By Lt. Cmdr. David F. Odom, SC, USN, Contracting Officer, 2.0 Contracts Directorate, SSC PAC
and Lt. Branden W. Davenport, SC, USN, Contracting Specialist, 2.0 Contracts Directorate, SPAWAR
Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) and its Echelon III command, SPAWAR Systems Center Pacific (SSC PAC), are San Diego’s premier locations for Supply Corps officers to learn important contracting skills, while playing a part in supporting strategic objectives essential to our nation’s security. The opportunity to witness the alignment between the Strategic Vision of SPAWAR and the strategic objectives of SPAWAR’s contracting directorates is an enlightening experience for members of our 1306 community.
SPAWAR is located within eyeshot of San Diego’s scenic and historic Old Town, while SSC PAC is nestled within the hills near Cabrillo National Monument. Both locations offer outstanding opportunities for local tourism, as well as some of the most diverse food in the country. Both commands provide an opportunity for mid-level officers to interact with numerous senior Supply Corps officers and, at the same time, pursue professional certifications through Defense Acquisition University.
The mission of SPAWAR is to identify, develop, deliver and sustain information warfighting capabilities supporting naval, Joint, coalition and other national missions. This mission is accomplished through the following strategic objectives: (1) accelerating and streamlining delivery, (2) driving cyber resiliency, (3) optimizing our organization, operations and workforce.
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Lt. Cmdr. David Odom, right, and Lt. Branden Davenport, left, at the entrance to SPAWAR Headquarters. The pictures lining the entrance detail the storied history of the SPAWAR facility...from B-24 production during WWII to advanced C4ISR systems design and sustainment. –photo by Lt. Stephanie Conenna
Both SPAWAR and SSC PAC leverage the creativity and experience of scientists, engineers, acquisition professionals, and industry partners to create innovative solutions for our Sailors and Marines as they deter war and protect the security of our nation. As global issues become more complex and inter-state strategic competition becomes our primary national security concern, the need to rapidly field new technologies becomes even greater. To meet this need, SPAWAR develops contractual relationships with our industry partners and academia to provide the latest information warfighting capabilities to the warfighter. Civilian acquisition professionals and Supply Corps officers are crucial players in planning, awarding, and administering such contracts.
Seeking to accelerate and streamline delivery of cyber capabilities to the fleet, SPAWAR utilizes rapid prototyping to transition information warfare technology. Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Rapid Innovation Fund (RIF) contracts are important vehicles to meet this objective. Contract specialists at SPAWAR have the opportunity to complete cost analysis of SBIR and RIF proposals, negotiate the final price of these contracts based on that analysis, and create the contract itself by identifying all applicable contracting clauses in the Federal Acquisition Regulation and Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement. The two end-products of this work are a business clearance memorandum that summarizes cost analysis and negotiation, as well as the contract itself.
Another technique for streamlining delivery is through the use of multiple award contracts (MAC). Contracting officers at SSC PAC have the opportunity to administer competitive task orders under MAC contracts. The Global Installation Contract (GIC) for Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) is an example of a MAC that supports Fleet Installation Office initiatives. The Fleet Installation Office plans and executes fleet C4ISR installations and overhauls during maintenance availabilities and overseas service desk support, repair, and system training for Sailors and Marines. The GIC MAC streamlines installation execution across the SPAWAR enterprise and allows for greater economies of scale by combining installation efforts across Pacific and Atlantic areas of responsibility.
SPAWAR also seeks to drive cyber resiliency. Part of driving cyber resiliency is ensuring that what is delivered to the fleet meets specifications and is in a state of cyber compliance. SPAWAR’s contracting professionals support this objective through the diligent negotiation and preparation of task orders that clearly establish cyber standards and fleet cyber readiness requirements.
Finally, SPAWAR accomplishes its mission through optimizing its organization, operation, and workforce. For a junior officer, optimizing the workforce includes the ability to participate in the Navy Acquisition Contracting Officer Internship and earn Level II certification in contracting through the Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act. For a more senior officer, this includes the ability to join the Defense Acquisition Corps.
SPAWAR continues to lead the charge in delivering the latest information capabilities to the warfighter. SPAWAR’s contracting directorate plays an essential part in this mission. The need for seasoned acquisition professionals in the Supply Corps has never been greater, and SPAWAR provides an excellent opportunity to gain valuable contracting experience.