The Navy’s acquisitions hiring boom

The Navy’s acquisitions hiring boom

The Navy’s Department’s top weapons-buyer, Sean Stackley, set down a priority this week at the Sea Air Space show that probably won’t get a lot of attention like the “Great Green Fleet” or the “313-ship Navy.” Still, he said he hopes it could pay huge dividends if successful. The department, Stackley said, needs to add thousands of uniformed and civilian acquisitions experts who know how to smooth out the complicated process of buying big, expensive things. Not as flashy as a rail gun, but it could save the department hundreds of millions of dollars.

“Ten to 15 years of downsizing has thinned our professional corps and we need to reverse that decline,” Stackley said. That includes deckplate-level inspectors working for the Supervisor of Shipbuilding, program managers, contract wranglers, test and evaluations professionals, and so on. For the past several years, the Navy has struggled with accepting warships that needed expensive re-work after entering the fleet, or which sailed late or over-budget because of quality problems. Just this week, you read here on Buzz about how manufacturing problems caused hull cracks aboard the littoral combat ship USS Freedom.

According to information provided Friday by Navy spokeswoman Capt. Cate Mueller, the goal is to increase the Navy’s acquisition workforce across the board by about 16 percent, or more than 6,000 people, over the next five years. Most of those people will be government employees, either service members or full-time Navy Department workers.

“We’re doing this at the expense of support contracts, but that’s a good trade-off,” Stackley said Wednesday.“The goal is not to restore government employees, but to restore our core competence.”

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Withe a record budget deficit and massive cuts to defense budgets coming the Navy’s plans are to expand.

Normally this would just be insane but the reality is that the procurement agencies are working with the contractors to prepare for taking a bigger slice of the declining pie. They need to front load as much as they can so that the budget cuts are to housing, personnel, existing wars, training, veterans basically anything other that procurement.

While the JSF folks will be throwing lavish parties as they win contract after contract to patch up the F-35, attended by former officers who feel they are entitled to their kickbacks, ordinary veterans will be told that they have to make multiple sacrifices for the sake of the nation.

I think Oblat’s jealous he won’t be invited to the super secret Lockheed JSF money-burning party. Because that is all anybody working for any defense contractor does, right Oblat?

Honestly Oblat, what will you not complain about? The Navy is taking steps to bring American shipyards back to a higher standard of quality control and you complain.

Since you oppose this initiative I guess you won’t be among the critics if another ship suffers from low construction-quality like the San Antonio class has encountered?

Ah yes here we have the poster child for contractor greed saying not to worry, everything is going to plan.

They are going to be hiring for management over the repairs to existing platforms and new construction already approved and it is deeply needed. depending on contractors to oversee 90% of quality checks with govt personnel only reviewing the contractors paper work was a poor way of doing business and they are correcting this finally which will be a ggod thing as long as they hire the right people — meaning vets with shipboard systems QA experiance and not a bunch of kids off the street right out of school and displaced govt employees from riffs.

Yeah, that’s what we need is a bunch more Navy bureacrats instead of sailors. After all, since we pay contractors more to screw us in development contracts, it takes a lot of bureacrats to make sure they don’t take the bait. You people don’t deserve to keep your money.

i have an undergraduate degree in a research-based discipline. my long-term goal is to support our DoD as a professional scientist. i have a mechanical aptitude and experience with complex systems. i breath stats and sh*t metrics.

how do i get one of these jobs?

This is the kind of “behind the scenes” stuff the “peace dividend” has done that most people are unaware of.

Without proper oversight (Inspectors) there is a tendancy of some people not to go out into the cold and rain if they can get away with staying thier nice warm shop and pencil whip the required paperwork. This occasionally kills people later down the road. If these bureacrats (Inspectors) had been in place all along maybe we would not have problems now like the San Antonio class embarrassment. How would you like your son or daughter to into harms way on that ship.

