HomeNewsArticle Display

Hanscom AFB contracting director shares plan for acquisition culture change

Contracting director shares plan for acquisition culture change

Tony Braswell, Hanscom Air Force Base’s director of contracting, speaks to attendees during the Hanscom Representatives Association meeting in Lexington, Mass., June 18. Braswell detailed the Air Force’s strategic plan currently under way to change the acquisition culture. (U.S. Air Force photo by Todd Maki)


In this era of global competition, the Air Force contracting system needed to make adjustments, a Hanscom Air Force Base senior executive told a local industry group in Lexington, June 18.

Tony Braswell, the Hanscom Air Force Base director of contracting, shared details of a strategic plan aimed to change the acquisition culture at a Hanscom Representatives Association’s monthly meeting.

For decades, contracting specialists were structured in their approaches, indoctrinated in compliance. But now the dynamic is expanding to better meet mission partners’ needs.

“So we’re changing the culture, becoming more proactive than reactive and less risk averse,” he said. “We’ve taken on the motto of becoming mission-focused business leaders, and we need our industry partners to come along with us as well.”

Braswell admitted that culture change is a difficult undertaking, likening it to turning around a battleship as compared to a PT boat. But that’s why an Air Force-wide strategic plan with several lines of effort was established to enable transformation.

One of the approaches is to reimagine training and to expand collaborative training efforts with other functionals.

“We need to train our people to think critically, to be innovative, to look at all the tools in our tool chest when it comes to the types of contract structure,” Braswell said.

A second follow-on initiative dubbed “tools not rules” empowers contracting officers by allowing more decision-making autonomy and by reducing mandatory procedures in regulatory guidance. Braswell stressed that while compliance with laws is a must, the acquisition world is stepping away from a cookie-cutter view of regulations.

“Regardless of the type of contract, we have to allow our managers to analyze the requirements and apply the right tool,” he said. “So we’re using tools we haven’t used in a long time, in places we’ve never used them before.”

Additional components focus on optimizing effectiveness of contract structures and improving contingency contracting in a joint environment.

Local initiatives continue to be impactful in the contracting field as well, including Air Force Pitch Day events that bring in new technology and capabilities, and a pilot program called “First Look” that allows nearby businesses the opportunity to bid on micro-purchase actions.

Global reforms have likewise been instituted, including the evaluation methodology now being used; a system Braswell describes as an evolutionary, innovative approach to streamlining procedures.

“That’s had great success cutting down our timelines, getting things done quicker; it’s an important part of our mission as well.”

He noted to the attendees that industry partners also can positively impact schedules, and help inject the cultural change being sought.

“We’re trying to interface and network as much as we can with our industry partners to get your ideas, to find out what works for you,” he said. “I think the big word here is collaborate – just to collaborate better on all things.”


Facebook Twitter
The latest news on the Dept. of the Air Force response to the spread of #COVID19USAF is available at… https://t.co/tuKrhJCl6b
DISA and DOD have renewed anti-virus software license agreements to help teleworkers protect their computers from v… https://t.co/LSE2pfwKOe
RT @cmsaf18: Team, please join @GenDaveGoldfein and I, April 6 at 3:30 pm EST, as we host a #COVIDー19 virtual town hall on the @usairforce
RT @AFResearchLab: With space travel and #tech on the forefront of many minds, let's take a moment to look into what our teams at #AFRL are…
" 'Job one' for the Air Force...has not slowed down though we have adjusted how we go about it.” -CSAF,… https://t.co/awtumDeNqM
Capt. Theresa Snyder, 355th Medical Operations Squadron operational medicine flight commander, dons protective gear… https://t.co/f148f3Shbm
Air Force issues guidance on grooming and fitness for Airmen during #COVID19. https://t.co/OuQSmcKIRv https://t.co/EvxQ2Z8B76
We can't help it when we look fly ✈️ ✈️ #ReadyAF #lethality https://t.co/ma6kLpv3o4
Knowing is half the battle. https://t.co/HbYwFjUqC3
Staff Sgt. Colton Webber with the 735th Air Mobility Squadron fights the spread of #COVID19 as he decontaminates a… https://t.co/IyE2AbqVwp
RT @INDOPACOM: Newborn infants in need of neonatal intensive care are transported from @USAGDaegu to @WRBethesda via Osan Air Base with the…
The latest news on the Dept. of the Air Force response to the spread of #COVID19 is available at… https://t.co/mkzv6FkYNd
U.S. Air Force Academy Class of 2020 graduation date moved to April 18, 2020. https://t.co/oPUIhwZ9aY @AF_Academy
Around the world, our medical Airmen have stepped up to ensure proper precautions are being taken to prevent to spr… https://t.co/Jc8khMLzX2
RT @USAF_ACC: Ride in the cockpit with the @F22DemoTeam during this virtual air show! @usairforce | @ACC_Commander | #AimHigh https://t.c…
"They left their homes all across America; rushed to Lackland Air Force Base, in Texas, and other military installa… https://t.co/lUaQ8uvo6j