when navigational assets such as the Global Positioning System are unavailable.

The Navy’s main anti-ship missile, the
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, first entered service in 1977. Called an "anti-ship cruise missile," the Harpoon launched from a ship, aircraft, or submarine, and uses an active radar system to detect enemy ships and home in on them. Although progressively updated over the years, Harpoon has grown pretty long in the tooth and is due for a replacement.

The active radar guidance system on many older anti-ship missiles has always been problematic. Anti-ship missiles are launched in the enemy’s direction and fly close to the surface to the water—in the case of Harpoon just thirty feet above the wavetops—in order to stay off the enemy’s radar screens for as long as possible.
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Lieutenant General
Registered Member
Now the concepts floated are both more or less resurrections of the Armored Cavalry Regiment.
See this Table ACR


1st delivered and in time 83 : 2 for tests and 27 by Sqn

First Dragoon Stryker 30mm delivered to US Army 2d Cavalry Regiment

The 2d Cavalry Regiment, the longest serving cavalry regiment in the U.S. Army, received its first 30 mm Stryker Infantry Carrier Vehicle - Dragoon (ICVD), named after the soldiers who serve in 2CR known as “Dragoons,” on Rose Barracks, Germany, December 8, 2017.

This upgraded Stryker has a remotely-operated 30mm cannon weapon system, unmanned turret, a new, fully-integrated commander's station; and upgraded driveline component and hull modifications, according to information from Program Executive Office-Ground Combat Systems. It was created to fill a capability gap in the European theater that puts Soldiers at unacceptable risk. Since publication of the urgent operational needs statement in 2015, this new system has undergone a rapid acquisitions process in order to provide 2CR with a needed capability.

This variant increases lethality and provides 2CR the additional assets needed to defend the NATO Alliance against any adversaries if called to do so. More ICVDs are scheduled to arrive over the next month. Dragoons will be equipped with the platform to conduct an End User Test and Evaluation (EUTE) at Hohenfels Training Area in April 2018. Following this, fielding will begin with 1st Squadron, 2CR receiving the ICVD at Bemowo Piskie Training Area during their NATO Enhanced Forward Presence rotation. The rest of the Regiment will receive the new vehicles at Rose Barracks toward the end of the fiscal year and into the beginning of 2019.

By next summer, the Strykers are expected to be on the road traveling across Eastern Europe in support of Saber Strike ‘18, the United States Army Europe’s largest exercise of the year.

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Interesting read.o_O

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and now comes a beautiful spin:
Did the Saudis Shoot Down a Houthi Missile on Nov. 4? It Doesn’t Much Matter LOL!
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The Patriot has proven itself with dozens of successful intercepts. Moreover, it’s just one part of a solid anti-missile defense strategy.

Did Saudi forces use the U.S-made Patriot system to shoot down a Houthi missile aimed at the Riyadh airport on Nov. 4? After the Saudi Arabia Ministry of Defense
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, a team of U.S. researchers
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— and suggested that it should give everyone pause about the usefulness of the anti-missile system. The researchers may (or may not) be right about the November event, but they are wrong to suggest that it should shake overall confidence in Patriot.

On Dec. 4, the New York Times published
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about research conducted by Jeffrey Lewis and a team, mostly from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, who examined various pieces of evidence, including photos of debris, and concluded that it is unlikely the Patriot system intercepted the missile. To be sure, the article’s authors did not claim that the Saudis definitively failed to intercept the missile, and they responsibly used words like “may be wrong” and “appears to show.” Still, the article has caused some to wonder aloud whether Japan, South Korea, and other countries that host Patriot systems should worry about the reliability of the system.

Keeping in mind that no missile defense system is intended to or ever will perform with 100 percent reliability, the short answer is no.

