Looking for “Perfecto”

Gen. Norton Schwartz, Air Force Chief of Staff, told attendees at the DOD Acquisition Insight Days April 21 in Dayton, Ohio, that service acquisition professionals must ensure that bidding and acquisition are “perfecto,” reports the Dayton Daily News. Emphasizing the failed KC-X aerial refueling aircraft replacement program, Schwartz said, “What we’ve had over the last couple of years hasn’t put America’s warfighter in a better position.” He said it’s vital for government and industry to improve their communication, asserting that the key to less problematic acquisition programs is to ensure “there are no surprises, no misunderstandings—at least at the strategic level.” In other coverage of the three-day event sponsored by the Defense Acquisition University Alumni Association, the Dayton Business Journal reports that Schwartz praised the service’s acquisition workforce but said that the dearth of major contracts likely had produced an environment in which “there has been more friction than [is] healthy.” He called upon the Air Force acquisition corps to be “innovative and unorthodox” in the face of a dwindling defense budget. In other words, he wants them to “use their brains” to enable Air Force programs to survive inevitable protests.