WASHINGTON --- Lt. Gen. Arnie Bunch, military deputy for the office of the assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, spoke about the state of the acquisition enterprise during an Air Force Association breakfast in Washington D.C., Oct. 17, 2017.
Bunch covered a variety of topics, to include program updates, software development and experimentation efforts, and how he’s trying to foster an environment where acquisition teams can thrive, take risks and be empowered to innovate.
The Air Force is managing more than 460 acquisition programs, while simultaneously taking steps to streamline the acquisition process and leverage rapid acquisition authorities, to get capabilities to the warfighters faster.
“A lot of what we do, we do with partnerships and teamwork,” Bunch said, speaking to industry representatives in attendance.
The Air Force leverages new and existing technologies to provide rapid and affordable solutions, Bunch said. Partnerships with traditional and non-traditional industry partners, as well as academia, bring new ideas to the innovation process.
Thank you for being our partners as we go out and put equipment in the hands of America’s sons and daughters, as they go downrange to do this nation’s bidding, he said.
While Bunch spoke on a number of acquisition programs and efforts, a common theme throughout his remarks was speed – the speed of software and technology development, as well as the speed of acquisition program timelines.
“I’m upset any time a milestone slips,” Bunch said. “In the acquisition community, we do our wartime mission every day. We’re acquiring systems for the men and women in the field. We have to execute like we’re doing our wartime mission every day.”
Bunch emphasized the importance of speed with discipline, because the capability advantage between the Air Force and potential adversaries has narrowed — in some cases, the gap has closed. The goal is to continuously widen that gap, he said.
“The world has watched us do this, and we can’t rest on what we’ve been able to accomplish,” Bunch said. “Technology and our potential adversaries are changing faster than ever.”