The longer answer is this: the Patriot system is a good missile defense system and has been proven in combat. Since the Saudi-Iranian proxy war in Yemen broke out in 2015, Saudi and UAE Patriot missile defenses have
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through Nov. 14, according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Patriot manufacturer Raytheon claims the actual number of intercepts is much higher:
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And it’s still possible the Saudis did, in fact, intercept the Houthi missile headed toward the capital’s airport on Nov. 5. Uzi Rubin, former head of Israel’s Missile Defense Organization, believes the MIIS research team could be mistaken. Mr. Rubin wrote to me, “if the Yemeni missile was a variant of the Quiam, an Iranian-designed souped-up version of the Scud C, then it is a separating missile with a separating reentry vehicle, i.e. the front end (the “warhead”) detaches itself after the end of the boost and flies on its own, while the spent stage trails behind it and hits the ground kilometers behind the warhead. If this is true, the target for the Patriots was not the missile - which by now was not a “missile” any more but two objects, a spent stage and a warhead - but just the warhead.”

This means that the intact debris in the photos posted by the New York Times may not have been the primary target of the Patriot system. The warhead would have been the primary target. The Saudis did not provide evidence of the warhead, and we simply do not know what happened to it. The only people who know whether the system really did intercept the warhead are the Saudis. People in the airport report that they felt vibrations, which could have been caused by the destruction of the warhead in the atmosphere. But as the authors of the New York Times article admit, there is no discernible damage around the airport—no craters and no scorch marks—that can be seen from satellite images that would prove the missile landed near its intended target. Mr. Lewis’s team chalks up the absence of visible damage to satellite imagery with insufficient detail to capture a crater. The other possible explanation for the absence of an image of a crater is that there is no crater.

We don’t even know what version of the Patriot the Saudis used to target the Houthi missile: the PAC-2 systems, or the more capable PAC-3s. The long-sought PAC-3s began arriving in Saudi Arabia only last summer and were not fully deployed in early November, according to a Defense News
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that cites Timothy Cahill, Lockheed Martin vice president for integrated air and missile defense. This also means the Saudis might not be fully trained to use the PAC-3s, and regardless of the variant, there’s always the possibility of user error. If it was a PAC-2 that took the shot, and possibly missed, it is not an indictment of the already combat-tested PAC-2, much less the more capable PAC-3 variant.

Bottom line: other allies counting on the extra defensive capabilities of the Patriot system have ample reason to be confident in the usefulness of the system, but should never count on the system intercepting every single enemy missile. Patriot, like all other missile defense systems, is a valuable tool in a toolbox that includes a mix of offensive and defensive capabilities.


Tyrant King
Air Force shoots down possibility of enlisted combat pilots
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  2 days ago
The Air Force is launching a new pilot training program that will include enlisted airmen — and could eventually lead to enlisted flying combat aircraft.

By: Stephen Losey

Air Education and Training Command said that although its new Pilot Training Next program will include some enlisted airmen, it is not intended to create enlisted aviators. (Courtesy photo via Lockheed Martin)

Despite an email to airmen that discussed the potential for enlisted members to fly combat aircraft, the Air Force is now insisting that it is focused solely on studying how airmen learn.

Air Education and Training Command said in a Thursday release that although its new Pilot Training Next program will include some enlisted airmen, it is not intended to create enlisted aviators.

In the release, AETC said that the program is meant to study how the Air Force can help people learn more quickly and effectively, using immersive technologies such as virtual and augmented reality. The program, scheduled to begin in February, will include 15 officers and five enlisted airmen without college degrees.

The release from AETC comes just days after an email surfaced online earlier this week suggesting that the command was interested in using the program to gauge the potential for enlisted airmen to learn to fly.

In the email, Second Air Force commander Maj. Gen. Timothy Leahy said that the program “will provide data to the AETC commander on the potential for enlisted members to train to fly modern combat aircraft.”

Leahy also said in the email that successful candidates in the six-month program will fly solo in T-6 trainers.

“Enlisted volunteers will be pioneers in innovating Air Force aviator recruitment, selection and training processes by demonstrating the potential of non-college graduates to succeed in a rigorous pilot training environment,” Leahy said.

