Inside the Pentagon takes a look at CAPE's self-evaluation, future plans:
The Pentagon's cost assessment and program evaluation shop is striving to work more closely with the military services to develop better cost estimates in light of limited workforce resources and a tight economy, according to the office's most recent annual report.
As part of this effort to develop cost estimates to support major Pentagon program decisions, CAPE is coordinating new cost analysis guidance that will advise the military departments and defense agencies on how to prepare life-cycle cost estimates for major acquisition programs, according to the fiscal year 2013 report released earlier this month. The report was signed by CAPE Deputy Director for Program Evaluation Scott Comes. The department is also coordinating a cost-estimating guide for operating and support costs and working to get a better handle on its workforce.
CAPE completed the final draft of the guidance, which is designed to replace a Defense Department manual on cost analysis, and placed it into formal coordination, the report states.
"This issuance is the primary vehicle for implanting the cost assessment provisions of [the Weapon Systems Acquisition Reform Act] throughout DOD components," the report states. In doing so, it lays out the roles and responsibilities and processes for a number of CAPE duties, such as preparing multiyear procurement cost analyses and analyses to support critical unit cost breach certification, among other duties.
The March 2014 Defense Department report outlines the work of the Pentagon's cost assessment and program evaluation shop during fiscal year 2013 "as well as the progress the department has made in improving the accuracy of its cost estimates and analyses."
And a related item:
For the first time in nearly five decades, the Pentagon had to cancel its annual cost analysis symposium last year because of the fiscal environment, depriving many in the cost analysis community a chance to discuss new techniques, according to the cost assessment and program evaluation shop's most recent annual report.
Delving into a new "overarching policy for all energy use":
In its first comprehensive energy policy statement in more than two decades, the Pentagon has released a directive laying out the department's policy goals and assigning responsibilities to senior defense leaders for energy planning, use and management.
The April 16 directive was crafted to enhance the energy performance of weapons, installations and forces while ensuring that energy analyses are included in the acquisition, requirements and budget-planning processes.
"It is DOD policy to enhance military capability, improve energy security and mitigate costs in its use and management of energy," the directive states. To achieve this, the department aims to "improve the energy performance of weapon systems, platforms, equipment and products and their modifications; installations, including both enduring and non-enduring locations; and military forces," it continues.
In addition, the directive states DOD will work to "diversify and expand" energy sources and supplies while determining ways and technologies that would help to mitigate risks.
The "most significant change" expected from the directive is "an overarching policy for all energy use" at the department, DOD spokesman Mark Wright told Inside the Pentagon.
DOCUMENT: DOD's Energy Policy Directive
U.S. Strategic Command has a new electronic warfare role:
The Pentagon has issued a new electronic warfare policy that formally empowers U.S. Strategic Command with a lead role in the electronic warfare mission area, addressing something congressional investigators have previously identified as a Defense Department management shortfall.
Last month, acting Deputy Defense Secretary Christine Fox signed DOD directive 3222.04, which updates the Pentagon's electronic warfare guidance for the first time in 20 years.
The directive gives STRATCOM a leadership role in "identifying and prioritizing required joint electronic warfare capabilities across doctrine, organization, training, materiel, leadership and education, facilities and policy in support of the combatant commands."
The latest on JSF:
The Australian government confirmed last night its intent to buy 72 F-35 aircraft or more, depending on the future condition of its F/A-18 Super Hornets.
Australia's long-awaited announcement of a decision to buy 58 conventional-variant F-35As on top of the 14 it has already started funding will come as welcome news to prime contractor Lockheed Martin and the JSF program office, but it does not represent a quantity increase -- it is simply an approval by the Australian government to purchase the aircraft the country had been eying for some time. Still, the country not reducing its buy is significant. Over the last year, several partners have deferred some F-35 acquisitions, and the program has balanced those lost order quantities with increased foreign military sales buys.
F-35 Program Executive Officer Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan has been vocal in recent months about the detrimental effects of international partners -- those countries that contributed funding to the aircraft's development -- delaying or reducing planned acquisitions. According to the general, every aircraft buy pushed out to future years increases the cost of near-term aircraft by roughly 3 percent, equivalent to several million dollars. While countries like Italy and Turkey have slowed down near-term procurement rates, FMScustomers like Japan, Israel, and most recently South Korea are helping make up the difference in quantities by moving their orders forward. This week's announcement should give Lockheed and the program office more predictability over the next few years and help reduce F-35 unit costs.
More highlights from today's Inside the Pentagon:
The Pentagon and industry are entering a new phase in their relationship to protect against cyberattacks that focuses on maximizing the strategic value of its programs, according to a senior defense official.
The Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Staff are beginning work on a process that would share early military requirements with the defense industry while still giving the Pentagon the ability to adjust or back away from those requirements as needed.
A broad agency announcement detailing the Defense Department's fiscal year 2014 Rapid Innovation Fund technology areas of interest is expected to be released within the next week, according to the Defense Innovation Marketplace website.