The complexity of the DoD acquisition process can render the process slow and expensive. However, the work flow can be tailored to address situational requirements, as permitted by DoD Instruction 5000.02. In fact, the document’s outlined purpose includes a direct reference to the importance of a tailored approach, authorizing “Milestone Decision Authorities (MDAs) to tailor the regulatory information requirements and acquisition process procedures in this Instruction to achieve cost, schedule, and performance goals.”1 The instruction goes on to recommend areas in which a customized approach can be a critical success factor. In short, the DoD itself now recommends adapting the acquisition process, and success stories have arisen directly from this customized approach.

Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization

Improvised explosive devices (IEDs) became an everyday danger to troops deployed in Iraq during 2003, with some DoD estimates of 20 attacks daily even during those early days of Operation Iraqi Freedom.2 This highly lethal and adaptive threat necessitated a more flexible acquisition model to neutralize an enemy with rapidly evolving tactics, techniques, and procedures. As the United States sought to counter this threat using add-on armor plates and other forms of protection on ground vehicles, insurgents became more creative in their emplacement methods as well as their technologies. For example, IEDs emerged with explosively formed penetrators (EFPs), which focus the explosive energy and projectile in a specific direction.3 The immediate need for more robust, powerful IED protection took center stage.

The Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO) was formally established by the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) in 2006, having grown from the Army’s task force formed in 2003 to counter the IED threat in Iraq and Afghanistan.4 The organization’s stated mission is “to rapidly provide Counter


DoD. 2008. Department of Defense Instruction 5000.02. December 8. Available at http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/500002p.pdf. Accessed on January 29, 2011.


Donald P. Wright, Timothy R. Reese, and the Contemporary Operations Study Team. 2008. On Point II: Transition to the New Campaign, The United States Army in Operation Iraqi Freedom May 2003-January 2005. Fort Leavenworth, Tex.: Combat Studies Institute Press. Available at http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/report/2008/onpoint/index.html. Accessed August 6, 2010.


Information on an explosively formed penetrator warhead is available at http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/munitions/bullets2-shaped-charge.htm. Accessed August 6, 2010.


More information on the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization is available at https://www.jieddo.dod.mil/about.aspx. Accessed September 2, 2010.

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