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Testimony: 

Before the House Armed Services Committee, Defense Acquisition Reform 
Panel: 

United States Government Accountability Office: 
GAO: 

For Release on Delivery: 
Expected at 8:00 a.m. EDT:
Thursday, October 8, 2009: 

Defense Acquisitions: 

Rapid Acquisition of MRAP Vehicles: 

Statement of Michael J. Sullivan, Director: 
Acquisition and Sourcing Management: 

GAO-10-155T: 

GAO Highlights: 

Highlights of GAO-10-155T, a testimony before the House Armed Services 
Committee, Defense Acquisition Reform Panel. 

Why GAO Did This Study: 

As of July 2008, about 75 percent of casualties in combat operations in 
Iraq and Afghanistan were attributed to improvised explosive devices. 
To mitigate the threat from these weapons, the Department of Defense 
(DOD) initiated the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) program in 
February 2007, which used a tailored acquisition approach to rapidly 
acquire and field the vehicles. In May 2007, the Secretary of Defense 
affirmed MRAP as DODís most important acquisition program. To date, 
about $22.7 billion has been appropriated for the procurement of more 
than 16,000 MRAP vehicles. 

My testimony today describes the MRAP acquisition process, the results 
to date, lessons learned from that acquisition, and potential 
implications for improving the standard acquisition process. It is 
mostly based on the work we have conducted over the past few years on 
the MRAP program. Most prominently, in 2008, we reported on the 
processes followed by DOD for the acquisition of MRAP vehicles and 
identified challenges remaining in the program. To describe DODís 
approach for and progress in implementing its strategy for rapidly 
acquiring and fielding MRAP vehicles, we reviewed DODís plans to buy, 
test, and field the vehicles and discussed the plans with cognizant 
department and contractor officials. To identify the remaining 
challenges for the program, we reviewed the results of testing and DODí
s plans to upgrade and sustain the vehicles. 

What GAO Found: 

DOD use of a tailored acquisition approach to rapidly acquire and field 
MRAP vehicles was successful. The program relied only on proven 
technologies and commercially available products; established minimal 
operational requirements; and undertook a concurrent approach to 
producing, testing, and fielding the vehicles. To expand limited 
production capacity, indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contracts 
were awarded to nine commercial sources, with DOD agreeing to buy at 
least 4 vehicles from each. Subsequent orders were based on a 
concurrent testing approach with progressively more advanced vehicle 
test results and other assessments. To expedite fielding of the 
vehicles, the government retained the responsibility for final 
integration in them of mission equipment packages including radios and 
other equipment. DOD also made MRAP its highest priority acquisition, 
which helped contractors and others more rapidly respond to the need 
and meet production requirements, in part by early investing of their 
own capital to purchase steel and other critical components in advance 
of orders. 

Schedule and performance results for MRAP were very good overall. In 
July 2008, nearly all testing was completed; the Marine Corps had 
placed orders for 14,173 MRAPs; and, as of May 2008, 9,121 vehicles had 
been delivered. As of July 2009, 16,204 vehicles have been produced and 
13,848 vehicles fielded in two theaters of operation. Total MRAP 
production funding was about $22.7 billion, mostly through supplemental 
appropriations. 

In terms of lessons learned, MRAPís success was driven by several 
factors, including quick action to declare its acquisition DODís 
highest priority and giving it a DX rating, which allowed access to 
more critical materials than was otherwise available. The availability 
of supplemental appropriations was also essential. However, while 
neither of these factors are practically transferable to other 
programs, decisions to 1) use only proven technologies, 2) keep 
requirements to a minimum, 3) infuse significant competition into 
contracting, and 4) keep final integration responsibility with the 
government all led to positive outcomes and may be transferable. 
Challenges to MRAP remain in its reliability, mobility, and safety, 
which required some modifying of designs and postproduction fixes, and 
adapting how vehicles were used. Also, long term sustainment costs are 
not understood and the services are only now deciding how MRAP fits 
them in the longer term. 

