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American Forces Press Service

DoD Seeks Strides in Contracting, Sustaining Infrastructure

By Amaani Lyle
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, Jan. 13, 2015 – The Defense Department continues to gauge its commercial capacity requirement, business base and the evolution of that base, the principal deputy undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics said here yesterday.

Speaking during a conference on lessons learned in military transportation, Alan F. Estevez said the Pentagon is aiming to create incentives for optimal contractor performance.

"We consider all that so that we can come up with a coherent defense seal of policy," he said, "and if we need some legislative changes around that, we'll present them."

Making Contract Support Part of the Thought Process

Officials also are building contract support considerations into curriculums, war colleges, schoolhouses and even in war games so that operational contract support becomes a part of the thought process, Estevez said.

Meanwhile, Estevez said, adaptability in airlift and sealift requirements has continued to improve since the Gulf War. "You are inside the wire, [and] you also have contractors that are outside the wire, and that becomes a different dynamic," he said. "We have a much more flexible capability today than we used going into Desert Storm."

Ultimately, Estevez said, he'd like to see the streamlining of contracts, commercial partners and various combinations of assets offering the Defense Department the greatest flexibility to operate in multiple war zones. "Clarifying how we do that is critical for us right now, so that we have that playbook and learn when to apply those [strategies]," Estevez said.

Strides in Infrastructure Sustainability

Estevez also noted that DoD is making strides in sustainability of its infrastructure. As an example, he cited efforts in Fort Irwin, California, a region that enjoys relatively high levels of sunshine year-round.

"Commercial providers come in, set up power grids [and] sell us the energy at cost or cheaper, because we're letting them use our land," he explained. "What we get is not only a better sustainability -- we get inside our own wire of power, so if the grid gets tampered with, that base has its own power capability."

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