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Digital Acceleration Task Force to drive digital integration, transformation

  • Published
  • By Marisa Alia-Novobilski
  • Air Force Materiel Command

A new Digital Acceleration Task Force aims to accelerate Department of the Air Force digital transformation efforts and deliver digital materiel management solutions, ultimately enabling integrated capability delivery faster across the enterprise.

Chartered by the Air Force Material Command, the DATF includes representatives from Air Force Acquisition, the DAF Digital Transformation Office, AFMC centers, program executive offices, and more. The task force’s goal is to identify and address critical, near-term challenges to implementation of DMM enterprise solutions.

“The U.S. takes an average of 16 years to deliver a new operational capability, whereas China takes less than seven. Our competitors out-pace and out-deliver us,” said Lt. Col. Ryan Pospisal, deputy director, DATF. “We need to accelerate our capability delivery timelines in order to maintain a competitive advantage, and an enterprise digital approach is key.” 

 

Digital Materiel Management is the process of integrating and employing digital methods across the entire lifecycle--from invention to retirement--for both warfighting capabilities as well as installation and mission support capabilities. It leverages digital tools, structured data, security, policy and guidance to accelerate the materiel management cycle, enable collaboration, and ensure effective decision-making throughout a product’s life cycle. 

Effective implementation of DMM will enable the DAF to capitalize on opportunities in areas such as enterprise resourcing; solution scaling across programs, the Department of Defense, and industry; improved, more secure information technology infrastructure; data standards, formats and modeling; cross-domain solutions; and more.  

Ultimately, DMM will enable delivery of operational capabilities faster, ensuring the U.S. keeps pace with modern adversaries. 

Through Mission Tasking Orders across four focus areas, the DATF will accelerate the gap between DMM as a theoretical construct and complete enterprise implementation. 

The four focus areas are: 

  • Modernize Information Technology Infrastructure/Special Access Program Digital Environments: Identify and deploy Integrated Digital Environments to enable secure sharing of data and models within various digital environments and security levels. 

  • Industry Consortia: Establish regular Defense Industrial Base interchanges to collaborate on recommendations and solutions for DMM and Digital Transformation. 

  • Digital Materiel Management Playbook: Create an authoritative, rigorously organized, and holistic playbook that identifies best practices and preferred methods of DMM execution across the acquisition lifecycle and functional communities. 

  • Secure and Structure Data: Document and identify critical data and interface standards, structures, and formats to enable sharing of models and data between government and industry; establish guidelines for digital contracting clauses and Descriptive Item Descriptions. 

Close collaboration with defense industry and enterprise partners is key to DATF efforts across all focus areas. This will enable the ability to drive life cycle efficiencies, rapidly identify and implement digital best practices, create common data standards and detect areas impeding data sharing across various parameters. 

“We are looking for our industry partners to help us identify areas in which we can leverage modern digital technologies as we deliver new operational capabilities. By working in collaboration with the defense industrial base, we can address legacy defense processes and more rapidly implement newer, faster ways of doing business across the life cycle,” said Pospisal. 

Though still in the early stages of activity and formation, the DATF plan is to move quickly to accelerate the competitive advantage through modern digital technologies across the mission. 

“The AFMC Strategic Plan calls on us to revolutionize our processes to deliver integrated capabilities faster and smarter than ever. The DATF is key to meeting these goals,” said Pospisal. “Our task is big, but we are ready to meet the challenge.” 

To learn more about Digital Materiel Management and AFMC digital transformation efforts, visit here. 

A Digital Materiel Management Industry Association Consortium kick-off event is set for Nov. 2-3, with the goal to promote greater collaboration across DoD and defense industry in digital materiel management across the product lifecycle. Details on the event are available here.