GAOís multiple best practices reports have underscored the need for the 
use of mature technologies, well understood requirements, systems 
engineering knowledge, and incremental delivery of capabilities to 
enable quicker deliveries. Finally, a broader lesson learned is that it 
is time to invest the time, money, and management skills in the science 
and technology community to enable the effectiveness we expect from the 
acquisition community. 

View [hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-10-155T] or key 
components. For more information, contact Michael J. Sullivan at (202) 
512-4841 or sullivanm@gao.gov. 

[End of section] 

Mr. Chairman and Members of the Panel: 

I am pleased to be here today to discuss rapid acquisition programs 
within the Department of Defense (DOD), with a focus on our work on the 
Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles as a case study 
example. As of July 2008, about 75 percent of casualties in combat 
operations in Iraq and Afghanistan were attributed to improvised 
explosive devices. To mitigate the threat from these weapons, the DOD 
initiated the MRAP program in February 2007, which used a tailored 
acquisition approach to rapidly acquire and field the vehicles. In May 
2007, the Secretary of Defense affirmed MRAP as DOD's single most 
important acquisition program. To date, about $22.7 billion has been 
appropriated for the procurement of more than 16,000 MRAP vehicles. 

My statement today describes the MRAP acquisition process, the results 
to date, lessons learned from that acquisition, and potential 
implications for improving the standard acquisition process. It is 
mostly based on the work we have conducted over the past few years on 
the MRAP program. Most prominently, in 2008, we reviewed and reported 
on the processes followed by DOD for the acquisition of MRAP vehicles 
and identified challenges remaining in the program. [Footnote 1] In 
that report, to describe DOD's approach for and progress in 
implementing its strategy for rapidly acquiring and fielding MRAP 
vehicles, we reviewed DOD's plans to buy, test, and field the vehicles 
and discussed the plans with cognizant department and contractor 
officials. To identify the remaining challenges for the program, we 
reviewed the results of testing and DOD's plans to upgrade and sustain 
the vehicles. We conducted that performance audit from June 2007 to 
July 2008 in accordance with generally accepted government auditing 
standards. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit 
to obtain sufficient, appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable 
basis for our findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. 
We believe that the evidence obtained provides a reasonable basis for 
our findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. 

Background: 

In February 2005, Marine Corps combatant commanders identified an 
urgent operational need for armored tactical vehicles to increase crew 
protection and mobility of Marines operating in hazardous fire areas 
against improvised explosive devices, rocket-propelled grenades, and 
small arms fire. In response, the Marine Corps identified the solution 
as the up-armored high-mobility multi-purpose wheeled vehicle. Over the 
next 18 months, however, combatant commanders continued to identify a 
requirement for more robust mine-protected vehicles. According to the 
acquisition plan, in November 2006, the Marine Corps awarded a sole 
source indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract 
[Footnote 2] and subsequently placed orders for the first 144 vehicles 
to respond to the urgent requirement while it conducted a competitive 
acquisition for the balance of the vehicles. In February 2007, the 
Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development, and 
Acquisition approved MRAPs entry into production as a rapid acquisition 
capability. In September of 2007, the Undersecretary of Defense for 
Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics designated MRAP as a major 
defense acquisition program[Footnote 3] with the Marine Corps Systems 
Command as the Joint Program Executive Officer. Quantities to be 
fielded quickly grew from the initial 1,169 vehicles for the Marine 
Corps identified in the 2005 urgent need statement to the current 
approved requirement of over 16,000 vehicles split among the Army, 
Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Special Operations Command, plus 
others for ballistic testing. 

Three versions of the MRAP vehicle were acquired for different 
missions: 

* Category I, the smallest version of MRAP, is primarily intended for 
operations in the urban combat environment, and can carry up to 7 
personnel. 

* Category II is a multi-mission platform capable of supporting 
security, convoy escort, troop or cargo transport, medical, explosive 
ordnance disposal, or combat engineer operations, and carries up to 11 
personnel. 

