Air Force reorg. Senior Air Force officials are reorganizing the service's acquisition management structure, including its command, control and combat support acquisition programs.

The reorganization will streamline decision-making, speed acquisitions and increase accountability, said Air Force secretary James Roche and chief of staff Gen. John Jumper. The restructuring includes the Air Force's aircraft and weapons programs.

'Our acquisition systems'fueled by our great acquisition professionals'have produced the best weapons systems in the world,' said Marvin Sambur, assistant secretary for acquisition and the service's acquisition executive for all nonspace programs.

'But the processes we use to acquire these systems can and must be improved to reduce cycle times and to increase the credibility of our cost, schedule and performance promises. I'm convinced this new alignment will help us get to where we need to go,' Sambur said.

As part of the effort, the service will add a program executive officer to head the Electronic Systems Center at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass.

The reorganization will:
  • Designate the Air Force's three product center commanders as program executive officers to give them closer oversight of programs

  • Assign a general officer or civilian member of the Senior Executive Service to be the deputy for acquisition execution for the three product center commanders

  • Place all but two of the Air Force's aircraft programs under a single program executive officer

  • Maintain a small PEO support staff in Washington to facilitate coordination between Air Force headquarters, the Defense Department and Congress.

Similar changes elsewhere. The National Security Agency also has begun a project to streamline acquisition processes. As part of the effort, NSA is dissolving its Signals Intelligence Programs Office.

In a recent memo to all NSA personnel, Air Force Lt. Gen. Michael V. Hayden broke down NSA's development efforts into five categories: acquisition, development, adaptation, quick-response capability, and partnerships with other Defense and intelligence agencies.

'All programs'regardless of category'will be managed by a program management team having expertise from the appropriate mission area, such as acquisition, financial management and systems engineering,' the NSA director said in the internal memo obtained by GCN.

To that end, NSA is eliminating the Signals Intelligence Programs Office and parceling out its many projects to the 'organizations best suited to foster development,' Hayden said.

Programs key to transformation at NSA fall within the systems acquisition category, he said, and as such will be overseen directly by NSA's systems acquisition executive.

NSA will name program managers for each of the projects in this category, including cryptology management, space communications and electronic intelligence modernization.

Meanwhile, the agency is assigning the remainder of its developmental programs to the four other categories, Hayden said.

'These changes in our approach have struck a delicate balance between discipline and agility,' he said. 'With these moves, we are well-positioned to accelerate the transformation of our agency as we continue to work toward a vision of making cryptology a team sport.'

Telecom test. DOD's new Teleport Testbed at the Communications Electronics R&D Center at Fort Monmouth, N.J., will give deployed forces a multiband, multimedia system for network-centric warfare.

The telecommunications collection and distribution point, located at the center's Space and Terrestrial Communications Directorate, will test new technologies and will verify and insert upgrades of satellite systems, CECOM officials said.

The Defense Information Systems Agency has installed two satellite antennas at the test bed. Software vendors will take new software there to test its integration with existing Defense systems before distributing it to warfighters.

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