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The Nov-Dec 2020 issue of Defense Acquisition Magazine contains an interesting article by Stephen Speciale and Diane Sidebottom on a little-used acquisition authority called "Procurement for Experimental Purposes" (PEP). The article, "The Next Little-Known Flexible Acquisition Authority," labels PEP a "companion authority" to Other Transactions (OTs). It was authorized by Congress in FY94 (10 U.S.C. Section 2373) alongside the authorization for OTs for Prototypes (the old "Section 845" authority, I believe). However, its existence is not as well-known as OTs, in some part because its use is not as lowly and widely delegated by OSD. Also, the article states that its use is limited to nine categories.
"The Secretary of Defense and the Secretaries of the military departments may each buy ordnance, signal, chemical activity, transportation, energy, medical, space-flight, telecommunications, and aeronautical supplies, including parts, accessories, and designs thereof, that the Secretary of Defense or the Secretary concerned considers necessary for experimental or test purposes in the development of the best supplies that are needed for the national defense."
If any of you have used the PEP authority, please respond to this post and convey your experience with it.
On 21 Oct 20, DTIC published a clarification regarding the new Federal Marking Framework for Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI). The DTIC bulletin can be accessed at:
The bulletin contains a link to the 21-page training guide on CUI Markings dated 3 Sep 20. It also contains a reference to DoDI 5230.24, Distribution Statements on Technical Documents, incorporating Change 3 dated 15 Oct 18. I've provided a link to that instruction in this post that was not in the DTIC bulletin. The bulletin also contains a link to find out more about submitting documents to DTIC.
The Navy is opening its first overseas "tech bridge" location in London, UK, according to an Inside Defense article published 21 Oct 20. See article at:
Any thoughts from anyone on this? Seems like an AFWERX or DIU kind of effort to me.
On 15 Oct 20, the White House published an 18-page document titled "National Strategy for Critical and Emerging Technologies" dated October 2020. A White House press release accompanied the document and the Air Force Association posted an article about it, too. The document references the 2017 National Security Strategy as the visionary foundation upon which this new strategy is built..
For the purposes of this strategy, critical and emerging technologies (C&ET) are defined as "those technologies that have been identified and assessed by the National Security Council (NSC) to be criticalm, or to potentially become critical, to the United States' national security advantage, including military, intelligence, and economic advantages."
The strategy discusses a three-fold approach to prioritize its way-ahead. For the highest priority technology areas, the U.S. will lead. The U.S. will remain a technology peer with its allies and partners in other high-priority technology areas. For some emerging technologies that are globally diffuse or are too early in the R&D phase to have clearly identified implications for U.S. national security, a risk management approach will be applied. It mentions the four risk mitigation methods of avoid, reduce, accept, or transfer.
The strategy contains two "pillars of success" with priority actions stated for each pillar. However, the strategy contains no details on any of the priority actions; it only lists them, in no particular order, for each pillar. A lone annex contains the 20 U.S. Government Critical and Emerging Technologies List but, again, there are no details on these technologies in the strategy.
Pillar I: Promote the National Security Innovation Base (NSIB). There are 13 priority actions for this pillar, not listed here for brevity.
Pillar II: Protect Technology Advantage. There are 9 priority actions for this pillar, not listed here for brevity. Most, if not all, can be found in the recent DoDI 5000.83, "Technology and Program Protection to Maintain Technological Advantage" published 20 Jul 20.
The 20 technologies in the C&ET list in the annex are arranged alphabetically. Many of these are reflected in the DoD Communities of Interest (CoIs) [see the CoIs Tier 1 Taxonomy and Descriptions for more info] and DoD Modernization Priorities [the DTIC R&E Gateway Techipedia has further info on these at the CUI level]. Many of these technologies are also mentioned in the annual joint OSTP/OMB memo "Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 Administration Research and Development Budget Priorities and Cross-cuting Actions" dated 14 Aug 20.
On 28 Sep 20, the DSB cleared for public release a 16-page executive summary for "21st Centure Multi-Domain Effects" task force report dated September 2020. It is directed related to the term multi-domain operations (MDO).
The summary contains 12 recommendations which, for brevity, will only be listed here by their short titles.
On 28 Sep 20, the Defense Science Board (DSB) cleared for public release the 20-page executive summary of the "Biology Task Force" report dated September 2020.
An up-front statement sets the tone for this report. "While there are pockets and individuals of excellence, the Department as a whole does not have expertise, connections, or investments in life science and technology (LS&T) the way it does with other areas of scientific importance to the DoD, such as computer science and aerospace technologies." The study states, "The LS&T areas that are of particular interest to the DoD include genome sequencing, bioinformatics, genome editing, synthetic biology, new materials, immunology, the microbiome, and neuroscience." My Note: Perhaps in partial response to this deficit, in 2019-2020 DoD began standing up a Biotechnology Community of Interest (CoI) under Reliance 21 to enable better collaboration and develop technology roadmaps in this field of study. This CoI is in addition to the Biomedical ASBREM CoI that has existed for several years.