Lt. Col. Robert Vicars, the director for the new program, said in the Thursday release from AETC that enlisted participants will move on to their predetermined technical training after the program, not undergraduate pilot training, like the officer participants. An Air Force spokesperson did not make that distinction in an interview earlier this week with Air Force Times.

“Selecting enlisted members to fill the non-college student role is not intended to develop enlisted aviators,” Vicars said. “In this selection model, we can pool the data to determine what qualities, habits of mind and patterns of thought equal success in the flying training environment. We are then able to filter that data to develop simulators, apps and testing tools to pull in the very best talent.”

AETC commander Lt. Gen. Steven Kwast said that the program focused on pilot training because of the urgency involved with that career field. The Air Force is struggling with an alarming shortfall in its pilot ranks that has prompted it to roll out a wide variety of initiatives to correct it.

“However, our focus is on how airmen learn, not necessarily what they learn, exploring technology and how that technology can produce better and faster learning,” Kwast said.

Vicars said that AETC wants to build an “intelligent tutor” that monitors students and learns how better to teach them.

“It will track their biometrics and understand the stress level they are under to optimize the learning environment for the individual and put them under the right amount of stress to create learning,” Vicars said.

AETC decided to specifically include enlisted airmen who hadn’t graduated college to make sure the program has a pool of students from a variety of different learning backgrounds. The enlisted airmen chosen for the program will come from a pool of airmen who recently completed basic training.

AETC said that the program seeks to revolutionize training and make “a more efficient path to pilots earning their wings.”

“If we do this right, and the students learn all the functional competency sets, as well as key and critical learning objectives and skills, then we would expect to be able to pin wings on them,” Vicars said.
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Army Jungles
Soldiers to test new jungle boots, hot weather uniforms this spring
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  3 days ago

Capt. Daniel Ferenczy, assistant product manager for extreme-weather clothing and footwear at PEO Soldier. discusses the features of the Army's new Hot Weather Uniform and updated Jungle Combat Boot Dec. 7 at Fort Belvoir, Va. (Alan Lessig/Staff)

The Army is sending new jungle boots and an improved hot weather uniform to soldiers in Hawaii in January.
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Marines Jungles
New in 2018: ‘Fast drying’ and ‘lightweight’ tropical uniform and boots
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  3 days ago

An infantry Marine from 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment conducts patrols wearing a prototype tropical utility uniform Oct. 5 in Hawaii. (Monique Randolph/Marine Corps)

The new year will bring new gear for Marines everywhere.

For starters, Marine Commandant Gen. Robert Neller wants Marines to have lighter gear, so the Corps expects to begin making a new tropical uniform and boots available in late 2018, said Lt. Col. Christopher Madeline of Marine Corps Systems Command.
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"... sustainability for industry ..." got it
US Navy secretary: The path to restoring naval readiness
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Years of operating under the 2011 Budget Control Act and over nine years of continuing resolutions have imposed high costs on the Department of the Navy. Some of these costs have been financial, but budget caps and delays have also had deep impacts on our ability to resource our mission. The resultant effect of continuing resolutions and lack of budgets produces a U.S. Navy and Marine Corps team that is operating at a level less than optimal when compared to known funding on a regular budget cycle. Finding the right remedy ― which is an imperative ― will require ingenuity and partnership on all sides.

Rest assured, the Department of the Navy is dedicated to restoring readiness and increasing the capacity and capability of the fleet to meet the nation’s security needs. We are beginning to witness improvements in these three areas, and we expect to see the rate of improvement increase in the near future. We are committed to doing so in a way that works hand-in-hand with our partners in Congress and industry so we may deliver superior national defense at a value to the American taxpayers.

