Programs may have to sacrifice perfect solutions


As the military plans to put in place future aviation programs, it should think more holistically about these efforts, the aviation service’s program manager said on Tuesday.

During a panel discussion at the Association of the US Army conference in Washington, Brig. Gen. Robert Barrie said the military should review all programs and consider addressing common issues with shared solutions.

It could mean that program managers accept solutions that might not be exactly what their programs need, but that are better for the military as a whole.

Barrie said military offices have in the past looked at their program requirements individually and sought funding and solutions to resolve issues with those programs on their own.

“At the end of the day, we’ve done a really good job of delivering optimal solutions for each of our individual platforms,” said Barrie.

But this siled process will no longer work, said Barrie, and the culture must change.

“What we have to do [is] be prepared to accept what in some cases may be a less than optimal solution for each platform so that the whole gets a better solution, ”said Barrie. “And for us to do it affordably, and for us to do it at the speed of technology to meet our threats.”

Barrie said the aviation branch has looked at past failures to learn from them. He proposed nine areas of continuous effort involving policy, governance, structure, resources and others “to correct the sins of the past”.

The aviation branch has also set up a transformation office to keep expenses under scrutiny, Barrie said.

“Inside that office, we’ll make decisions about every dollar of investment that goes into the portfolio and run it through a lens to determine if this is the best use of that capacity, and is- what am I exploiting it to the fullest extent possible through the sequel? ”said Barrie.

Major General Wally Rugen, head of Army Vertical Assistance Modernization, said the modular open systems approach could help the military afford to simultaneously pursue two future vertical lift aircraft : the Future Long Range Assault Aircraft and the Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft.

He pointed to a recent report from the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments on program affordability, which found that more investment in MOSA could boost competition and help reduce costs.

Jen Judson contributed to this report.

Stephen Losey covers leadership and personnel issues as a senior reporter for Air Force Times. He comes from an Air Force family and his investigative reporting has been recognized by the Society of Professional Journalists. He traveled to the Middle East to cover air force operations against Islamic State.

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