A relatively short time has passed since the Army Chief of Staff, General Mark Milley and then-Acting Army Secretary, Kevin McCarthy, announced their intentions to radically alter their Service’s acquisition system. Nevertheless, it is not too early to look for signs that the Army’s leaders intend, as the old saying goes, to put their money where their mouths are, and actually procure something in a new, and hopefully, faster way. A good candidate for a quick victory is a program called the Maneuver Short-Range Air Defense (Maneuver SHORAD or M-SHORAD). The Army needs to pull the trigger on the procurement of an interim M-SHORAD system. The Army should not wait for its larger acquisition reform plans to unfold. Maneuver forces need protection now. The Army leadership needs to demonstrate that they will not allow old acquisition habits to continue to hobble modernization and put soldiers’ lives in danger. I have written about the Army’s urgent requirement for tactical air defense and how to acquire an interim capability for RealClearDefense here.
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