Finding that value means we must avoid the expense of mistakes and delays so we can build the foundation for future growth today. This will require large capital investments, now, in order to achieve our goals while continuing to maintain the enterprise and associated infrastructure we have today. The centerpiece for my department is the fleet. I cannot tell you exactly what the maritime fleet composition will be in 20 to 25 years, but I know that bringing that additional capacity into existence will be infinitely more challenging if we do not make prudent investments today. Time is a commodity that cannot be regained once lost ― no amount of money can buy it back. The money we do have must be invested as efficiently as possible, which means we must attain greater budgetary certainty in order to fund our strategy. Having a clear line of sight to the necessary resources for growth will allow our partners in industry to invest for the future, which will in turn lower overall costs.

I am looking intensively at ways that the Department of the Navy can be more efficient in how we conduct our business in order to strike the balance between sustainability for industry and value for the taxpayers. Additionally, we are determined to work with our industry partners so we may implement their lessons learned in order to be better informed customers for our suppliers. We will do this by streamlining our acquisition process and working with our congressional partners to secure steady funding commitments, which will encourage innovation, better manage risk and drive efficiencies.

The solutions I see, while challenging, can provide value to the enterprise. All of us in the national security enterprise ― the Pentagon, Congress and industry ― share the goal of supporting our current and future sailors and Marines so that they can be successful at conducting their missions. We have not done enough in that regard. Today, they face stark choices between conducting missions for which they have been tasked, training in order to be prepared for future missions, and maintaining their equipment so that it can perform safely and effectively. We have given them too few resources, and we have done this with a lack of consistency. Our sailors and Marines have done their utmost to manage this quandary, while always acting with a “can do” attitude and a bias for action. We now owe them consistent resources in order for them to act today and sustain their ability to do so over time. Our sailors and Marines are committed to being the best; we must deliver the means that they need to continue to realize that commitment.

This is the opportunity. This is the time. This administration is dedicated to rebuilding American military might and ensuring stability and certainty as we address global security demands. The future is challenging but bright as we lean forward to engage with our legislative and industry partners to guarantee that the Navy and Marine Corps team remains the world’s most ready and lethal forward-deployed fighting force.
as of 2016,
97+105.5+63+83+67+98.8 = 514.3
more than a half of a million people directly employed at top-six weapons producers;
5302+4895+2174+2351+2200+2955 = 19877, almost twenty bil of profit, good for them:

Global arms industry: First rise in arms sales since 2010, says SIPRI
11 December 2017
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now I had good time reading
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"Generally speaking, however, it is impossible to hold the officials who made the key decisions at Milestone B accountable in a practical way. They are usually no longer involved with the program or even serving in the Department of Defense."
Accountability may be viewed as close to an unalloyed good as anything you’ll find in public policy. As a management principle, it is a sound way to ensure that authority is married to responsibility. As a democratic principle, it ensures that government officials are answerable to the people. As a military principle, it implies that a commander is ultimately responsible for the actions of his or her command. Ensuring accountability at the Department of Defense has long been a priority for Congress. The desire for greater accountability was one reason why
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of the 1980s created the position of
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, in an effort to unify leadership of the acquisition system in one chain of command.

More recently, in an effort to establish greater accountability for acquisition within the military services, Congress mandated the delegation of much of the undersecretary’s acquisition authority to the service acquisition executives in an effort to align responsibility for each of the three modernization processes: budget, requirements, and acquisition, at the service level. The intent behind this change was to make it possible to hold the services accountable for cost overruns and poor decisions in acquisition programs, and Congress sought to enforce that accountability by imposing financial penalties on the services for cost overruns on acquisition programs. And at the Senate Armed Services Committee’s
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on acquisition,
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asked DoD leaders for the names of all those in the acquisition system who had been fired as a result of major acquisition failures. He made his consternation at the small number of such firings clear.

