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Officials conduct 'Road Show' for acquisition transformation

WASHINGTON (AFPN) -- A community forum for understanding the Installation Acquisition Transformation will take place from 8-10 a.m. Friday at the base theater here.

The Installation Acquisition Transformation initiative, a comprehensive restructuring of continental U.S. installation acquisition practices, is moving forward as Air Force contracting officials continue traveling to affected bases to explain the changes ahead.

Under the transformation, Air Force Materiel Command at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, will head five geographically-based installation acquisition groups, leaving only a small contracting presence at each installation.

The IAT Road Show began in February and has already visited bases in the Southwest, Midwest and Southeast. The team plans to reach each stateside Air Force base by the end of September.

Col. Mark Hobson, provisional director for the newly formed Installation Acquisition Center at Wright-Patterson AFB, heads the Road Show team and said he is excited about meeting with the contracting workforce and local industry.

"This is the right thing to do at the right time," Colonel Hobson said. "While our contracting personnel understand the need for IAT, they have many questions on how the implementation will affect them personally and professionally. The local small business community also has concerns about how they will be able to continue competing for government contracts."

Colonel Hobson's team gives presentations to the workforce and contracting commanders detailing the new strategic focus and regionalized construct. The team, which includes an Air Force small-business representative, also hosts a town hall meeting inviting local industry to learn about the future of Air Force procurement.

"We've been able to provide answers to a lot of questions from the field, and we've also gotten some great ideas on how to make this transition easier," the colonel said. "I'm really fired up at the level of involvement our folks in the field are showing. They know this is a big deal for our career field."

Procurement professionals analyzed the installation contracting organizational structure for nearly two years to determine ways to improve how the Air Force conducts business.

Currently each installation buys goods and services they need to operate at the tactical level. IAT will allow the Air Force to take advantage of strategic sourcing and leverage $15 billion in buying power consistent with the tenets of Air Force Smart Operations for the 21st Century.

Strategic sourcing is a business best practice for procurement in which organizations critically analyze their spending and make strategic business decisions on how best to procure products and services at the best value.

The complete transformation is anticipated to take three to five years, with the first positions migrating to the installation acquisition groups between fiscal 2010- 2012. IAT only applies to continental U.S. installation buying activities and does not apply to major weapons systems and their logistical support, laboratory support, or research, development, test and evaluation.

Those people interested in attending the event can call Aldo DeFilippi at 606-6475 or Miriam Cote at 606-6120.