Case study of the United States Marine Corps Advanced Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAAV) program test and evaluation strategy
Buckles, Brian K.
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This thesis examined the evolution of the Direct Reporting Program Manager- Advanced Amphibious Assault's test and evaluation strategy from Milestone 0 to the present. The research effort involved reviewing the evolution of amphibious doctrine and amphibious vehicles, reviewing the DoD Acquisition Process and the role of T&E in that Acquisition Process, and analyzing three DRPM-AAA Test and Evaluation Master Plans. Interviews were conducted with personnel from the DRPM-AAA office and General Dynamics Amphibious Systems. Additionally, program documents and acquisition literature were reviewed. An analysis of test and evaluation issues facing the Program Management Office, a determination of the effects those issues had on the program's test strategy, and applicable lessons learned are documented for use by other major defense acquisition programs. Key research findings conclude: that the DRPM-AAA's T&E strategy remained stable and consistent from Milestone 0 to the present as a result of the continuity of the AAAV's Key Performance Parameters; that the DRPM's decision to develop a working relationship that "actively engages" both oversight and external agencies early in the test planning process serves in achieving test resource efficiencies; and that the IPT decision-making process differs significantly from the more formal "staff planning process" used by most military organizations.
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