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required between the JCIDS, acquisition, and PPBES processes demonstrate that a large- scale, rapid acquisition program will likely require a non-standard source of funding to enable truly rapid procurement.


Rapid Acquisition Processes

Although obvious in its utility, the ability to rapidly react to changing battlefield needs is not inherent in the acquisition system. This deliberate and methodical process can take years and even decades to progress from need identification to fielding of a new system. In recognition of this, the overarching DoD acquisition directive (DoD Directive 5000.1) states the following:

There is no one best way to structure an acquisition program to accomplish the objective of the Defense Acquisition System. MDAs and PMs shall tailor program strategies and oversight, including documentation of program information, acquisition phases, the timing and scope of decision reviews, and decision levels, to fit the particular conditions of that program, consistent with applicable laws and regulations and the time-sensitivity of the capability need. (Under Secretary of Defense, 2003a, p. 3)

As a result of this directive and of prior efforts to streamline the acquisition process, each of the Services and Special Operations Command (SOCOM) have developed procedures to rapidly place needed capabilities into warfighters’ hands.

In his 2006 thesis, Michael W. Middleton describes these Service rapid acquisition processes, providing overviews of the Marine Corps Urgent Universal Needs Statement (UUNS), the Navy Rapid Deployment Capability (RDC), the Army Rapid Equipping Force (REF), the Air Force Rapid Response Process (RRP), and the SOCOM Combat Mission Needs Statement (C-MNS). Although different in execution, they are similar in their efforts to meet urgent warfighter needs. Middleton states:

Many of the Service rapid acquisition systems are limited to existing Service budgets and affect only that Service’s materiel portfolio. These Service initiatives allow increased flexibility and are managed by existing acquisition staffs that are implementing existing Service acquisition


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