The study made the following six recommendations:
Recommendation 1: The DoD should leverage applied genomics for optimized warfighter talent management, performance, and health.
Recommendation 2: The DoD should accelerate and prepare to employ autonomous systems for battlefield patient management, care, and evacuation.
Recommendation 3: The DoD should review its posture to mitigate radiological injury on the future battlefield.
Recommendation 4: The DoD should position itself to leverage future commercial advances in tissue and organ biomanufacturing.
Recommendation 5: The Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (USD(R&E)) should designate biotechnology a modernization priority and establish an Assistant Director of Defense Research and Engineering for Biotechnology. [The report footnotes that after the task force conlcuded its deliberations but before the final report was completed, the DoD establsihed an Assistant Director for Biotechnology in 2019. The USD(R&E) Leadership site shows this as Dr. Michelle Rozo but doesn't give her picture or a link to her bio.]
Recommendation 6: The USD(R&E) should direct the creation of a Public/Private Biotechnology for Defense Innovation Ecosystem.
[end of recommendations]
On 28 Sep 20, the Defense Science Board (DSB) cleared for public release the 16-page executive summary for the study "Counter Autonomy" dated September 2020. The summary states that while many U.S. federal agencies are working to field autonomous systems, they are doing little, if anything, to counter adversaries' autonomous systems, with the exception of the DoD's efforts in counter-UAS. A joint c-UAS strategy to be implemented during FY23-27 has been submitted to SecDef Esper to sign and an open house industry day will be held by the end of October 2020, according to a Breaking Defense article.
The summary contained six recommendations, which I'll only provide the main lettered elements of here.
Recommendation 1: Leadership
A. USD(R&E) create a single senior focal point for counter autonomy separate from autonomy leadership but of equal authority to ensure independent thinking [Note: There is already a Director for the Autonomy Modernization Priority related to the 2018 NDS].
B. USD(R&E) champion a DoD-wide autonomy/counter autonomy community modeled on the existing low observable/counter low observable (LO/CLO) community.
Recommendation 2:Capability and Operational Development
C. Military Departments (Secretaries) charter the following in order to develop robust fielded counter autonomy capabilities
On 28 Sep 20, the Defense Science Board (DSB) cleared for open publication the 20-page executive summary for the study "Strengthening Counterintelligence Capabilities Against the 'Insider' Threat" dated August 2020. The summary also states, "Just as the Task Force was completing its work, the President issued the National Counterintelligence Strategy for 2020-2022" (DNI page for this strategy).
Summary of Recommendations (Note: #1 is CUI so is only available in the full report posted in DTIC; see DTIC assession number AD1110716 after you log into your DTIC account)
On 27 Jul 20, the Defense Science Board (DSB) cleared for public release the 11-page executive summary of its 2019 Summer Study on "The Future of U.S. Military Superiority" dated June 2020. The study looked at security challenges to the U.S. and what, in addition to or support of, direct military weapons systems, the U.S. could do to maintain its military superiority. These include some whole-of-government approaches.
The study recommends the following, some of which have direct S&T implications:
Interesting article about Army Futures Command's (AFC's) "Team Ignite" group that is exploring future concepts with CCDC technologists and warfighters.
On 7 Oct 20, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) issued an updated 25-page report on the DoD's RDT&E Appropriations Structure. Some highlights:
- Includes the new 6.8 budget activity (BA) code for software and digital technology pilot programs.
- Alignment of DoD RDT&E taxonomy with other federal R&D taxonomies
- Appropriated funding levels for DoD RDT&E, plus breakdowns for overall S&T and Basic Research portions, and CRS views on balance between investments in incremental RDT&E and revolutionary research.
On 15 Sep 20, I moderated a DAU Webcast on the new DoDI 5000.83, "Technology and Program Protection to Maintain Technological Advantage," issued in July 2020. Melinda Reed and Kris Gardner from OUSD(R&E)'s Office of Strategic Technology Protection and Exploitation (STPE) presented. During the webcast, attended by over 350 people, many questions were asked in chat. Most were answered during the webcast but for completeness, we asked the STPE office to provide written, publically releasable responses to post to the event's web page.
The Section 508-compliant recording of the webcast, the slide deck, and the answers to the chat questions are posted on the event's web page for your reference:
The GAO just released a 54-page report today that makes recommendations on the Army's use of "alternative agreements," including OTs and grants. It is called "Army Modernization: Army Should Improve Use of Alternative Agreements and Approaches by Enhancing Oversight and Communication of Lessons Learned" (GAO-21-8). It contains a couple of recommendations for AFC and ASA(ALT), plus others for Army Contracting Command.
