The Pentagon’s acquisition system has officially been split in two. Now comes the hard part.
On Feb. 1, workers who report to the undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics (AT&L) have a new boss. Per Congressional requirements, the office has been split into two new groups – the undersecretaries of defense for research and engineering (R&E) and acquisition and sustainment (A&S).
But for the next three months, not much should really change, said final AT&L head, and first A&S head, Ellen Lord.
Speaking to reporters on Jan. 31, Lord explained that there will be a 120-day working period between Feb. 1 and when the major changes to the structure will begin to hit, saying “we are building a prototype and then are experimenting a little bit around the edges with this.”
Partly, this is a logistical matter. It takes just under 120 days to set up new offices — with their internal codes, required for things like logging into computers or HR benefits —inside the building, and with 98 individual offices, switching everyone over on day one would have resulted in total logistical gridlock.