Modernizing Army Acquisitions

On June 10, the Atlantic Council welcomed Heidi Shyu, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisitions, Logistics, and Technology. She spoke on what it would take to modernize Army acquisition as part of the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security’s Defense-Industrial Policy Series.

The event, hosted in partnership with the National Defense Industrial Association, concerned Ms. Shyu’s efforts to streamline the “bureaucratic” mountain of documentation and oversight required within the defense acquisition process. Further, she said she would reach out more often to the intelligence community to get a better idea about current and future threats, and then set the requisite priorities to meet those threats.

She also mentioned the challenging fiscal environment which has led to cuts in the science and technology budget which she believes to be critical for “pushing the envelope” for modernization. Finally, she exclaimed that Army systems may have cyber security vulnerabilities, and has therefore created a series of “red teams” to test the system’s resiliency.

Atlantic Council’s M.A. and George Lund Fellow Steven Grundman, who moderated the discussion, asked Ms. Shyu about greater military access to commercial technology while noting Defense Secretary Carter’s recent trip to Silicon Valley. In response, Ms. Shyu noted that the commercial market “definitely” has products to offer, as long as they are “user friendly” to the military consumer.

The Defense-Industrial Policy Series is a platform for senior government executives in defense and aerospace to address the public policies that shape these industries’ markets. By engaging the perspective of government leaders about issues at the interface of defense ministries and industries, the series aims to cultivate a constituency for practical solutions to these problems.