[View this post in HTML for embedded URLs to Inside Defense article and CSIS report]
Inside Defense article on 23 Sep 20 discusses an August 2020 report (70 pages) by the Center for Security and International Studies (CSIS) that looks at Procurement vs. RDT&E budgets over the past 40 years.
The article is titled "CSIS report finds decline in ration of procurement spending to R&D spending" and was written by Marjorie Censer.
The 70-page CSIS report itself is titled "Is the Ratio of Investment between Research and Development to Production in Major Defense Acquisition Programs Experiencing Fundamental Change?" There are two sections of S&T analysis (4.2.1 & 4.2.2) in the report from pp. 14-17 that discuss S&T as a portion of RDT&E and the trends of 6.1, 6.2, and 6.3 to each other over time.
The report seems to say that acquisitions are no more broken now than they have been in the past, though the systems it is developing and procurement are orders of magnitude more complex and dependent on software.
Subject issuance incorporates Change 1 dated 17 Sep 20 to the previous issuance dated 21 Dec 10.
This doc is a good overview of basic DoD organizational relationships, especially for those new to the DoD, and to cover the new organizations and revised relationships directed over the past few years, summarized below.
Purpose: "Establishes the functions of the Department of Defense and its major Components, supporting the core mission areas of the Armed Forces, which are broad DoD military operations and activities required to achieve the strategic objectives of the National Security Strategy, National Defense Strategy, and National Military Strategy (References (b), (c), and (d)), in accordance with title 10, United States Code (U.S.C.) (Reference (e))."
SUMMARY OF CHANGE 1 [Quite lengthy]:
The changes to this issuance are administrative and:
a. Update references and organizational symbols to reflect the reorganization of:
(1) The Office of the Chief Management Officer of the Department of Defense, in accordance with the July 11, 2014 Deputy Secretary of Defense Memorandum (Reference (be)), section 132a of Reference (e), and February 1, 2018 Secretary of Defense Memorandum (Reference (bf)), including merger of:
(a) The Office of the Director of Administration and Management.
(b) The Office of the Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Oversight.
(2) The Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics into the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering and the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, in accordance with DoDDs 5137.02 and 5135.02 (References (k) and (bp)).
(3) The Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Networks and Information Integration/DoD Chief Information Officer to the Office of the DoD Chief Information Officer, pursuant to DoDD 5144.02 (Reference (s)).
b. Update the organizational composition of the DoD, to reflect the establishment and disestablishment of the following:
(1) Establishment of the USCYBERCOM, pursuant to section 167b of Reference (e), in accordance with section 164 of Reference (e).
(2) Establishment of the U.S. Space Force, pursuant to section 952 of Public Law 116-92 (Reference (bg)).
(3) Establishment of the Principal Cyber Advisor (PCA), pursuant to section 932 of Public Law 113-66 (Reference (bh)) and in accordance with section 167b of Reference (e).
(4) Disestablishment of the Defense Business Transformation Agency, in accordance with the August 16, 2010 Secretary of Defense Memorandum (Reference (bi)).
(5) Establishment of the Defense Health Agency (DHA) and disestablishment of the TRICARE Management Activity, in accordance with DoDD 5136.13 (Reference (bc)).
(6) Establishment of the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, and disestablishment of the Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office, in accordance with DoDD 5110.10 (Reference (av)).
(7) Retitling of the Defense Security Service as the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency, in accordance with the June 20, 2019 Secretary of Defense Memorandum (Reference (bj)).
(8) Establishment of the Space Development Agency, in accordance with the March 12, 2019 Acting Secretary of Defense Memorandum (Reference (bk)).
c. Reflect the following functions and responsibilities, authorities, and relationships changes:
(1) Updated the Deputy Secretary of Defense functions pursuant to DoDD 5105.02 (Reference (br)).
(2) Addition of the Chief, NGB to membership of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, pursuant to section 151 of Reference (e) and the Chief of Space Operations, pursuant to section 9082 of Reference (e).
(3) Removal of references to the Quadrennial Defense Review, pursuant to section 941 of Public Law 114-328 (Reference (bl)), and the Quadrennial Roles and Missions Review, pursuant to section 1072 of Public Law 113-291 (Reference (bm)).
(4) Renaming of the Deputy's Advisory Working Group as the Deputy's Management Action Group, in accordance with the October 6, 2011 Deputy Secretary of Defense Memorandum (Reference (bn)).
(5) Updating the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff functions to include providing advice on global military strategic and operational integration, in accordance with section 153 of Reference (e).
(6) Updating the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict functions to include coordinating on Military Department and Military Service personnel management policy and plans, in accordance with section 138 of Reference (e).
