Introduction to Defense Acquisition Management

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INTRODUCTION
TO DEFENSE
ACQUISITION
MANAGEMENT
FOURTH EDITION
JUNE 1999
PUBLISHED BY THE
DEFENSE SYSTEMS MANAGEMENT COLLEGE PRESS
FORT BELVOIR, VIRGINIA

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The defense acquisition system is a single uniform
system whereby all equipment, facilities, and services
are planned, developed, acquired, maintained, and
disposed of by the Department of Defense (DoD). The
system includes policies and practices that govern
acquisition: identifying and prioritizing resource
requirements and resources, directing and controlling
the process, contracting, and reporting to Congress.

The defense acquisition system provides the framework for the
acquisition of weapons, information technology (IT) systems
and other items used by DoD to meet threats to national security.
A weapon system is an item that can be used directly by the
armed forces to carry out combat missions.

IT systems include both National Security Systems (NSS) and
Automated Information Systems (AIS). NSSs are used for
intelligence and cryptologic activities and command and control
of military forces, or are integral to a weapons system or critical
to the direct fulfillment of a military or intelligence mission.
AISs are usually associated with the performance of routine
administrative and business tasks such as payroll and accounting
functions.

Acquisition includes research, design, development, test and
evaluation, production, procurement, and operations and
support. As used herein, the term “defense acquisition” generally
applies only to weapons and IT systems processes, procedures,
and end products. The word procurement, which is the act of
buying goods and services for the Government, is often (and
mistakenly) considered synonymous with acquisition; it is
instead but one of the many functions performed as part of the
acquisition process. For example, non-weapon and non-IT items
required by DoD, such as passenger vehicles, office supplies,
and waste removal are “procured,” but are not subject to the
full range of functions inherent in the acquisition process of
weapons and IT systems, and thus are not described in this
pamphlet.

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