Top commanders bemoan JCIDS

Posted on June 1, 2011


Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. James Cartwright has commissioned a broad independent review to help the Pentagon more rapidly develop and buy urgently needed military equipment.

In an April 29 memo to the Defense Business Board, Cartwright asks the federal advisory panel to study “new ways to execute the joint requirements process” to replace the slow, bureaucratic Joint Capabilities Integration and Development System (JCIDS). The Joint Staff is conducting an internal review on the same topic.

The memo, which calls for recommendations by late July and sheds new light on one of the last major initiatives Cartwright is spearheading before he retires this fall. It was widely reported this week that Cartwright would not succeed Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Michael Mullen.

“Increasing combat demands and fiscal constraints make it critical that investments in new weapon systems and non-material solutions not only meet the needs of the warfighter, but also make the most efficient use of available resources,” he writes. “A change to the acquisition requirements process is required to reflect the realities of the current fight, cycle time of the current threat and [Defense Department] organizational changes.”