Air and Space Force’s acquisition chief appoints Rapid Capabilities Office as integrating PEO for ABMS, expanding from startup toward rapidly scaling delivery phases


WASHINGTON – Dr. Will Roper, Air Force and Space Force acquisition chief, signed a memorandum directive Nov. 24 assigning the Advanced Battle Management System delivery phases to the Department of the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office as the integrating Program Executive Office.

Internet of military things, or “IoT.mil,” demonstrations, called Onramps, will remain under the chief architect, Preston Dunlap.

This move will place one of the Department of the Air Force’s top modernization priorities under an office with demonstrated ability to mature, integrate and field complex capabilities rapidly, such as the X-37B spaceplane, B-21 bomber and classified systems. The RCO will add its execution expertise to the chief architect’s accomplishments in rapid development and demonstration.

“We have worked earnestly for a year and half to demonstrate data-centric, internet-enabled warfighting constructs. I have witnessed the birth of ‘IoT.mil’ capabilities in ABMS demonstrations,” Roper said. “We are no longer asking if we can build an ‘IoT.mil.’ We have graduated to how and when, to warfighters ready to field and train. Consequently, ABMS is graduating to its next phase with demonstrations run by our chief architect and fielding by our integrating PEO.”

The reorganization takes place immediately. The RCO will be responsible for the ABMS acquisition strategy and integrating all ABMS capabilities for delivery to operational users.

“It’s time to move from start-up to scale-up on ABMS. Given the rapid nature of development and the span across the Air Force and Space Force, the RCO is the right place to integrate the development of ABMS products at scale,” Dunlap said. “This is a necessary move to allow one high-performance team to focus on setting the architecture while another focuses on execution and fielding.”

The RCO has routinely been the department’s “go-to” for top-priority acquisitions; it is designed to expedite development and fielding of capabilities and leverages defense-wide technology development and existing operational capabilities to support immediate and near-term warfighter needs.

“ABMS is a challenge unlike any other in the Department of Defense. Both cross-cutting and continually-adapting capabilities challenge the stove-piped acquisition system: an ‘IoT.mil’ must be both,” Roper said. “Working with our chief architect, I am confident the RCO will take our present software momentum to the next level.”

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