The Army will continue to modernize while simultaneously striving for greater efficiency in the acquisitions process, according to Heidi Shyu, principle deputy assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition, logistics and technology, during a presentation at the Association of the United States Army's Winter Symposium and Exposition in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
During her presentation, Shyu emphasized that more "realism" had been injected into the acquisition process in order to eliminate "woefully underperforming programs" and unneccessary, cubersome requirements that slow down the production of new technologies and capabilities.
"I am confident that our new approach will pay dividends," Shyu said.
"Too often we have heard that the Army is not modernizing," she added.
"I think nothing can be further from the truth."
To support her claims Shyu cited numerous programs that have been both cost-effective and valuable assets to soldiers, such as overviews of the Ground Combat Vehicle, or GCV, initiative that involved the reduction of must-have requirements from 990 to 136; the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, or JLTV, program that was able to cut original costs by 50 percent, saving $400 million, through requirement reductions; and the Nett Warrior program that was not only reduced in cost but also resulted in significantly lighter, more mobile gear.
Shyu also emphasized the key roles industry and Science and Technology, or S&T, play in this new acquisitions process. She argued that for the most effective results, the Army, industry and scientists must all closely collaborate not only early in the acquisition life cycle but throughout the process' entire duration.
"We need industry's help in identifying areas where reduced requirements will have the best effect," she said.
Another important aspect of the process, Shyu said, was the proper funding of S&T. According to Shyu, S&T will help the Army "directly transition" from eras of downsizing to eras of expansion while still maintaining the technological advantage and increasingly inefficient capabilities.
As examples of recent S&T success, Shyu praised the introduction of fire-resistant Army combat uniforms, which helps prevent many 2nd and 3rd degree burns, and the Pelvic Protection System, designed to decrease injuries to the pelvic area from blasts or similiar attacks.
Shyu urged the Army to "take this moment to do what it does best: adapt to a changing environment."
"The soldier who depends on us deserves no less," Shyu said. "Our enduring responsibility is to the soldier...It is the guiding principle to every decision we make."