* Category III, the largest of the MRAP family, is primarily intended 
for the role of mine and IED clearance operations, and carries up to 13 
personnel.[Footnote 4] 

MRAP vehicles were purchased without mission equipment--such as 
communications and situational awareness subsystems--that must be added 
before the vehicles can be fielded to the user. The military services 
buy the subsystems for their vehicles and provide them as government 
furnished equipment to be installed at a government integration 
facility located at the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command in 
Charleston, South Carolina. 

Acquisition Strategy Was Tailored and Had Special Priority: 

DOD used a tailored acquisition approach to rapidly acquire and field 
MRAP vehicles. The program established minimal operational 
requirements, decided to rely on only proven technologies, and relied 
heavily on commercially available products. The program also undertook 
a concurrent approach to producing, testing, and fielding the most 
survivable vehicles as quickly as possible. To expand limited existing 
production capacity, the department expanded competition by awarding 
IDIQ contracts to nine commercial sources. To evaluate design, 
performance, producibility, and sustainability, DOD committed to buy at 
least 4 vehicles from each vendor. According to program officials, 
subsequent delivery orders were based on a phased testing approach with 
progressively more advanced vehicle test results and other assessments. 
To expedite the fielding of the vehicles, the government retained the 
responsibility for final integration of mission equipment packages 
including radios and other equipment into the vehicles after they were 
purchased. DOD also designated the MRAP program as DOD's highest 
priority acquisition, which helped contractors and other industry 
partners to more rapidly respond to the urgent need and meet production 
requirements. Finally, some of the contractors involved in the 
acquisition responded to the urgency communicated by the department by 
investing their own capital early to purchase needed steel and other 
critical components in advance of orders. The decision on the part of 
the contractors to purchase components in advance of orders was not 
required under their contracts and was done at their own risk. 

DOD leadership took several steps to communicate the importance of 
producing survivable vehicles as quickly as possible, for example: 

* In May 2007, the Secretary of Defense designated MRAP as DOD's single 
most important acquisition program and established the MRAP Task Force 
to integrate planning, analysis, and actions to accelerate MRAP 
acquisition. 

* The Secretary also approved a special designation for MRAP--a DX 
rating--that requires related contracts to be accepted and performed on 
a priority basis over other contracts without this rating. 

* The Secretary of the Army waived a restriction on armor plate steel, 
which expanded the countries from which DOD could procure steel. 

* DOD allocated funds to increase steel and tire production capacity 
for MRAP vehicles as these materials were identified as potential 
limiting factors for the MRAP industrial base. 

DOD recognized that no single vendor could provide all of the vehicles 
needed to meet requirements quickly enough and invited vendors to offer 
their non-developmental[Footnote 5] solutions. The request for proposal 
made clear that the government planned to award one or more IDIQ 
contracts to those vendors that were determined to be the best value to 
the government. The Marine Corps awarded IDIQ contracts to nine vendors 
and issued the first delivery orders in early 2007 for 4 vehicles from 
each vendor for initial limited ballistic and automotive testing. One 
vendor could not deliver test articles in the time required and the 
Marine Corps terminated that contract at no cost to the government. 
According to program officials, vehicles from another vendor did not 
meet minimum requirements and the Marine Corps terminated the contract 
for convenience. 

Conventional DOD acquisition policy dictates that weapons be fully 
tested before they are fielded to the user. However, the need to begin 
fielding survivable vehicles as quickly as possible resulted in a 
phased approach designed to quickly identify vehicles that met the 
requirement for crew protection so they could be rapidly fielded. This 
approach resulted in a high degree of overlap between testing and 
fielding of the MRAP vehicles; orders for thousands of vehicles were 
placed before operational testing began and orders for thousands more 
were placed before it was completed. Figure 1 shows the concurrent 
nature of the overall test plan. 

