USMC acquisition strategies for COTS mobile devices in the tactical environment
Hong, Samuel K.
Payne, Nicholas S.
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The United States Marine Corps (USMC) has historically struggled to procure capabilities fast enough to take advantage of technological advances before they become obsolete. In particular, the USMC’s operational requirements reflect an increasing demand to procure mobile devices that provide broadband secure capability at low cost and high volume. This research identified and assessed acquisition strategies to support rapid adoption and integration of emerging commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) mobile devices into the tactical domain. Procurement recommendations are provided from clearly identifying Department of Defense standards for mobile devices while analyzing current acquisition architectures through policy and regulation reviews. The scope of this research included traditional and non-traditional acquisition strategies and an examination of rapid acquisition organizations. This research concluded that, due to their requirements-based approach, current USMC acquisition strategies are being out-paced by the increasing speed of mobile device technology. Rapid procurement of mobile devices may be possible with a standards-based approach that sets minimum open standards for maximizing interoperability, competition, and cost savings. Due to the technology maturity, low development, and flexibility to tailor programs, the mobile device program may enter the acquisition process at Milestone C to go into operational testing and rapid fielding to the warfighter.
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