The Enhanced Army Global Logistics Enterprise program is the latest defense vehicle designed to procure a suite of logistics tools and services for today’s warfighter. EAGLE (not to be confused with the Homeland Security Department’s EAGLE procurement contract) leverages a unique contracting framework to help customers procure virtually any logistic services.
But EAGLE isn’t a contract. “It’s actually a program,” says Scott Welker, deputy to the commander at Army Sustainment Command (ASC). EAGLE, he says, “uses basic ordering agreement for task order competitions. It covers all supplies, maintenance and transportation services requirements. If there is an [Army] installation that covers any of those areas, the ASC EAGLE will cover it.” A key feature of this program is its flexibility. With no minimums and maximums, EAGLE has a potential value of more than $23 billion over five years. In response to the drawdown in Iraq and Afghanistan, Army has developed a singular contracting vehicle that can procure virtually any logistic service under the sun.
EAGLE’s streamlined process comes in the context of a push for more flexibility and lower cost in the acquisition process. In September 2010, Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter sent a memo to acquisition professionals outlining the Better Buying Power initiative, designed to make the procurement process more efficient, more competitive, and less costly. He urged the creation of new and more flexible contracting vehicles to not only streamline acquisitions but increase competition. EAGLE is targeted at achieving the latter goal.
Under the Better Buying Power initiative, contracting offices must conduct affordability analyses and cost estimates to ensure that warfighting capabilities are maintained amid shrinking budgets. EAGLE’s analysis indicated it held out the potential for significant cost avoidance. Although it’s difficult to quantify savings yet, given the nascent stage of the program, some installations are already seeing a payoff. The Rock Island Arsenal, for example, recently joined EAGLE and projects close to $2 million in overall savings over the next five years from such actions as revising its performance work statement and expanded competition.
And this should be of no surprise. In times of shrinking budgets and an uncertain Congress, federal and defense managers are compelled to make do—thus putting the onus on innovating. In this case, the ASC has a found an innovative way to cut costs and in doing so, change the way the Army does business.
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