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DoD Officials Honor Defense Acquisition Workforce Professionals

Dec. 8, 2016 | BY Amaani Lyle , DOD News

As the presidential administration transition draws near, Pentagon acquisition chief Frank Kendall hosted his final Defense Acquisition Workforce awards ceremony today, recognizing individuals and organizations who distinguished themselves in the field for best practices, professionalism and excellence.

Kendall, undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, helmed the ceremony in the Hall of Heroes, featuring Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work as distinguished speaker, and Air Force Gen. Paul J. Selva, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as distinguished presenter.

Better Business Through Data-Driven Policies

With several iterations of the budget-minded acquisitions program Better Buying Power since 2010, Kendall said the overarching objective was to develop data-driven acquisition polices to better measure their performance and understand their implications, making adjustments as needed.

“For the last four years we’ve put out an annual defense acquisition system report, so we have been using data, we now have a good basis for the things we are doing and I expect that will grow and grow as more data is collected over time,” he said.

Kendall said the data show that DoD has “moved the ball down the field,” from “should-cost” initiatives, to affordability caps, to better contract deals and incentives for industry -- progress made possible by professionals who make major contributions to the results and educate others about acquisition.

According to DoD’s comptroller office, the fiscal year 2016 acquisition funding request for the DoD base budget totaled $177.5 billion, which includes $107.7 billion for procurement funded programs and $69.8 billion for research, development, test and evaluation funded programs. Of the $177.5 billion, $77.2 billion is for programs that have been designated as major defense acquisition programs or major automated information systems.

Importance of Current, Future Readiness

Work shared Kendall’s sentiments honoring the award recipients’ many accomplishments, and described the DoD as a large business. And, he added, since the end of the Cold War on May 12, 1989, “business has been booming.”

“Since then, the United States has been at war more than it’s been at peace; there is no other time in our history that is remotely like this,” Work said. “The demands that we have placed on the uniforms, defense contractors and government civilians in support of our nation’s interests has been unbelievable … and the performance of our joint force is simply without peer.”

Work also noted the importance of current and future readiness. “For us to always be ready for whatever unexpected mission we may be given, we must be thinking about the capabilities that the force will need in the future -- we have to deliver the capabilities the force needs today.”

2016 Workforce Individual Award Winners

-- Requirements Management, Andrew Yee, U.S. Special Operations Command;

-- Acquisitions in an Expeditionary Environment, Air Force Lt. Col. Bernie Beigh, Socom;

-- Auditing, Laura Michaels, Defense Contract Audit Agency;

-- Contracting and Procurement, Polly McCall, Air Force;

-- Cost Estimating, Mary Mertz, Office of the Secretary of Defense;

-- Earned Value Management, Denise Kerby, Missile Defense Agency;

-- Engineering, Paul Manz, Army;

-- Financial Management, Denise Mallett, Navy;

-- Industrial Property, Sharon Valle, Army;

-- Information Technology, Jacki Garner, Army;

-- Life Cycle Logistics, Air Force Lt. Col. Kelly Polsgrove, Air Force;

-- Production, Quality and Manufacturing, Navy Capt. Joseph Tuite, Navy;

-- Program Management, Robert Hurd Jr., Socom;

-- Science and Technology Manager, Matthew Meininger, Air Force;

-- Services Acquisition, Ashley Farrier, Socom;

-- Small Business, Christopher Harrington, Socom; and

-- Test and Evaluation, Scott Wilson, Missile Defense Agency

2016 Workforce Development Award Winners

Large Organization Gold, Silver and Bronze Winners, in order, are:

-- 431st Supply Chain Management Squadron, Air Force Materiel Command, U.S. Air Force, Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma;

-- Army Contracting Command, U.S. Army, Warren, Michigan; and

-- Defense Contract Audit Agency, Fort Belvoir, Virginia

Small Organization Gold, Silver and Bronze winners, in order, are:

-- Resource Management Division, Contracting Directorate, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Air Force, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio;

-- Airborne Anti-Submarine Warfare Systems, Engineering Division, Aircraft Division 4.5.14, Navy, Patuxent River, Maryland; and

-- Special Operations Forces Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, Socom, MacDill Air Force Base, Florida

The USD Acquisitions, Technology and Logistics Chairman’s Award was presented to Navy Capt. John Bailey.

(Follow Amaani Lyle on Twitter: @LyleDoDNews)