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Developing Air Force Acquisition Leaders for the 21st Century

Descriptive Note:

Strategic research project

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The innovative integration of technologies and effective acquisition of defense department capabilities and systems will be crucial in the transformation of the Air Force. Developing acquisition leaders with the requisite competencies and skills to successfully accomplish these formidable challenges will be difficult. Given the importance that acquisition leaders play in the success of their organizations and in the development of our future warfighting capabilities, is the Air Force providing the appropriate direction, skills, training and education, career management guidance, and leadership and command opportunities to nurture, develop, and retain acquisition officers to become the best strategic acquisition leaders Does the Air Force promote an organizational culture that understands the importance of these acquisition leaders, accepts and rewards them for their commitment, dedication, acumen, and ability to mentor and lead people while meeting the needs of the warfighter This paper provides the framework and basis to answer these questions. It first provides relevant background and addresses the emphasis on acquisition reform resulting in legislation requiring the Department of Defense DoD to implement measures and programs to enhance the effectiveness of the acquisition work force. The paper then provides insight into the environment in which the acquisition professional will work by discussing the transformational changes within the DoD and how the acquisition environment is evolving to support these changes. This leads to a discussion of acquisition work force challenges, such as career field shortages and the lack of leadership focus. These challenges are then addressed through acquisition work force accession and retention initiatives.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Forces and Organizations
  • Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies

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