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AUSA 2019: The Book, the Whole Book, Nothing But the Book – the Saga Continues

Mismatch Between Intentions and Action

My colleague Tim Mahon’s posting on the morning of 14 October <https://monch.com/mpg/news/land/6065-ausa2019-us-army-disqualiy-rheinmetall-raytheon-lynx-ifv.html> has raised additional awareness regarding the increasingly flawed acquisition programme to replace the US Army’s legacy-era BRADLEY Infantry Vehicle with an optionally manned fighting vehicle (OMFV).

By the evening of 14 October, this author had submitted invitations to US Army Futures Command (Next Generation Combat Vehicle Cross-Functional Team) and PEO Program Executive Officer for Ground Combat Systems, to gain their insights on the service’s intentions to award the OMFV contract with the one competitor who has followed the Pentagon’s rigorous acquisition rules to the letter – and punctuation mark – General Dynamic Land Systems. AFC declined to comment, due to OMFV being in source selection. No response was received from the PEO. The author was further advised by AFC that this topic would not be addressed during its senior leadership’s media engagements during AUSA.

The buzz on the conference floor on this topic indicates there is the perception of another mismatch between good intentions and actions. AFC is attempting to modernise the service at a runner’s pace, stepping up the tempo of contract awards through the increasingly trendy ‘transaction authority contract’ and similar vehicles, while compressing their acquisition cycles when feasible. Conversely, ‘Big’ Army’s acquisition programme still appears to be mired in an earlier era, when the verbosity of regulations outweighs what is right for the good of the service, its industry partners and the US taxpayer.

While the US Congress appears immersed in the President Trump-Ukraine quid pro quo debacle, the US’s daily strategy changes in Syria and other matters, there appears to be little, if any, possibility the legislative branch, as the holder of Army’s purse strings, will allow the reality of a sole source bidder for OMFV to bubble up to its list of priorities.

Marty Kauchak

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