Figure 1: MRAP Developmental and Operational Test Plan: 

[Refer to PDF for image: illustration] 

Phase I: Mid-2nd quarter, 2007 through end of 3rd quarter, 2007; 
Phase II: Mid-3rd quarter, 2007 through early 3rd quarter, 2008; 
Phase III: Early 4th quarter, 2007 through end of 4th quarter, 2008; 
IOT&E: Early 1st quarter, 2008 through end of 4th quarter, 2008. 

Source: GAO based on DOD information. 

[End of figure] 

The Director, Operational Test & Evaluation approved the MRAP Test and 
Evaluation Master Plan in 2007. Candidate vehicles underwent ballistic 
and automotive testing beginning in March 2007. The test plan included 
three phases of developmental tests (DT) of increasing scope as well as 
initial operational test and evaluation (IOT&E). Phase I included a 
limited evaluation by users. Phase II further evaluated vehicles at the 
desired level of performance against the ballistic threat, added more 
endurance miles to the automotive portion of the test, and included 
mission equipment such as radios and other electronic systems. Phase 
III raised the bar for ballistic performance to the emerging threat and 
assessed non-ballistic protection to include near-lightning strikes, 
high-altitude electromagnetic pulse, and nuclear, biological, and 
chemical decontamination tests. The automotive portion of the test 
increased endurance to 12,000 miles per vehicle. 

Developmental and operational tests were conducted from March 2007 
through June 2008. Each of the six MRAP variants have also undergone 
IOT&E. All vehicles were rated operationally survivable and 
operationally effective with limitations by the Army Evaluation Center. 
These limitations were comprised of vehicle size, weight, mobility, and 
weapon dead space. All vehicles were also rated operationally suitable 
with limitations. These limitations were due to logistic shortfalls, 
payload restrictions, and restricted fields of view. 

MRAP Schedule and Performance Results Have Been Very Good: 

Schedule and performance results for the MRAP have been very good 
overall. At the time of our review in July 2008, nearly all of the 
developmental and operational testing had been completed; the Marine 
Corps, the buying command for the MRAP, had placed orders for 14,173 
MRAPs; and, as of May 2008, a little more than a year after the first 
contracts were awarded, 9,121 vehicles had been delivered. As of July 
2009, 16,204 vehicles have been produced and 13,848 vehicles have been 
fielded in two theaters of operation. Total procurement funding for the 
MRAP vehicles, mostly through supplemental appropriations, was about 
$22.7 billion. According to DOD officials, the MRAP is providing safe, 
sustainable, and survivable transport for troops in the theater. It 
recognizes that MRAPs have limitations, particularly in the area of off-
road mobility and transportability. Nonetheless, MRAPs are considered 
outstanding vehicles for specific missions. 

Twenty-one months elapsed from the time the need was first identified 
in February 2005 until the sole source IDIQ contract was awarded and 
subsequent orders were placed for the first 144 vehicles in November 
2006. Three months elapsed between the award of the sole source 
contract and the delivery of vehicles under the orders placed pursuant 
to the contract in February 2007--about the same time the IDIQ 
contracts were awarded to multiple vendors for more vehicles. Testing 
of vehicles delivered under orders placed pursuant to the newly awarded 
contracts began one month later in March 2007. Initial operational 
capability was accomplished in October 2007 or about 33 months after 
the need was first identified. 

Ultimately, MRAP vendors have successfully increased their production 
rates to meet the delivery requirement (see fig. 2). Production began 
in February 2007 with one vendor producing 10 vehicles. By March 2008--
a little more than a year after the contracts were awarded--6,935 
vehicles had been produced. 

Figure 2: Actual Versus Planned Production (monthly): 

[Refer to PDF for image: vertical bar graph] 

Month: February, 2007; 
Vehicles produced, planned: 10; 
Vehicles produced, actual: 10. 

Month: March, 2007; 
Vehicles produced, planned: 29; 
Vehicles produced, actual: 29. 

Month: April, 2007; 
Vehicles produced, planned: 75; 
Vehicles produced, actual: 77. 

