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Potomac Officers Club’s 2021 Air Force Acquisition Forum to Discuss Digital Transformation Efforts, Featuring USAF’s Darlene Costello

As the role of information technology (IT) grows throughout the federal government, the U.S. Air Force wants to streamline and optimize its acquisition process through digital transformation. The service branch is currently working to incorporate digital engineering, agile software development and open system architectures to achieve its acquisition goals.

During Potomac Officers Club’s 2021 Air Force Acquisition Forum, influential private and public sector executives will discuss the Air Force’s priorities regarding its relationship with private industry and laudable accomplishments of its acquisition process and culture.

Darlene Costello, acting assistant secretary of the U.S. Air Force for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, will deliver the Forum’s keynote address. To register for the 2021 Air Force Acquisition Forum and view upcoming opportunities, visit Potomac Officers Club’s Event Page.

The Air Force Materiel Command (AFMC) has a critical role in the USAF acquisition process, as it is responsible for buying and sustaining airplanes and weapons. The AFMC recently opened a Digital Transformation Office (DTO) to digitally transform the Air and Space Force acquisition enterprises. FedScoop reported in June.

The new office intends to execute a wide variety of digital transformation initiatives in both what the Service buys and how it buys it. The office was set to support many innovative digital procurement and sustainment offices across the Department of the Air Force. The focus is definitively on improving acquisition practices with new technology.

James Hurst, DTO branch chief, commented, “This office is the first organization that will stand-up from an enterprise-wide perspective to address digital needs with a long-term perspective in mind.”

“Though the office sits at AFMC, it will have a perspective for the entire Department of the Air Force acquisition community and encompass activities from research and development to fielding, sustainment and beyond…the entire cradle-to-grave of life cycle management,” added Hurst.

The AFMC oversees the acquisition of a wide variety of systems, from fighter jets to electronic warfare systems and weapons systems. Warplanes, in particular, need agile digital acquisition practices to ensure mission success because they are increasingly reliant on advanced IT technology.

The USAF and U.S. Space Force have many other offices and teams required to perform digital activities in acquisition. Such as, Kessel Run which works to improve the department’s software creation and purchasing. Another is the AFWERX Program, which was quickly established to purchase critical emerging technology.

Hurst started the DTO, “Will look across all of those teams and activities to facilitate the sharing of best practices and lessons learned across the entire department. We will focus on the enablers that will help the program.”

Potomac Officers Club will also host an expert panel on embracing digital acquisition at the Forum, moderated by David Stagney of Pratt & Whitney, featuring Preston Dunlap of the Department of the Air and Space Force, Michael Roberts of Space Rapid Capabilities, William Bailey and Kristen Baldwin of the USAF.

The DTO roll-out exemplifies the Air Force’s recognition and commitment to digitally transforming its acquisition practice. Private industry and acquisition officials must continue to work together and ensure the county’s national security.

Join Potomac Officers Club’s 2021 Air Force Acquisition Forum to hear elite federal and industry leaders discuss the most essential technological and material needs of the U.S. Air Force.

To register for the 2021 Air Force Acquisition Forum and view upcoming opportunities, visit Potomac Officers Club’s Event Page.

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