Of Practitioners Concerning the FactResearch Paper

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SAMPLE EXCERPT:

[. . .] DLA Aviation, Richmond, Va.

Aviation supply chain.

DLA Troop Support, Philadelphia

Subsistence, clothing, and textiles, medical, and construction and equipment supply chains.

DLA Energy, Fort Belvoir, Va.

Fuel, energy support and services, and bulk petroleum.

DLA Distribution, New Cumberland, Pa.

Worldwide network of 25 distribution depots and nine map support offices.

DLA Disposition Services, Battle Creek, Mich.

Reutilization, transfer, demilitarization, and environmental disposal and reuse.

DLA Strategic Materials, Fort Belvoir, Va.

Manages the strategic and critical raw material stockpile that supports national defense needs.

DLA Logistics Information Services, Battle Creek, Mich.

Manages a wide range of logistics information and identification systems.

DLA Document Services, Mechanicsburg, Pa.

Automated document production, printing services, digital conversion and document storage.

DLA Transaction Services, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio

Editing/routing of logistics transactions, network interoperability and eBusiness services.

Source: Adapted from DLA at a glance, 2014 at http://www.dla.mil/Pages/ataglance.aspx

Current DLA regional commands are set forth in Table 2 below.

Table 2

DLA Regional Commands

Location

Responsibilities

DLA Europe & Africa, Kaiserslautern, Germany

Focal point for U.S. European Command's and U.S. Africa Command's theater of operations.

DLA Pacific, Camp Smith, Hawaii

Focal point for U.S. Pacific Command's theater of operations.

DLA Central, MacDill AFB, Fla.

Focal point for U.S. Central Command's theater of operations.

Source: Adapted from DLA at a glance, 2014 at http://www.dla.mil/Pages/ataglance.aspx

Notwithstanding these broad-ranging responsibilities, the DLA's director recently advised that the demand for the majority of the commodities that the agency acquires and redistributes to the U.S. military has diminished in recent months, corresponding to the drawdown of U.S. military forces from Afghanistan. For instance, according to Harnitchek, "The trend mirrors the reeling in of logistics supply chains in the wake of every major U.S. war. In terms of the history of the military, this is really no different than what you see at the end of every conflict" (2014, p. 11).

Although the significant downsizing of the DLA was not unusual for the agency following such a major drawdown in military forces, the trend does have special implications for the DLA for the foreseeable future. As the DLA director emphasized, "We're going to be a lot smaller in terms of our people, our infrastructure, our inventory and our financial footprint. We have to be ready to significantly improve support at a whole lot less cost" (Harnitchek, 2014, p. 11). Prior to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the DLA provided between $18 billion and $20 billion worth of military supplies to the armed forces, with a peak in services being reaching in fiscal year 2011 when the amount of services provided for a single year totaled $46 billion (Harnitchek, 2014). That total declined to $35 billion for fiscal year 2014, and the DLA has committed to identifying another $13 billion in reductions by fiscal year 2019 (Harnitchek, 2014). The costs that are associated with the provision of these logistics services are significant, and these costs are also expected to decline as the amount of services provided is correspondingly reduced. According to Harnitchek, "There is a big effort here to right-size our inventory and then right-size the infrastructure that supports all those distribution chains" (2014, p. 11)

The deputy undersecretary of defense for logistics, Roger W. Kallock, points out that the foregoing figures roughly equate to about $200 million per day for logistics support, with all of the resources being invested in order to "buoy the passion of supporting the war-fighter with the right materiel at the right place, at the right time and at the right cost" (cited in Kutner, 2009, p. 53). As the deputy director of the Defense Logistics Agency, Navy Rear Admiral Raymond A. Archer III emphasizes, the U.S. Department of Defense may not have fully comprehended what is entailed in the acquisition and distribution of billions of dollars worth of commodities and materiel on a global basis. In this regard, Archer points out that:

I think our focus in the logistics community today is supporting the warfighter. It was not that way five years ago. I can remember sitting in meetings where the goal was the [size of the] inventory ... We were chasing the wrong goal" (cited in Kutner, 2009, p. 53).