But the quest for accountability in acquisition faces several complications, both under the Goldwater-Nichols approach and after the recent decision to reverse some of its reforms. One of the main challenges is the extended time spans of acquisition and how early in an acquisition program’s life cycle critical decisions are made. Most of the critical decisions in an acquisition program are made when the program moves into its primary design and development phase, the point known in the acquisition system as Milestone B. In most cases, this is the point when the prime contractor is selected, the basic design is chosen, and the acquisition strategy is set. Much of what follows in the program flows from these decisions. But the design and development phase usually takes several years. If the decisions made at Milestone B are flawed or are based on faulty assumptions, it generally doesn’t become clear until five to eight years later when operational testing reveals the things that didn’t develop as expected. Generally speaking, however, it is impossible to hold the officials who made the key decisions at Milestone B accountable in a practical way. They are usually no longer involved with the program or even serving in the Department of Defense.

If we generally can’t hold the officials responsible for Milestone B accountable, what about those who executed those decisions? Can we at least hold the military services and program managers accountable for their performance on programs that may have been started with flawed strategies, but could be recoverable later? In most cases the answer is no, because one of the other main challenges to establishing accountability in acquisition is poorly chosen metrics.

Our approach to measuring acquisition success has been based on primarily measuring the amount of cost and schedule growth occurring after Milestone B. This approach generally conflates cost and schedule growth occurring as a result of flawed strategies and planning assumptions with cost growth that occurs due to later errors of execution. Our metrics aren’t designed to help assign accountability, and they therefore don’t provide any incentive for program managers to aggressively identify and manage risk. Frank Kendall, former undersecretary of Defense for acquisition, technology, and logistics, took steps to address this problem with his annual report on the performance of the defense acquisition system, but his more detailed, data-based approach to measuring acquisition performance has been slow to be embraced by Congress and is not reflected at all in the penalty system Congress created.

But there are actually deeper challenges to accountability in acquisition that go beyond extended time frames and faulty metrics. A fundamental problem is the fact that acquisition is a team game, not an individual sport. A successful acquisition program requires highly complex coordination between the many elements of the acquisition community, including designers, systems engineers, industrial engineers, program management, the manufacturing workforce, quality assurance personnel, developmental testers, and operational testers, as well as product support managers, logisticians, and maintainers. All these people work in close coordination with those outside the acquisition community who play equally critical roles, including the requirements generators, the budget and resource managers,
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. Perhaps most underappreciated is the role of the personnel, education and training communities responsible for creating the cadres of operators who get a new system from the end stages of development into initial operations. There are almost innumerable opportunities for error in the work of each of these groups and in the interaction and communication occurring between them.

In such a complex enterprise, most of which is outside the control of the program manager and much of which is outside the acquisition system, the chance of meaningfully holding any single element meaningfully accountable for acquisition is miniscule. In fact, an overly aggressive quest for accountability is likely to reinforce errors, creating strong incentives in the system for hiding problems and blame shifting. These behaviors are likely to occurred exactly when the focus should be on tackling issues early before they become major problems and pitching in together to solve problems as they arise. Further, when so many organizations are involved with acquisition, the centralizing impulse in the quest for accountability can also lead to the consolidation of decision making in the hands of those without the necessary expertise and experience to exercise it. And every indication is that the complexity of acquisition is only growing. As software development becomes an ever-increasing aspect of acquisition, the linear decision making enshrined in the traditional acquisition process is becoming less relevant for ensuring that the key challenges of coordinating
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are managed successfully. In this environment, an emphasis on accountability may only further hinder the collaborative team effort required for program success.

Lastly, at a time when the United States faces near-peer competitors who are equaling or surpassing our capabilities in certain areas, there is a near consensus that the acquisition system needs to be willing to take greater risk to develop and deploy new capabilities more rapidly. Taking greater risk requires tolerance for failure, which is something of an unnatural act already in the world of acquisition. When achieving accountability is prioritized as an overriding point of emphasis, there is even less hope that a tolerance of failure will develop. While accountability remains a necessary and valuable principle in many respects, basing our efforts at acquisition reform on the principle of accountability is not merely insufficient for solving our acquisition problems, it’s actually a bad idea.
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"He also called on Congress to eliminate spending caps known as sequestration and approve a "clean" appropriations bill." etc.:
Trump Signs 2018 Defense Bill: Here's What It Means for You
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