Go onto USA jobs​.gov, complete your resume in the required format. Once you have done that you can search for jobs — when you find one you are interested in click the apply button — this will upload and submit your resume to that agency. If you do have a science degree and are a US born natural citizen capable of holding a top secret clearance you stand a real good chance, they may even offer to assume your student loan for an agreement to work for a certain amount of years as an intern, once your internship is up you will be promoted to a higher GS level (usualy 12 or 13 within a couple of years). Hurting real bad for natural born citizens with science and engineering degrees.

Fire Admiral Mullins, NOW!!! He is a National Disaster, leading the DOD to the Brink!!!! He has made bad decisions and continues to be a poster child for Corruption, Stupidity and inept rational. The Only Admiral Left in the Navy that has credibility, integrity and unlimited leadership ability and can fill a true Senior Leadership, in the DOD at the Joint Level is Admiral Donald Gaddis. This Man can make a difference.

Good Morning Folks,

Everything in the article is true expect that the Editor Ewing failed to mention the time it take to develop competent inspectors.

It has been estimated that to become a competent inspector requires about 200,000 hour in the trade or ten years of full time employment, as well as a trade related classroom education. In the private sector people with these qualifications often mane in the $200,000.00 a year plus yearly salary. Far more the the DoD is going to pay.

If the DoD decided to start from scratch all they would become is a training school for the private sector. These people are always in short supply.

The only real solution for this is the same as non DoD contractors do who want good QA and that is contract with a third party with no interest in the project to do the QA, industrial hygiene, structural inspections, systems inspections and material inspection work. The price, its not cheap, on a non DoD governmental project these costs can run about 20% of the job.

Byron Skinner

I gotta disagree with you here somewhat — yes the DoD doesnt pay as much as the outside but the gap is closing quickly with civilian jobs cutting the pay for these positions, also dealing with contractors on a daily basisi I can tell you that most contractor personnel dont have much training at all. But they did say in this article that they would be combining DoD and civilian personnel, The NAVY QA program (training and qualification) is grueling, a Qa package in the NAVY is crossing all T and dotting all I in triplicate and multiple reviews before the job can be performed and then after to insure everything was done and recorded properly (can be anywhere from 10 pages to 100) depending on what system and or part is replaced. The active duty NAVy QA personnel can do on this one and why I stated that in order to get this ball rolling that the DoD civilians should also be former active duty Navy QA experianced personnel — the QA level done in the NAVy superceeds that of any civilian firm or even the other branches of service. I was appaled coming to the Army from the Navy and seeing what they consider to be QA.

Last time I checked the numbers we had one acquisition bureaucrat for every three sailors. The problem is not enough people, it’s not enough productive people in the right place. There is a great deal of redundancy in our Syscoms, the productivity of the workforce is low (3 day weekends while the fleet is on a 24/7 schedule), and I’ll bet that the Navy couldn’t tell you what the total cost of the acquisition workforce really is (billions of dollars/year). This is the typical upside down reasoning that you can expect from our government these days–we’re going to use more people to buy less product.

Boomer, I have worked as a contractor and now in the government. Both sides have very competent people and a lot of door stops. In my last job I worked in aviation where very competent and were proud of their work. I now work in the missile world and see nothing but powerpoint expertise from both the government and contractors. A few technical people but they are becoming fewer and fewer. We are now mostly spoon feeding technical information to bureaucrats who go ballistic on font and format.

Great Idea. Let’s hire more Naval acquisition folks. We need additional morons to purchase 19Knt afterburning Targets for Mullins. Mullins needs to be fired so he can spend sometime at home watching the movie “Pearl Harbor”

Power point and pie charts are about the dumbest thing ever invented and a major waste of time. Aviation and missiles are always gonna be a bit more stricter than other programs, ordnance has a lot of controls but not enough. in depth knowledge of programs is dwindling away with engineers and QA personnel that have no real ideal how something works, might know everything in the world about a bomb case but doesnt know squat about explosives — detonators — or electronics and how each effects the other if you make production changes without talking to the other component folks. One issue is you have a lot of people hired as mgt with no knowledge full of ideals that come in take over wont listen and kill quality in thier power quest because evryone under them shut down and stop caring after a while.


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