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Battle Management PEO outlines initiatives to industry

Steven Wert, Battle Management program executive officer, talks with Adam Jarnagin, Hanscom Representatives Association president, before the association’s meeting in Lexington, Mass., Oct. 13. Wert discussed the current state of the directorate’s acquisition program. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jerry Saslav)

Steven Wert, Battle Management program executive officer, talks with Adam Jarnagin, Hanscom Representatives Association president, before the association’s meeting in Lexington, Mass., Dec. 2. Wert discussed the current state of the directorate’s acquisition program. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jerry Saslav)

Steven Wert, Battle Management program executive officer, addresses current and potential industry partners during a Hanscom Representatives Association meeting in Lexington, Mass., Oct. 13. Big picture acquisition initiatives such as Bending the Cost Curve and Better Buying Power 3.0 along with top program opportunities were discussed. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jerry Saslav)

Steven Wert, Battle Management program executive officer, addresses current and potential industry partners during a Hanscom Representatives Association meeting in Lexington, Mass., Dec. 2. Big picture acquisition initiatives such as Bending the Cost Curve and Better Buying Power 3.0 along with top program opportunities were discussed. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jerry Saslav)

LEXINGTON, Mass. -- -- The program executive officer of the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center's largest directorate addressed a group of industry representatives and Hanscom personnel on top priorities Dec. 2 during a Hanscom Representatives Association meeting here.

Steven Wert, Battle Management PEO, touched on the latest big picture acquisition initiatives as well as current local efforts and goals, beginning with Better Buying Power 3.0.

According to Department of Defense officials, BBP 3.0 is the next step to increasing the productivity, efficiency and effectiveness of military acquisition efforts.

"The most important aspect of the BBP 3.0 initiative is 'should cost' savings," said Wert.

Under the latest BBP version, program managers are mandated to identify and pursue "should cost" saving opportunities, ensuring programs are affordable and sustainable.
For a directorate such as Battle Management with more than 130 programs, 120 foreign military sale cases, 197 supplies/services contracts and more than $12 billion in annual expenditures, there is the opportunity for great savings.

Wert also highlighted another Air Force cost savings initiative called Bending the Cost Curve, which was announced in January to help the Service improve internal processes, enhance industry partnerships and expand competition.

For example, PlugFestP lus is a specialized industry event where potential contractors collaborate and demonstrate capabilities to the government; the event took place earlier this year.

According to the PEO, at least BBC event is held in conjunction with the Air Force Association yearly. However, industry representatives can look forward to another large-scale industry event, New Horizons, which is scheduled for March 1-2, 2016, in Massachusetts.

"I will be discussing specific Battle Management business opportunities during New Horizons," Wert said.

It is at events such as these that industry insights are gathered and discussions between Air Force program managers and potential contractors are used to increase the quality and accuracy of proposals.

In regards to engagement, "it is my expectation that my teams are very open with industry," Wert said. "We want industry feedback; it only helps us make requests for proposals better."

The PEO later emphasized a few of his top programs.

Among those include: Joint STARS Recapitalization, which is on the verge of reaching Milestone A; the Three-Dimensional Expeditionary Long-Range Radar program, potentially nearing the end of a protest phase; Air Operations Center Weapons System, which is expecting a Milestone C decision in spring of next year; and the Qatar integration program, which recently finalized negotiations for a U.S. air and missile defense operations center.

Wert concluded the address by emphasizing a few of his goals.

He plans to focus on agility by eliminating non-value added training, bolstering trust through customer satisfaction, driving down costs through open system approaches and expanding upon a diverse and high-performing team.