Winter arrived today, Thursday, 15 November, 2018 with a vengeance. About 3 inches of snow and lots of sleet at Fort Belvoir, VA. This is the earliest winter arrival that I can remember here in VA. Could be caused by the weak El Nino in the eastern Pacific Ocean. In any case, as I used to tell my troops – “dress warm.”
We are now heavily into the planning for the Tuesday, 2 April DAU Symposium, which is supported and co-sponsored by the Alumni Association. The plenary session and classroom breakout topics are almost there with DAU coordinators for each classroom session assigned in early November. The planned theme is: “Delivering Performance at the Speed of Relevance: Agile Acquisition Approaches.” Ms. Ellen Lord, USD A&S, will give the keynote, so plan on being there for this one-day event. In December we will start to lock down topics and speakers.
In addition to an outstanding hot topic forum by Mr. Robert Work, former Deputy Secretary of Defense in July, on 19 September we were treated to another excellent presentation by Mr. Dan Keefe, recently COO and President of ManTech International, He covered best practices by the government /commercial team in the acquisition of services by the government. He presented his C-Suite perspectives, and his experiences in Silicon Valley and how the latter is relevant in regard to the DIU and other current innovation initiatives.
And just yesterday, 14 November, we were treated to an excellent update on the defense budget and other acquisition initiatives by a hot topic panel from the Congressional Research Service. Those panelists included Mr. Brendan McGarry, Mr. Moshe Schwartz, and Dr. Pat Towell. The presentation included information on the new Congress and its impact on 2020 DoD appropriations, including budget caps. Fiscal Year 2019 saw a significant up-tick in the DoD appropriation, and it will be interesting to see if 2020 will also see a similar increase.
Before I forget, we are also planning two DAU hot topic forums in January and February 2019 respectively. The first – in January – will cover continuous integration/continuous software delivery environment; i.e., rapid, coordinated software fielding. Professor Bob Skertic is coordinating that one. Then in Februrary we have an industry presentation by the former CEO of Lockeed-Martin, Mr. Bob Stevens, who will address an industry perspective on DoD acquisition; this latter is being coordinated by Mr. Tom Davis, the DAU Industry Chair.
Before I close, I want to repeat that the strength and vitality of the DAU Alumni Association depends on the influx of “new blood.” I ask that all DAUAA members act as recruiters in expanding Alumni Association membership. Without a vibrant and growing membership, we simply cannot continue the level of symposia and hot topic fora that we currently co-sponsor with DAU.
- Bill Bahnmaier, President, DAUAA
About Bill Bahnmaier, DAUAA President: Bill Bahnmaier is a retired Marine and a former (retired) instructor at the Defense Acquisition University (DAU). In his last tour of duty as a Marine he was a major system PM of the Marine Corps Assault Amphibian. Since retirement, Bahnmaier works as an official volunteer at DAU and also is a part time consultant and instructor on defense acquisition matters. He and his wife Peggy reside in Alexandria, VA. They have 9 nephews and nieces and 18 great nephews and nieces.