The Role of the Logistician in Defense Acquisitions
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The Role of the Logistician in Defense Acquisitions
This paper will describe the role of the logistician throughout United States Department of Defense acquisition programs and strategies. It will be chronologically approached from design, planning, demonstration, refinement and sustainment phases. The role of the logistician will be characterized as paramount to the overall success of acquisition efforts and ultimate success of our fighting men and women in the field.

The role of the logistician in the Department of Defense (DoD) acquisition process is one of the most important to the successful life cycle of a system, subsystem, or process. It is the logistician who has the broad, comprehensive field experience necessary to integrate all facets of the acquisition process to ultimately satisfy user requirements in the field, the customer the process is developed to support. Without experienced, competent logisticians involved in the process, the program risks not meeting warfighter needs and ultimately failing the American public in our protection.

Acquisition Logistics Management
Acquisition Logistics is a multi-functional, technical management discipline associated with the design, development, test, production, fielding, sustainment, and improvement and/or modification of cost-effective systems that achieve the users peacetime and wartime readiness requirements. The major focus of acquisition logistics is to ensure the system is designed for supportability and the support elements are acquired and provided to the customer.

According to DoD Directive 5000.1, The Defense Acquisition System, under the Total Systems Approach, the Program Manager (PM) becomes the single point of accountability for accomplishing program objectives for total life-cycle systems management, including sustainment. (USD AT&L, 2003) The PM applies human systems integration to optimize total system performance (hardware, software, and human), operational effectiveness, and suitability, survivability, safety, and affordability.

In supporting acquisitions, PMs consider supportability, life cycle costs, performance, and schedule. The PM begins planning for operation and support and the estimation of total ownership costs as early as possible. Supportability, key to overall system performance, is considered throughout the life cycle of the system. The PMs success or failure depends upon the role of the logistician in the acquisition process.

Responsibilities of the life cycle logistician during system development and acquisition include understanding user requirements, influencing system design for supportability, identifying a cost effective approach for support, and ensuring support structure elements are developed, acquired, and delivered. To improve the chances of success, these responsibilities must be performed in sequence, respectively.

Logisticians must read and completely understand the customers requirements documents. These documents include the Mission Need Statement, the former Operational Requirements Document (ORD), the relatively new Initial Capabilities Document (replaced the ORD), Capabilities Development Document (CDD), and Capabilities Production Document (CPD). Applicable field experience is vital to comprehending and communicating requirements to respective elements of the acquisition process.

Logisticians must read user requirement documents for total comprehension of the entire need before establishing logistics-related requirements. They must be willing to challenge requirements when not cost effective or appropriate based on the envisioned mission and established doctrine. Requirements must be based on verifiable facts with specific rationale cited to ensure only necessary capability is delivered.

As the design evolves, the logistician must continually evaluate the design for supportability to ensure the applicable contractor has considered the operation and maintenance data of similar systems in the design process. This will aid the logistician in the development of support resources and strategies.

Logisticians, using customer input from the warfighters requirements documents, must participate in the development of the most cost effective method to support the system while allowing optimal performance of the mission. This responsibility entails the greatest effort to ensure that all the needed elements of support (technical manuals, spare parts, facilities, training, support equipment, etc.) are developed and delivered to the customer within budget constraints.

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Role Of The Logistician And Successful Life Cycle Of A System. (April 2, 2021). Retrieved from