By Claudette Roulo, American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Nov. 25, 2013 – Deputy Defense Secretary Ash Carter today presented four acquisition teams with the David Packard Excellence in Acquisition Award, the highest Defense Department-bestowed honor for acquisitions.
“I can think of no better way to spend one of my last days as deputy secretary of defense than by acknowledging these men and women who have worked so hard to make our department succeed,” Carter said.
The David Packard Excellence in Acquisition Award was first awarded in 1997 in honor of the late David Packard, a former deputy secretary of defense and advocate of excellence in defense acquisition practices. The award recognizes organizations, groups and teams that have demonstrated superior program management, exemplary innovation and accomplishment in the successful execution of the department’s Better Buying Power initiatives.
Acknowledging recent challenges faced by DOD’s civilian workforce, including furloughs and the government shutdown, the deputy secretary said that the work of acquisitions professionals is vital to the success of the department.
“You stuck with us, despite all these recent challenges,” Carter said.
“I know why you do it,” he continued. “You do it because you get to wake up every morning and be part of something bigger than yourselves.”
In these challenging times, it’s particularly important to honor outstanding public servants, Carter said.
“The impact that they can make — all of them — [is] represented today by our distinguished honorees,” he said.
The honorees include:
— The Joint Light Tactical Vehicle team, a joint Army and Marine Corps team, for its cost-saving efforts in restoring the mobility, payload-carrying capacity, rotary-wing transportability and overall safety of Army and Marine Corps light tactical vehicles;
— The Navy’s Air and Missile Defense Radar team for its cost saving and risk reduction initiatives in the pre-engineering, manufacturing and development phase of this major defense acquisition program;
— The Air Force’s HC-130J Combat King II and MC-130J Commando II Program team for its innovative recapitalization program to procure 131 aircraft for Air Combat Command and Air Force Special Operations Command, and
— Defense Information Technology Contracting Organization and Air Force National Capital Region Information Technology Team, a joint Defense Information Systems Agency and Air Force team, for its cost-saving ability to quickly respond to real-world needs for scalable information technology services and help desk support.
“All four of these teams have made a huge difference to the department,” Carter said.
“The accomplishments of our recipients today showcase precision, business acumen, innovation, dedication and teamwork at every stage of the acquisition process,” he said.
The honorees’ cumulative efforts “have saved the department billions of dollars,” the deputy secretary said. “Being responsible stewards of taxpayer money is always a top priority for us but it’s particularly appreciated during these times of shrinking budgets and fiscal uncertainty.
“You have proven that we do not have to sacrifice performance and capabilities in order to achieve speed and savings,” Carter added. “Your successes show that we can have effective oversight, but above all, better value for the taxpayer and the warfighter.”
(Follow Claudette Roulo on Twitter: @RouloAFPS)