Military Embedded Systems

USAF 2018 acquisition annual report released taking aim at speed of acquisition reform


April 04, 2019

Mariana Iriarte

Technology Editor

Military Embedded Systems

USAF 2018 acquisition annual report released taking aim at speed of acquisition reform

ARLINGTON, Va. U.S. Air Force officials released the Fiscal Year 2018 Air Force Acquisition Annual Report, which focuses heavily on the role of speed and discipline in acquisition reform.

The report reviews the overall management of over 50 of USAF's largest programs. It also outlines where Air Force acquisition is headed in fiscal years 2019 and 2020 under the requirements of the National Defense Strategy to build a more lethal and ready Air Force, according to Air Force documents.

“We cannot win in this great power contest with an acquisition system from the Cold War,” states Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson. “We must move fast to stay competitive, and we are transforming what we buy, how we buy it, and who we buy it from.”

The report also highlights several new pathways for speed it focused on in 2018, including shifts to agile software development, increased partnerships with startups, targeted competition across major programs, and new innovations in sustainment.

Wilson identified the prototyping and experimentation authorities granted by Congress as key accelerators behind the Air Force’s speed in 2018. She indicated these tools also enable the Air Force to reduce risk by building and learning earlier in the acquisition process, leading to better informed acquisition requirements.

Dr. William Roper, assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition technology and logistics states in an Air Force release, "the acquisition workforce rose to the challenge to build a faster and smarter Air Force, with the workforce already achieving more than 75 percent of the service’s goal to strip 100 years of unnecessary time out of acquisition programs known as the 2018 Century Challenge."

“Speed is our top priority because everyone involved in the program has the potential to impact its speed. From the program manager to the newest intern, everyone involved has the ability to push the envelope of the possible and challenge any process that slows down a program,” Roper adds.


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