NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — The Navy and industry must do a better job at collaborating and monitoring progress throughout the entire acquisition process if the service hopes to improve how acquisition is done, a panel said at Navy League’s annual Sea-Air-Space symposium May 7.
Vice Adm. Nicholas Hine, 2nd Sea Lord with the Royal British Navy, said there is a need to monitor industry partners throughout the acquisition process, as “too often” the government just hands money to them and doesn’t check up, opting to deal with problems late in the acquisition process when major changes might need to be made.
Rear Adm. Michael Johnston, Coast Guard deputy commandant for mission support, said that both sides need to focus on the end mission goal.
“We always vet a team on the contractor side and really are with them every day,” he said. “We’re part of the risk meetings. That’s how we get at where we are in a program at every given time, and monitor the program early and often so we make minor adjustments.”
Vice Adm. Michael Moran, the Navy’s principal military deputy assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition, said that the Navy needs to focus on real-time decision-making. He said that’s what happened in the Long Range Anti-Ship Missile program — a program that would normally take eight to nine years to field that only took four years as a result.
“Robust engagement between industry and government teams, sharing the models, enabling real-time decision-making — that’s a must for us,” Moran said. “That’s just a must.”