OSD retains authority on Columbia, LCS, but delegates Ford-class carrier to Navy

By Justin Katz  
January 17, 2018 at 10:58 AM

The Pentagon's acquisition chief delegated milestone decision authority for all but two major Navy programs back to the service, including the multibillion-dollar, Ford-class aircraft carrier.

Ellen Lord, the under secretary of acquisition, technology and logistics, will retain milestone decision authority on the Navy's Columbia-class ballistic missile submarine and Littoral Combat Ship programs, Navy acquisition executive Hondo Geurts told Defense and Aerospace Report during a Jan. 11 interview at the Surface Navy Association conference.

The Navy needs to be "ready to provide the right oversight" and have the right "culture that allows us to then, where appropriate, push down that execution lower in the chain, as opposed to just having the same oversight bubble at our level that we may have had" at the defense secretary's level, he said.

Programs the Navy received authority over include the Amphibious Combat Vehicle Increment 1, the DDG-1000 destroyer and the P-8A aircraft, Inside the Navy previously reported.

"AT&L should be pushing the majority of the department's work back to the services and focusing on prototyping and experimentation, developing architectures and standards, interpreting the law into policy and procedures and simplifying acquisition processes to quickly and cost-effectively provide material and services to the warfighter," Lord said during a Dec. 7, 2017 Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.

"Stating it plainly, AT&L needs to be the strategic body, with focus across the board driving affordability and accountability, reducing timelines and equipping the services to execute their programs," she said.