On 11 Sep 20, USD(A&S) and USD(I&S) (Intelligence & Security) jointly issued DoDI 5000.86, Acquisition Intelligence. Its purpose: "In accordance with the authority in DoD Directive (DoDD) 5135.02 and DoDD 5143.01, this issuance establishes policy, assigns responsibilities, and provides direction for the integration of intelligence in the acquisition life cycle in accordance with DoDD 5000.01." The instruction doesn't state that it replaces or incorporates existing policy from the previous DoDI 5000.02T or any other instructions so it appears to be brand new. However, as discussed below, aspects of the policy were already in effect for all acquisition programs.
The 16-page instruction directs defense acquisition personnel to "...manage all potential threats to an acquisition effort and focus on the critical intelligence parameters (CIPs). It calls for collaboration between the requirements, acquisition, R&D, and intelligence communities to ensure awareness of adversary capabilities and intentions."
This instruction connects the intelligence community to an acquisition program through three previously-identified intelligence products: Threat modules; validated on-line life-cycle threat (VOLT) reports; and technology targeting risk assessments (TTRAs). The VOLT report and the TTRA were already identified in the DAU Milestone Document Identification (MDID) tool as regulatory requirements. Quotes from the MDID follow below.
The VOLT report is required for all ACAT programs. "MDAPs require a unique system-specific VOLT report to support capability development and PM assessments of mission needs and capability gaps against likely threat capabilities at IOC. The VOLT report uses the bi-annual Defense Intelligence Threat Library Threat Modules as its analytic foundation. The threat modules provide the PM projections of technology and adversary capability trends for the next 20 years. VOLT reports are required for all other programs unless waived by the MDA. In conjunction with the VOLT, the requirements sponsor and Component capability developer will collaboratively develop critical intelligence parameters in accordance with the JCIDS. Programs on the DOT&E Oversight List require a unique, system-specific VOLT, unless waived by both the MDA and the DOT&E. DoD Components produce a VOLT. DIA validates the VOLT for ACAT ID programs; the DoD Component validates the VOLT for ACAT IB and IC programs and below."
The TTRA is also required for all ACAT programs. It is "Prepared by the DoD Component and coordinated with the DoD Component intelligence analytical centers per DoDI O-5240.24. Forms the analytic foundation for counterintelligence assessments in the associated PPP. DIA will validate the report for ACAT ID; the DoD Component will be the validation authority for ACAT IB and IC and below."
Section 3 of the instruction, "Intelligence in Key Acquisition Documents and Functions," discusses intelligence support to a program's acquisition strategy, analysis of alternatives, capability requirements documents, request for proposal and other transaction authority, systems engineering plan, test and evaluation master plan, program protection plan, concept of operations, and life-cycle mission data plan.
Sharing with the community the DoD Joint Artificial Intelligence Center website and references link. Contained within is an excellent primer on AI written by Greg Allen, Chief of Strategy and Communication/JAIC.
An Inside Defense article by Tony Bertuca published on 3 Sep 20 states that in response to a recommendation from the recent GAO report GAO-20-578 on DoD management of industry's Independent Research and Development (IR&D), the DoD intends to "begin annual reviews of [IR&D] projects so they can be better integrated into the U.S. military's technology plans." The OUSD(R&E) will also "investigate and revise its IR&D instruction [DoDI 3204.01, CH2, 9 Jul 20] to require annual review of defense industry IR&D investments."
The DoD used to hold annual reviews of industry IR&D to help shape industry investments until congressional action in 1992 put a halt to that. How these new annual reviews will actually be implemented is unknown at this point but I will try to schedule a DAU Webcast on the revised instruction, policy, and processes whenever the instruction is published, likely a year or so down the road.
What are your thoughts? Please share them here in a respose to this discussion topic.
On 1 Sep 20, DAU's new Learning Director for Other Transactions, Ms. Hallie Tremaine Balkin, and DAU IP expert, Professor Howard Harris, authored an article called "A Marriage Made in Heaven?" that discusses the basics of Other Transactions and associated risks and opportunities for technical data rights in those agreements. You can find the medium-length article at:
DAU recently established communities of practice (CoP) for Other Transactions and IP & Data Rights. Those CoPs can be found in the DAU Communities and in the direct links below.
IP/Data Rights: https://www.dau.edu/cop/ipdr/Pages/Default.aspx
If you have any lessons learned or questions about OTs and/or IP & Data Rights, share them here or on the above CoPs.
On 4 Sep 20, President Trump issued Space Policy Directive 5 (SPD-5), "Cybersecurity Principles for Space Systems." It states that the same cybersecurity protections incorporated into terrestrial systems should be applied to space systems. The Department of Commerce is publishing SPD-5 in the Federal Register for wide dissemination. The White House memo accompanying SPD-5 is published at:
Jeff Foust of Space News posted an article about the release of SPD-5 on Friday at its website:
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