Month: May, 2007; 
Vehicles produced, planned: 138; 
Vehicles produced, actual: 137. 

Month: June, 2007; 
Vehicles produced, planned: 227; 
Vehicles produced, actual: 200. 

Month: July, 2007; 
Vehicles produced, planned: 373; 
Vehicles produced, actual: 349. 

Month: August, 2007; 
Vehicles produced, planned: 548; 
Vehicles produced, actual: 517. 

Month: September, 2007; 
Vehicles produced, planned: 810; 
Vehicles produced, actual: 825. 

Month: October, 2007; 
Vehicles produced, planned: 1,243; 
Vehicles produced, actual: 1,278. 

Month: November, 2007; 
Vehicles produced, planned: 2,155; 
Vehicles produced, actual: 2,118. 

Month: December, 2007; 
Vehicles produced, planned: 3,231; 
Vehicles produced, actual: 3,305. 

Month: January, 2008; 
Vehicles produced, planned: 4,496; 
Vehicles produced, actual: 4,233. 

Month: February, 2008; 
Vehicles produced, planned: 5,795; 
Vehicles produced, actual: 5,658. 

Month: March, 2008; 
Vehicles produced, planned: 6,834; 
Vehicles produced, actual: 6,935. 

Month: April, 2008; 
Vehicles produced, planned: 7,994; 
Vehicles produced, actual: 7,970. 

Month: May, 2008; 
Vehicles produced, planned: 9,068; 
Vehicles produced, actual: 9,049. 

Month: June, 2008; 
Vehicles produced, planned: 9,987; 
Vehicles produced, actual: 9,946. 

Month: July, 2008; 
Vehicles produced, planned: 11,017; 
Vehicles produced, actual: 10,925. 

Month: August, 2008; 
Vehicles produced, planned: 11,997; 
Vehicles produced, actual: 12,028. 

Month: September, 2008; 
Vehicles produced, planned: 12,922; 
Vehicles produced, actual: 12,959. 

Month: October, 2008; 
Vehicles produced, planned: 13,481; 
Vehicles produced, actual: 13,577. 

Month: November, 2008; 
Vehicles produced, planned: 14,148; 
Vehicles produced, actual: 14,186. 

Month: December, 2008; 
Vehicles produced, planned: 14,498; 
Vehicles produced, actual: 14,700. 

Month: January, 2009; 
Vehicles produced, planned: 14,900; 
Vehicles produced, actual: 14,923. 

Month: February, 2009; 
Vehicles produced, planned: 15,185; 
Vehicles produced, actual: 15,261. 

Month: March, 2009; 
Vehicles produced, planned: 15,459; 
Vehicles produced, actual: 15,575. 

Month: April, 2009; 
Vehicles produced, planned: 15,766; 
Vehicles produced, actual: 15,775. 

Source: GAO analysis of Joint Program Office data. 

[End of figure] 

According to DOD officials, the MRAP provides survivable, safe, and 
sustainable vehicles for troops in theater. It is recognized that MRAPs 
have limitations, particularly in the area of off-road mobility and 
transportability. Nevertheless, MRAPs met minimum requirements for 
specific missions. Based on an earlier survey of over 300 soldiers 
interviewed in the field, warfighters were satisfied with MRAP overall, 
which offers significant improvement in survivability. MRAP vehicles 
were seen as well suited for combat logistics patrols, route clearance 
missions, raids, quick reaction forces, and other missions requiring 
large, dismounted force. MRAP vehicles were seen as not well suited for 
mounted patrols in constrained urban areas or extensive operations in 
off-road operations. 

