Gates: Procurement system must address urgent needs

Defense Secretary Robert Gates believes the military needs to find a way to institutionalize a process to field relatively low-tech equipment that is sorely needed by warfighters to protect U.S. troops and fight ongoing wars, reports American Forces Information Service.

Gates’ ideas on revamping the military procurement system are set forth in the January/February issue of Foreign Affairs magazine. In the article, Gates recalls the struggles that the military encountered to field better armored Humvees; mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles; and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets to Iraq.

“Why was it necessary to go outside the normal bureaucratic process to develop technologies to counter improvised explosive devices, to build MRAPs and to quickly expand the United States’ ISR capability?” he wrote. “In short, why was it necessary to bypass existing institutions and procedures to get the capabilities needed to protect U.S. troops and fight ongoing wars?”

Gates said it’s time to think hard about how to institutionalize the system that procures these capabilities so they can get fielded quickly.

Defense Systems Update

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