The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies is pleased to release its latest Policy Paper, Acquisition at the Speed of Combat, Not at the Pace of Bureaucracy: Enabling Progress in Reform by Michael Sirak, Mitchell Institute visiting fellow.
Like the rest of the Defense Department, the Air Force’s acquisition system still relies on highly bureaucratic, industrial-age procurement methods that drives length procurement cycles—often measured in decades. Maintaining this business approach is no longer tenable in an age when US adversaries are exploiting the explosion of commercially available technology to their advantage, innovatively fielding new capability much more quickly. Amidst such dynamics, US technological superiority is eroding.
The Air Force must fundamentally rethink and retool how it acquires weapon systems. The mission of the acquisition workforce must be delivering effective, responsive, and reliable capability as soon as possible to meet warfighting requirements. Airmen need new systems at the speed of combat, not the pace of bureaucracy.