Many Lessons Learned, Many Challenges Remain: 

As with any acquisition of this nature, there are lessons to be 
learned. On the positive side, it appears that quick action by the 
Secretary of Defense to declare the MRAP program DOD's highest priority 
and give it a DX rating allowed the government and the contractors 
access to more critical materials than otherwise would have been 
available. The availability of funding mostly through supplemental 
appropriations was essential. In addition, the decisions to 1) use only 
proven technologies, 2) keep requirements to a minimum, 3) infuse 
significant competition into the contracting strategy, and 4) keep 
final integration responsibility with the government are all practices 
that led to positive outcomes. Challenges remain in the form of 
reliability, mobility, and safety, which have required some modifying 
of the designs, postproduction fixes, and adapting how vehicles were to 
be used. Also, long term sustainment costs for MRAP are not yet well 
understood and the services are only now deciding how MRAP will fit 
into their longer term organizations. This combination of actions 
executed to address the urgent need for accelerating the delivery of 
MRAP vehicles to theater was innovative and effective. 

Major vendors and key subcontractors responded to the urgency 
communicated by the department. According to vendor officials from four 
of the companies, they collectively invested a substantial amount of 
their own capital in anticipation of MRAP work. For example, some 
vendors purchased steel and other critical components in advance of 
delivery orders for MRAP vehicles in order to meet projected time 
lines. In other cases, vendors purchased or developed new facilities 
for MRAP production. Multiple vendors also formed teaming arrangements 
to meet the increase in vehicle delivery demands. As stated above, 
these actions on the part of the contractors were not required under 
their contracts and were done at their own risk. 

On the down side, because of unique designs, operating procedures, and 
maintenance for multiple vehicles from multiple vendors, vehicle 
maintenance and support has been somewhat complicated. To ease 
maintenance and support concerns in the near term, the MRAP program 
office established a centralized training entity where maintainers 
would be cross-trained on multiple vendors' vehicles. Longer term, a 
key challenge for DOD will be to effectively manage maintenance 
personnel and vehicle repair parts without sacrificing vehicle 
operational availability. Also, long term sustainment costs for MRAP 
are not yet projected and budgeted. The Services are only now deciding 
how to fit MRAP vehicles into their organizational structures. Another 
lesson, based on operational use of the MRAP vehicles, was their lack 
of maneuverability and off-road capability. As a result, DOD is in the 
process of acquiring an all terrain version of the MRAP to address the 
more difficult terrain and road conditions in Afghanistan. While most 
of the vehicles met ballistic requirements, other issues were 
identified (reliability, mobility and handling, and safety). These 
issues required some modifying of the designs, postproduction fixes, or 
adapting how vehicles were to be used. Testing of proposed solutions to 
more advanced threats continues. The program office continues to 
enhance MRAP vehicle system performance through capability insertion 
initiatives executed via engineering change proposals. Such changes are 
verified through testing. This testing will be an ongoing process as 
additional upgrades are applied. 

Broader Lessons and Implications from the MRAP Acquisition: 

What were the keys in DOD meeting the urgent requirement for fielding 
MRAP in a timely manner? First, DOD kept the requirements simple, 
clear, and flexible and did not dictate a single acceptable solution. 
Second, DOD made sure that only mature technologies and stable designs 
were used by setting a very short and inflexible schedule. DOD acting 
as integrator of government furnished equipment after initial delivery 
eliminated some risk and uncertainty. Third, MRAP was also given the 
highest possible acquisition priority and the participating contractors 
responded in positive ways to meet the needs. Fourth, full and timely 
funding for the acquisition was a definite plus. The question is, can 
this formula be applied to all of DOD's major acquisitions and the 
broader acquisition process? The first two keys--simple requirements 
and mature technologies--certainly can be and, in fact, recent changes 
to the department's acquisition policies and acquisition reform 
legislation passed by the Congress should enable these practices to be 
implemented easier than in the past. However, the MRAP program also 
owes it success to the third and fourth key practices as well--a DX 
rating as the highest priority acquisition in the department and nearly 
unlimited funding to meet the urgent need--that are not scalable to the 
broader acquisition process. Not every program can be a highest 
priority and acquisition funds are constrained. 

