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Life Cycle Logistics

DAU LOG Blog 3K

Today’s DAU LOG Blog post marks something of a milestone for our Defense Acquisition University logistics team, as it represents the 3,000th DAU LOG Blog post since this product support focused-…

DAU LOG Blog 3K

Bill Kobren
Today’s DAU LOG Blog post marks something of a milestone for our Defense Acquisition University logistics team, as it represents the 3,000th DAU LOG Blog post since this product support focused-blogging endeavor began nearly 13 years ago. Forgive me in advance for re-purposing content from earlier blog posts, but our commitment to sharing timely and relevant information with our life cycle logistics, product support, defense, industry and inter-governmental acquisition workforce colleagues remains unchanged.

Back in August 2009 (at the prodding of an enthusiastic, and today, long-since retired colleague), I reluctantly wrote an admittedly unimaginatively titled “Inaugural LCL Blog Post” in which I outlined a vision for this endeavor, saying:

"This blog will focus on the Life Cycle Logistics (LCL) career field, and in particular, items of interest to the logisticians perform this vital task in defense of our nation. Since this is my inaugural blog on this site, it is important to start with the basics, namely what is the value proposition the DoD Life Cycle Logistician brings to their organization.

Because the Life Cycle Logistics career field is responsible for the planning, development, implementation, and management of a comprehensive, affordable, and effective systems support strategy, the Life Cycle Logistician is therefore responsible for translating force provider capability and performance requirements into tailored product support to achieve specified and evolving life-cycle product support availability, reliability, and affordability parameters.

As strong advocates for Life Cycle Management (LCM) principles and practices, their focus includes life-cycle sustainment planning and execution, seamlessly spanning a system’s entire life cycle.

Of course, it’s important to remember, however, at the end of the day, exactly why we do what we do. When we say “force provider,” we are really talking about our sons and daughters, our brothers and sisters, our mothers and fathers, our neighbors and friends, who put themselves in harm’s way on our behalf to protect this great land of ours.

We have a duty, a responsibility, and an obligation to provide them with the most capable, reliable, available, maintainable, supportable, and yes, affordable systems possible to ensure they can successfully accomplish their assigned mission. Anything less than excellence is not an option!

I look forward to dialoging with you through this forum, and welcome your feedback, comments, and suggestions to make this a more useful forum for the exchange of ideas and information."

When we first undertook this initiative, there was no product support manager (PSM), no life cycle sustainment plan (LCSP), no sustainment quad chart, and no integrated product support (IPS) elements. No product support analysis, product support business model (PSBM) or mandates for independent logistics assessments (ILA) or sustainment reviews. DAU did not offer credentials, we did not provide live webcasts, and we provided no open mission assistance workshops. There were no virtual instructor-led training (VILT) course offerings, no DoD PSM Workshops, no Product Support Analytical Tools Database, no Integrated Product Support Implementation Roadmap Job Support Tool, no PSM Toolkit, no DAU Logistics media library, and no Life Cycle Logistics Functional Area Gateway. There was no DoD PSM Guidebook, BCA Guidebook, O&S Cost Management Guidebook, IPS Element Guide, Adaptive Acquisition Framework, 10 U.S.C. 4324 or DoD Instruction 5000.91.

Fast-forward some 13 years to today. Everything mentioned above -- and more -- has since transpired or been implemented (for the better, I would contend). Coupled with the energy, initiative, dedication and expertise brought to bear by you, the members of the defense acquisition workforce, these resources, processes, and initiatives have contributed greatly to the advancement of life cycle systems management, reliable, available, maintainable and supportable weapon systems, integrated product support management, and the professionalism of the life cycle logistics functional community.

Although I suppose 3,000 might be considered a significant milestone by some, this by no means signifies the end of this endeavor. As I’ve shared previously, please know that writing this DAU LOG Blog is a privilege I do not bear lightly. It not only serves as a forum for sharing knowledge, disseminating timely information, and facilitating life cycle logistics workforce professional development, but it also has proven to be a powerful means of communicating key concepts, processes, proven practices, lessons learned, and perspectives to our community.

This blog continues to serve as a forum for information sharing, encouraging dialog, discussion, innovation, and critical thinking; not to mention principles of cross-functional, interdisciplinary integration, life cycle management, affordable readiness, leadership, and workforce excellence. I look forward to continuing to share information and perspectives with the life cycle logistics, product support management, and defense acquisition workforce communities as together we tackle the myriad challenges that lie ahead.

And as I re-read that very first August 2009 blog post, I am once again struck by the fact that the words are just as true today as they were 13 years ago. It is indeed still “important to remember, however, at the end of the day, exactly why we do what we do.” And we still “have a duty, a responsibility, and an obligation to provide them with the most capable, reliable, available, maintainable, supportable, and yes, affordable systems possible to ensure they can successfully accomplish their assigned mission.”

So what follows DAU LOG Blog 3K? The answer (inferred from Lao Tzu's famous quote "a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step") is, of course -- blog post 3,001! Finally, from me to each of you, my heartfelt thank you for doing what you do on behalf of our nation, our military, and most of all, our warfighters who put their lives on the line for us each and every day.