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Army Taking ‘Try-Before-Buy’ Approach to Acquisition

Site: Army.mil

The Army is seeing benefits from its try-before-you-buy acquisition approach, according to DoD Buzz.

The Defense Department has held events where its military branches are able to test and evaluate products before they purchase them.

The Army’s network integration evaluation exercise in White Sands, N.M. is one of the processes it’s using to improve its acquisition procedures, where it purchases bite-sized chunks of technology instead of larger projects.

The Army held the last NIE in November, marking the second evaluation in a program that will solicit industry feedback every six months and include evaluation and testing of technologies with fielded soldiers.

In addition to NIE, the Army is kicking off a similar event on Monday that will continue through July 27 in Fort Dix, N.J., DoD Buzz reported.

According to the Army, E12 gives stakeholders the opportunity to integrate and test future force capabilities and gain insight to how the Army can capitalize on technologies currently in place.

E12 will include assessments of the growth of the integrated brigade combat team network and field test technologies included in the 2013-2014 U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command.

Lt. Col. Quentin Smith said shaping the Army’s future network will require collaboration among acquisition heads, but also with the soldiers to understand their needs.

Smith said the Army should also be testing every aspect of a technology system from the very beginning to the end.

Acquisition officials and commanders will get to see the following:

  • handheld and cellular technology
  • emerging telemedicine technologies
  • radio-based combat identification
  • assessment of emerging radio waveforms
  • recapitalization of the single channel ground and airborne radio system

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