While the MRAP acquisition benefited from all of the practices 
mentioned above, the biggest differentiator between that rapid 
acquisition and other more common acquisitions in DOD was that it 
established requirements that could be achieved with existing 
technologies. Recent studies by the Defense Science Board[Footnote 6], 
the Defense Acquisition Performance Assessment Panel (DAPA),[Footnote 
7] and GAO all indicate that the department can and should acquire and 
deliver weapon systems that fulfill urgent warfighter needs to the 
field much more quickly. The DSB study recommends a dual acquisition 
path that allows for a "rapid" acquisition process for urgent needs and 
"deliberate" acquisition processes for others. It recommends a new 
agency, proposed as the Rapid Acquisition and Fielding Agency, that 
would be focused on speed, utilizing existing technologies, and 
acquisition flexibility to achieve the "75 percent solution" quickly. 
The DAPA Panel report, among other things, recommended that the 
acquisition process should never exceed 6 years from its beginning to 
initial operational capability of the acquired weapon system. It stated 
that mature technologies and achievable requirements are critical to 
the success of such time certain development efforts. 

GAO has issued multiple reports under our "best practices" body of work 
that underscore the need for faster development cycles and the need for 
mature technologies, well understood requirements, systems engineering 
knowledge, and incremental delivery of capabilities to enable quicker 
deliveries. As early as 1999[Footnote 8], we concluded that successful 
product developments separated technology development from product 
development, invested time and money in ensuring that their technology 
base was vibrant and cutting edge, and eliminated technology risk from 
acquisitions. We noted that the DOD's science and technology (S&T) 
organization would need to be organized and structured differently, 
provided more funding to take new technologies to higher levels of 
maturity, and would have to coordinate better with the department's 
acquisition community to achieve the synergies necessary to reduce 
cycle times. We made recommendations along those lines. We believe that 
the "game changer" today in achieving rapid acquisition is the 
technology base. Finally, a broader lesson learned is that it may be 
time to invest the time, money, and management skills in the S&T 
community to enable the effectiveness we expect from the acquisition 
community. 

Mr. Chairman, that concludes my prepared statement. I will be happy to 
answer any of your questions. 

Contacts and Staff Acknowledgements: 

For future questions about this statement, please contact me on (202) 
512-4841 or sullivanm@gao.gov. Individuals making key contributions to 
this statement include William R. Graveline, Paul Williams, Dayna 
Foster, Danny Owens, 

[End of section] 

Footnotes: 

[1] Rapid Acquisition of Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles. 
[hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-08-884R]; July 15, 2008. 

[2] An IDIQ contract is a type of indefinite delivery contract that 
provides for an indefinite quantity of supplies or services within 
stated limits, during a fixed period. The government places orders for 
individual requirements. Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 16.504. 

[3] Major defense acquisition programs are those estimated to require 
eventual total research, development, test and evaluation expenditures 
of more than $365 million or procurement expenditures of more than 
$2.19 billion in fiscal year 2000 constant dollars. 

[4] Only the Marine Corps acquired these vehicles. The Army is pursuing 
a separate acquisition program to replace its current fleet of vehicles 
that perform this mission. 

[5] A non-developmental item means any previously developed item of 
supply used exclusively for government purposes by a federal agency, a 
state or local government, or a foreign government with which the 
United States has a mutual defense cooperation agreement; any item 
described above that requires only minor modifications or modifications 
of a type customarily available in the commercial marketplace in order 
to meet the requirements of the procuring department or agency, or any 
item of supply being produced that does not meet the requirements 
described above solely because the item is not yet in use. FAR 2.101. 

[6] Report of the Defense Science Board Task Force on the Fulfillment 
of Urgent Operational Needs, July 2009. 

[7] A Report by the Assessment Panel of the Defense Acquisition 
Performance Assessment Project "Defense Acquisition Performance 
Assessment, January 2006. 

[8] Best Practices: Better Management of Technology Development Can 
ImproveWeapo System Outcomes [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO/NSIAD-99-162], July 30, 1999. 

[End of section] 

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