From the Editor-in-Chief

“Te definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”

—Anonymous U

sually, the “insanity” quote is wrongly attributed to Albert Einstein, but it is thought to have originated one of the 12-step communities by an anonymous member. Yes, people misattribute the quote over

and over thinking maybe, someday, Einstein will have actually said it. But he didn’t, and he won’t.

Te connection to this issue's theme of Alternative Acquisition and the quote is specifically how the Army conducts acquisi- tion. Te processes are, well, just that—processes that have been created over time and produce results. However, rigidity is the enemy of flexibility, and with the historically rapid pace of techno- logical change as just one factor, something's got to give in order to meet the demanding need of modern warfare.

Alternative acquisition is about how the Army Acquisition Work- force is breaking the cycle of insanity by stepping outside of the “normal” Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR)-based process and actively seeking ways to disrupt the cycle through the use of such methods. What are they? Such methods are those procure- ment or funding options that are in the regulations, but not part of the normal acquisition process. For instance, there are other-transaction authority agreements, Simplified Acquisition Procedures, both contracting methods designed to streamline the acquisition process. With the revision of the DOD 5000 series of instructions, we now have the Adaptive Acquisition Framework and its acquisition pathways, which are FAR-based, but they're tailored to the military's six primary categories of acquisitions. Te middle-tier pathway of the Adaptive Acquisition Framework is intended for rapid prototyping using innovative technology to develop “fieldable” prototypes in an operational environment within five years of the requirement. Or, rapid fielding can be used where proven technologies are used to field new or upgraded products, with production beginning within six months, and complete fielding of the system within five years.

So, if you’re like me, you must be wondering: Why are we performing alternative acquisition? If it’s better, faster and gets the Soldiers what they need, why isn’t this standard acquisition? Instead of “alternative,” why don't we just call it acquisition?

Te short answer is a long one; it’s called the FAR. Spanning 37 chap- ters and thousands of pages, the FAR provides the guidelines by which procurements must be made. Born from the Armed Services Procurement Regulation established in 1947, it was codified in Title 48 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) in 1984 to create a uniform structure for many federal agencies.

Nevertheless, since its streamlining reform in the 1990s, the FAR has added back almost 200 government-unique clauses for buying commercial items and services. To speed up the process, and as early as the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016, Congress opened up other-transaction authority and mid-tier acquisition options. Tese processes provide rela- tively uninhibited access to commercial technology, services and products. It seems that, the more the FAR restricts, the more alter- natives have to be created to get around its limitations.

Email Nelson McCouch III

To ensure that our Soldiers have what they need when they need it, Army Acquisition Workforce members employ standard and alternative acquisition methods on a daily basis. For example, in "Double Time," on Page 18, we learn how the U.S. Army Medi- cal Research and Development Command is using a consortium with other-transaction authority to increase not only the speed of acquisitions but also the innovation behind them. We also see inventive minds at work at the Program Executive Office for Command, Control, Communications – Tactical in "Keep- ing Pace, Cutting Costs," on Page 24. Te command is looking at doing business in an entirely new way by leveraging the tacti- cal network's two-year capability-set cycle to bundle and lease rather than own satellite communications capabilities that will enable the Army to more affordably keep up with the accelerating speed of technology. In "FAR/Not FAR," on page 8, learn about how alternative acquisition is working, according to experts, and where we need to go from here.

As always, if you have comments, critique or an article you would like to share, we would love to hear about it. Please contact us at We look forward to hearing from you.

Nelson McCouch III Editor-in-Chief 3

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88  |  Page 89  |  Page 90  |  Page 91  |  Page 92