Some of my recent reporting

It’s been a while since I shared some of my recent work. The dilemma is how to reconcile having my work behind a paywall and wanting to share it with my readers.

Here are some excerpts from two recent stories.

Navy Crowd-Sourcing Ideas To Promote Innovative Acquisition Strategies

Last week, the Navy launched its second round of an online war game aimed at crowd-sourcing ideas from contractors, government and academia representatives on how best to incentivize the use of the Open Systems Architecture (OSA) strategy by industry and the acquisition work force.

The game, run through Massive Multiplayer Online Wargame Leveraging the Internet, or MMOWGLI, the gaming platform sponsored by the Office of Naval Research, began on July 15 and is set to run through July 26. Its results will be used to inform the Navy’s acquisition policy and processes in the next fiscal year, Nick Guertin, director of transformation under the deputy assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development, test and evaluation, told Inside the Navy last week.

Ideas presented through the exercise will be validated and then translated into action plans for how best to implement the service’s OSA strategy and will likely be reflected in the way the Navy will develop contracts in the future, Guertin said during the telephone interview.

The way the war game is set up is not all that different from a traditional computer game or video game. Players from industry, government and academia register under creative pseudonyms, such as “iron,” “jack of all trades,” or “t-Rex,” and proceed to present or develop ideas for the Navy’s acquisition strategy. Guertin said that more than half of the nearly 300 participants in the game so far are from industry and quite a few are from the small business community. The game is moderated by “game masters,” government employees who cull the ideas, look at which need more exploration and ensure that no business-sensitive information is discussed.  (Subscriber link)

PACOM Chief: Sequester ‘Hollowing Out’ Military, Impacting Readiness

U.S. Pacific Command chief Adm. Samuel Locklear last week said that sequestration is “basically hollowing out the force,” noting that in his Pacific area of responsibility, the cuts mean fewer exercises, flying hours and assets — problems that would only be exacerbated by further budget cuts that could come in fiscal year 2014.

A letter to Congress from Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel last week, which detailed that further sequestration in FY-14 would “sharply reduce” funding for procurement, research and development and military construction accounts is “an accurate description of what’s happening to the force at-large,” Locklear told reporters during a Pentagon briefing last week.

“What it does is it limits the ability for us to manage the money and forces the services have to take [out] that money, which, in the case of fiscal year ’14, if unaddressed by the Congress, will be about $52 billion in execution across the defense budget. And because we are restricted where we can take that money from, it comes out of operations and maintenance,” Locklear explained. (Subscriber link)

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