SOFIC 2016: USSOCOM's ‘circle of love’
USSOCOM officials have outlined the command’s materiel acquisition philosophy, with one procurement chief dubbing the approach ‘the SOCOM acquisition circle of love’.
The comments came at a Special Operations Forces Industry Conference (SOFIC) briefing designed to create an understanding of USSOCOM and establish a knowledge foundation for subsequent business activities during the event.
In a briefing titled ‘SOF AT&L [acquisition, technology and logistics] 101’, Karl Rozelsky, Deputy Program Executive Officer for SOF Warrior, outlined USSOCOM attempts to optimise its equipment acquisition funding by maximising reliance on ‘the big services’, and offered the notional example of the MH-47 helicopter.
Referring to his visits to the Boeing plant in Philadelphia ‘where they spit out those -47s’, he noted that ‘right at the end of the line they put on another 10 or 20 million dollars worth of SOCOM cool stuff, making the SOCOM MH-47’.
‘Then they fly that MH-47 down to [Fort] Bragg and the first thing the guys at Bragg do is invite the big service army helicopter pilots for the -47 down and put them on the plane,’ he said.
‘And they’re riding along and the SOF guys will say something like, “Hey push this button”. And they push it and flares go out or something else happens. And the big army pilot says, “What was that? I’ve got to have that.” And he writes it in his book as something he needs in the future.
‘So, instead of us paying for it, the big service might include that on a regular -47 so SOCOM doesn’t have to use that money on an MH-47 kit,’ he added.
‘And that’s the SOCOM acquisition circle of love. We use it for weapons, C-130s, whatever you want.’
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