Army wants better tech, but cheaper

Warfighting capabilities must grow without increasing the budget

The Army is putting its contracting emphasis on delivering better technologies for less money,  a senior Defense Department official said today.

Warfighting capabilities need to grow by 2 percent to 3 percent without the budget increasing, said Malcolm O’Neill, assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition, logistics and technology. Capabilities must become less about major platforms and instead be better geared toward smaller tactical teams and dismounted soldiers.

“A paradigm shift is necessary – and I think we’ve done that with platforms. But what have we done for the individual soldier and small tactical unit?” O’Neill said today at a briefing in Arlington, Va., sponsored by the Professional Services Council.

“Do we in DOD have world class technology? In some areas we do, but in others we need to" improve, he said.

The Army is also targeting contracted support services – an area that Defense Secretary Robert Gates has said would see a 10 percent decrease in funding over the next three years for the entire DOD.

O’Neill said that progress is being made implementing the recently launched office of deputy assistant secretary of the Army for services (DASA-S), a position that he said will be responsible for all Army services and service contracts.

James Sutton was named as DASA-S when the office was established in last November. According to the Army, Sutton is responsible for policy, planning, execution, and management of services provided to the Army, at a cost of $50 billion annually.

According to O’Neill, the DASA-S is working with Army commands to better define requirements, share best practices, establish service templates and reduce redundancies.

“We have an increasing need to provide the best equipment, products and support – speed matters,” he said.

About the Author

Amber Corrin is a former staff writer for FCW and Defense Systems.

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