U.S. Army to go Off The Shelf for Handguns?

The United States Army, as well as most government agencies, is totally overburdened with purchasing regulations. This well known fact is a well known but sad joke in the Department of Defense. From this over regulated process is how we wind up with $500 hammers and $1000 dollar toilet seats. In this handgun case alone, the Army’s Chief of Staff, General Mark Milley, has proposed to save hundreds of millions of dollars in just one off the shelf purchase. We need more of this type of leadership at all levels of government.

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Army chief says he’ll fix ‘ridiculous’ handgun acquisition

By Jared Serbu at Federal News Radio

Emboldened by legislation that gives the military service chiefs a bigger role in the DoD acquisition process, Gen. Mark Milley said last week that he intends to “rip apart” the plodding procurement of a new service pistol for the Army, saying it’s “ridiculous” that what ought to have been a commercial off-the-shelf acquisition has dragged on for years.

Milley, the Army’s chief of staff, said his service will arrive at decisions within a matter of weeks on a new way forward for the Modular Handgun System, which has been in the works — formally, at least — since 2011. Thus far, the estimated $580 million procurement has involved a requirements document totaling more than 360 pages and a testing process slated to take two years in order to replace the 9mm Beretta pistol soldiers have been using since the mid-1980s.

“We’re going to deliver in short order,” Milley told the Senate Armed Services Committee last Thursday. “We’re going to make it right for the soldiers and the taxpayer and make sure that we get a new handgun. The system’s been very frustrating in the sense of lots of paperwork, lots of bureaucracy, ridiculous amounts of time: two years of testing and $17 million to do a test. We’re just ripping that all apart and we’re going to make it better.”

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