In addition, the assistant director of the DLA also cited the centrality of the logistics function in ensuring that warfighters have the commodities and materiel they need on the battlefield. For example, Archer added that, "War-fighters are not enamored with logistics lingo. They just want to know where the stuff is. And I think that is all they need to worry about" (cited in Kutner, 2009, p. 53). Taken together, it is clear that the Defense Logistics Agency is an important part of the nation's defense network, and one of the first lines of evaluation it has for its acquisition of commodities and materiel is first article testing, which is discussed further below.

First Article Testing

First article testing (FAT) is used to determine if products conform to required contractual specifications (Frame, 2002). For the Department of Defense, the FAT process likewise serves this purpose, but as can be seen from the convoluted provisions set forth in Table 3 below, identifying first article testing requirements for the enormous array of commodities and materiel procured by the Defense Logistics Agency can be a challenging enterprise. At present, Subpart C contains the FAR and DLAD clauses and provisions that apply when first article test requirements are specified in the solicitation and a manual evaluation and award will be made as set forth in Table 3 below.

Table 3

Subpart C: First Article Test Clause/Provision List

Clause/Provision

Description

FAR 52.209-03 (SEP 1989)

FIRST ARTICLE APPROVAL-CONTRACTOR TESTING

Applies when first article approval is required and the testing will be performed by the contractor

FAR 52.209-04 (SEP 1989)

FIRST ARTICLE APPROVAL-GOVERNMENT TESTING

Applies when first article approval is required and the testing will be performed by the Government

DLAD 52.209-9016 (MAR 2009) EVALUATION OF OFFERS -- FIRST ARTICLE TESTING

Applies when FAR 52.209-4 applies and the Government's testing cost will be used as a factor in evaluating offers

DLAD 52.209-9016, ALT I (MAR 2009) EVALUATION OF OFFERS -- FIRST ARTICLE TESTING, ALTERNATE I

Applies when FAR 52.209-3 applies and the Government's cost to review the contractor's First Article Test Report will be used as a factor in evaluating offers.

DLAD 52.209-9017 (NOV 2013) FIRST ARTICLE -- CONTRACTOR TESTING -- ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS

Applies when first article approval is required and the testing will be performed by the contractor.

DLAD 52.209-9017, ALT III (SEP 2008) FIRST ARTICLE -- CONTRACTOR TESTING -- ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS, ALTERNATE III

Applies when first article approval is required and the testing will be performed by the contractor.

DLAD 52.209-9018 (NOV 2011) FIRST ARTICLE -- GOVERNMENT TEST -- ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS

Applies when first article approval is required and the testing will be performed by the Government.

DLAD 52.209-9018, ALT VI (SEP 2008) FIRST ARTICLE -- GOVERNMENT TEST -- ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS, ALT VI

Applies when first article approval is required and the testing will be performed by the Government

DLAD 52.209-9020 (SEP 2008) FIRST ARTICLE TESTING REQUIREMENT -- WAIVER APPROVED

When FAR 52.209-3 or 52.209-4 is applicable and it has been determined that the first article test and approval requirements will be waived for the awardee.

Note: The clauses and provisions in this subpart apply to solicitations which include a First Article Test requirement. Offerors are required to read and understand the full text of each clause, provision or notice and provide any required information as applicable. These clauses and provisions are only applicable when a manual award is being made that includes a first article test requirement.

A flowchart of the first article test process is provided at Appendix C.

Chapter Conclusion

This chapter provided a review of the secondary peer-reviewed, scholarly and governmental literature concerning the U.S. Defense Logistics Agency including its mission, customers and activities. In addition, this chapter provided a description of the role of first article testing in Department of Defense acquisitions including primary controlling governmental policies.

Chapter 3: Methodology

Research Methodology

As noted in the introductory chapter, this study was guided by two research questions as follows: (a) what major factors do Engineers and Defense Logistics Agency employees consider prior to applying First Article Test requirements to contracts?, and (b) what specific discriminators can be applied to First Article Test requirement decision making process? To develop informed answers to these research questions, the study used a mixed research methodology consisting of a qualitative analysis of the secondary literature and a survey of Engineers and Defense Logistics Agency employees using the data analysis and synthesis methods described below.

Data Collection, Analysis and Synthesis

Data collection is an important part of the knowledge acquisition phase that can be collected from a wide range of sources (Neuman, 2003). The secondary data for this study was collected from online governmental resources as well as reliable online research databases including EBSCO and Questia. The analysis of… [END OF PREVIEW]

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