Bush: Army Must Speed Up Transformation

Bush: Army Must Speed Up Transformation

Speakers on a panel at the Association of the U.S. Army’s Global Force Symposium and Exposition
Photo by: AUSA/Jared Lieberher

Speed, flexibility and teamwork are critical as the Army moves forward with its transformation for the future, the service’s top acquisition and modernization officials said.

Speaking March 27 on a panel at the Association of the U.S. Army’s Global Force Symposium and Exposition in Huntsville, Alabama, Douglas Bush, assistant Army secretary for acquisition, logistics and technology, said the Army cannot do what it needs to do without teaming up with industry.

He also emphasized speed. “Acquisition at speed has been my mantra since I arrived,” Bush said. “That’s based on perception of threat. We’re not in a place where we can take our time with programs. We’ve got to keep up with technology.”

Gen. James Rainey, commanding general of Army Futures Command, echoed Bush’s remarks. “It’s all about speed,” he said, adding that the Army doesn’t get to choose when it’s called to fight. “The sense of urgency we share is critical,” he said.

Today, the Army has several tools to help it move more quickly through the acquisition process, Bush said, including middle tier of acquisition authority. The Army has been making use of those authorities to speed munitions production and provide much-needed capability to deployed troops, Bush said.

Fiscal agility is critical, Rainey said. “Whether we have enough money or not, that’s not my place to say, but the amount of money we have, we’ve got to be able to move faster,” he said. “The world’s just changing too fast. We’re being as agile as we can.”

Jeremy Tondreault, president of platforms and services at BAE Systems, who also spoke on the panel, said companies are seeking “transparency” of requirements and resourcing from the service. “That shapes what we invest in,” he said. “The more transparent we are in this partnership in the early phases, the more likely industry is going to be able to make their investments useful to the Army.”

Another challenge for the Army is production scale, Bush said. The Army must be able to produce at scale the new equipment it needs, he said.

Together, speed of acquisition and production scale are a means of deterrence, Bush said. “The arsenal of democracy, once funded and supported by the American people, is not to be trifled with,” he said.