Carter Directs Services to Carry Out Efficiency in Spending
In order to carry out a June 28 federal mandate to use Defense Department dollars most efficiently, Ashton B. Carter, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics (A,T,&L) issued a lengthy list of guidelines to defense acquisition professionals on September 14, 2010.
Carter’s memo, titled “Better Buying Power: Guidance for Obtaining Greater Efficiency and Productivity in Defense Spending,” is part of Secretary Robert Gates’s Efficiency Initiative, which aims to “procure the critical goods and services our forces need in the years ahead,” without depending on “ever-increasing budgets to pay for them.”
Below are important excerpts from Carter’s memo, based on 23 principal actions set forth in the guidance memo. These actions are organized according to five major goal areas related to affordability and cost control growth, incentivizing productivity and innovation in industry, promoting real competition, improving tradecraft in services acquisition, and reducing non-productive processes and bureaucracy.
Mandate affordability as a requirement—”Affordability means conducting a program at a cost constrained by the maximum resources the Department can allocate for that capability,” Carter said. “Many of our programs flunk this basic test from their inception. As the Department begins new programs like the Ohio-class SSBN(X) replacement, the new Presidential Helicopter, the Army’s Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV) ….I will require program managers to treat affordability as a requirement before granting milestone authority to proceed with the program.” Read More ...
DoD Conference Stresses Corrosion Education as Vital Policymaking Resource
Military Corrosion Experts Gather at Palm Springs Resort in Summer 2011
The 2011 DoD Corrosion Conference will highlight the importance of corrosion training and education for officials and technicians at all levels of government and military policy-making. From July 31 through August 5, 2011, experts from the military services and related industries will convene at the La Quinta Club and Resort, a historic Waldorf Astoria Collection hotel in Palm Springs, California.
"Since 1967 the DoD Corrosion Conference has emphasized featured speakers presiding over panel discussions, as well as authors of technical papers from an array of corrosion technology areas,” said Daniel J. Dunmire, director of the DoD’s Corrosion Policy and Oversight Office and the conference chairman. “The conference also features exhibitors from DoD and industry who are interested in DoD’s requirements for the production and maintenance of military equipment and infrastructure.”
Dunmire said, “We have learned from our recent evaluation of the F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter aircraft that military corrosion experts need to be advising our DoD weapons systems program managers, as well as our DoD facility managers. Corrosion impacts the Department negatively to the tune of $22.5 billion annually. Tackling this problem requires people who understand corrosion at all levels.” Read More ...
Protecting a Mainstay from Biocorrosion
Cotton has long been a mainstay in the Armed Forces. The basis of items ranging from combat uniforms to tents to backpacks, cotton is perhaps the most ubiquitous textile used by the U.S. Military. Although it has proven itself in myriad applications, cotton – natural fiber that it is – is susceptible to biocorrosion.
Kris J. Senecal, research biologist with the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center (RDEC) in Natick, Massachusetts, explains that cotton is prone to microbial and fungal (i.e., mildew) degradation. "The fabric or system containing the natural component deteriorates, thereby affecting the performance," she said, adding that cotton degradation is an ongoing threat. "In the field with moisture both in the environment and associated with the soldier, this becomes a food source for microbes. In non-combat locations such as storage facilities, carefully controlled environments don’t exist so the component containing the cotton fabric could be affected."
For decades the Army prevented cotton-based textiles from degrading by treating them with solvent-blended copper 8 – a proven and effective antimicrobial agent. The solvent-based-variant of copper 8 ultimately was deemed toxic to the environment, however, and the Army was forced to discontinue its use. Subsequently, the Army turned to compounds containing aqueous-based copper 8 to fill the void; the alternative has yielded less desirable results. Read More ...