Peter Levine, senior research fellow at the Institute for Defense Analyses, David Berteau, President & CEO of the Professional Services Council and John Young Jr., principal at JY Strategies, LLC, discuss the split of the Pentagon’s AT&L office, and what the two new organizations will be responsible for.
It has been six months since work began to split the Department of Defense’s office of Acquisition, Technology and Logistics in two. The division made a big step forward this week, when Deputy Secretary Patrick Shanahan released a guidance memo officially establishing the offices of Acquisition & Sustainment and Research & Engineering. Peter Levine, senior research fellow at the Institute for Defense Analyses says that everything in the memo complies with the proposal as it stands in last year’s NDAA. “What we have to recognize though is that power and influence in the department are not really a matter of organization charts. What we have to do is see over time; what the offices do, how they go about it, who they work with, what kind of disputes they get into, and how those disputes are resolved,” said Levine. “That’ll really show us how these new organizations are working.” “The research and engineering structure adds these new jobs that are focused on quantum and hypersonics, so I think that’ll bring some focus to some key technology areas for the department,” said John Young Jr., principal at JY Strategies, LLC. People manage programs, not paper. So, I don’t think this has a big impact on speed, and I think OSD is going to struggle to have an impact on speed because… the services now control the budget, program milestone decisions, and execution of the programs.” “There’s nothing in this organization structure that inherently brings new technology to apply to new systems any faster than it’s done before,” said David Berteau, President & CEO, Professional Services Council. “In fact, with the independence that the military departments have now, it may add an additional complexity to bringing that speed into place.”