Maj. Gen. Wendy Masiello outlined her priorities for the Defense Contracting Management Agency during an AFA-sponsored, Air Force breakfast event in Arlington, Va., Wednesday. The Senate confirmed Masiello, who currently serves as the Air Force’s deputy assistant secretary for contracting, for her third star and to head DCMA on April 9. Masiello said she would like to find ways to insert more competition into the bidding process and get more small business involvement; however, did not want to “knock them off the track of improvement” or reinvent the wheel in terms of the agency’s approach. “We see huge results, in terms of cost-savings, when we insert competition,” she said, adding that sometimes it is the smaller companies with more limited resources that have the most creative, cost-saving solutions. Masiello also emphasized a need to shorten the acquisitions timeline and make the overall process more efficient. Other priorities will include increasing collaboration with the Defense Contract Audit Agency to better understand cost-estimation mechanisms, differences in projected vs. realized costs to contractors, and evaluating fixed-price arrangements, and improving communications with partners, stakeholders, and within the agency itself.
Changes are coming this year for Airmen taking professional military education (PME) distance learning courses. Closer interactions with facilitators, a revised capstone course, and more feedback on test performance are meant to improve the overall experience for distance learning students, who often include members of the Air National Guard.