Rapid Fire July 30, 2012: Rookie Mistakes?
- Though the primes are staying clear of commenting on the Pentagon’s acquisition workforce, smaller IT firms are complaining about mistakes and lack of visibility that they attribute to the lack of experience of an increasing part of contracting officers. Recent hires will need to ramp up their skills fast as many older employers will retire soon.
- The US Army is mounting its defense to counter claims that it has not-invented-here syndrome in the DCGS-A vs. Palantir kerfuffle: “There are multiple requests for capabilities in theater and many are ghost written by commercial vendors.”
- Besides using sophisticated software to detect buried IEDs, the US Army is also considering training… rats. They would reach where dogs can’t.
- The Royal United Services Institute think tank comments [PDF] on the British MoD’s plans to manage military procurement via a Government Owned, Contractor Operated (GOCO):
“An important factor of military acquisition, frequently ignored, is that DE&S is but one aspect of the mix. Any real improvement must consider the entire process and the array of those with a part to play throughout the MoD and the remainder of the government, all of which have the power to negate any decisions made in Abbey Wood. The bottom line is that, as practitioners and observers of defence acquisition in the UK and elsewhere, at present we cannot easily see how the DE&S as a GOCO would even work in practice, let alone why it would be a less expensive and better alternative to what is in place today.”
- Russian Navy Commander-in-Chief Viktor Chirkov says its country will seek ports of call in Vietnam, Cuba and the Seychelles. Observers think it’s for show and are not impressed by Russian naval operational availability. But what’s with the sudden interest in the Seychelles? China also wants to be able to resupply its ships there while the US Air Force already operates UAVs out of the island.
- Truckers shuffling NATO supplies in Afghanistan have it tough.
- The United Nations Arms Trade Treaty Conference closed without reaching a consensus on a text. The UN’s Secretary General expressed his disappointment while the US Department of State supports going into a second round of talks.
- US Assistant Secretary of State for Political Military Affairs Andrew Shapiro said military export control reform is almost ready for the next administration to finalize.
- Thales is making some upper management changes.