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    Who/what determines when a program is officially in the Ops and Spt phase? Is a review or decision required since there is not a milestone?


    Answer

    The purpose of the Operations & Support Phase from the Integrated Defense Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics Life Cycle Management chart is to "Execute support programs that meet materiel readiness and operational support performance requirements and sustains system in most cost-effective manner".  It is fine for a program to be in both the Production & Deployment Phase and the Operations & Support Phase at the same time and it is common for there to be overlap.  For Example, the F-16.  It entered production in 1978 and is still currently in production (though the USAF took it's last delivery in 2005).  It was in production and operational at the same time for around two an a half decades.  As far as when the Operations & Support Phase starts.  There is no formal decision review to start the Operations & Support Phase as there is for the milestones. One could argue that IOC would be the unofficial start of Operations & Support Phase but a better indicator as to what phase is being referred to might be the color of money that is being spent (procurement funds vs. O & M).

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