In January 2006, the Deputy Secretary of Defense tasked the Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology & Logistics) to “…..design a new institution to exploit effectively our ‘Fifth Force Provider’, the private sector.”* Simultaneously, a series of Government Accounting Office (GAO) reports alleging mismanagement, abuse, and fraud culminated in Congress passing legislation in the National Defense Authorization Act mandating that DoD address contract support and contractor management on the battlefield.
In October 2006, the then Deputy Under Secretary of Defense Logistics and Materiel Readiness, DUSD (L&MR), established a new office — Program Support — to address these issues and establish a program management approach to operational-level contract support. Recognizing the issues with contract support, integration, and contractor management, the Department implemented significant policy and doctrinal changes. In 2007, the Department’s attention refocused on improving private security contractor policies, standards, and implementing compliance controls. The need for improved operational contract management and visibility of all defense contractors on the battlefield was reinforced, and interagency cooperation, coupled with preparation of the non-acquisition military community for contracting duties, became additional priority areas.
Where are We Now
Today the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Program Support) provides oversight and program management to orchestrate, synchronize, and integrate contingency acquisition planning and its operational execution in the Department of Defense. The staff includes a combination of government civilians and military officers, augmented by contractor support.
The Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Program Support) serves as the principal advisor to senior leaders within the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) on all matters pertaining to Operational Contract Support (OCS), contingency program management, policy, Operational Logistics and support to Geographic Combatant Commands (excluding TRANSCOM), and efforts to promote military effectiveness, interagency cooperation, efficiency, economy, and standardization. He is responsible for developing and maintaining a comprehensive policy framework and program support governing logistics and support operations, contractor planning, management and execution during combat, humanitarian, and disaster relief operations. He is also responsible for developing and publishing federal regulations regarding the use of Private Security Contractors (PSCs) in overseas operations.
Organization and Function Chart: (Click Here)
Deputy Secretary of Defense Memorandum, January 22, 2006