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Rapid Contracting Helping Air Force Cut Tech Acquisition to Weeks, Months

The U.S. Air Force already saw progress in accelerating acquisition processes, mainly in software development that now takes just weeks or months compared to previous methods that require years before fielding new tools, Federal News Network reported Wednesday.

Senior officials said the service aims to cut all of its acquisition programs to just 100 years. However, they found new strategies that they believe could cut 62 years from the existing schedules to buy technologies for the military.

The Air Force currently is utilizing agile development, rapid prototyping and Software-as-a-Service, said Susan Thornton, director for information dominance programs in the office of the Air Force’s assistant secretary for acquisition.

Contracting offices are also being integrated into the single contract management tool, called CON IT, to help speed up the buying process. 

Such tools already enabled the U.S. Southern Command to award more than 14,000 contracts in less than nine months.

The Air Force also established a new a program executive office in September to promote agile Dev-Ops methodologies across the service’s acquisition enterprise. The office currently manages nearly 100 acquisition programs.

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