SOCOM Rolls Out New Software Program Office.

Special Operations Command is standing up a new office solely geared toward software acquisition.

Col. Paul Weizer, special operations forces digital applications program executive officer, said the new organization will tackle the unique difficulties of acquiring software. Obtaining such technology does not fall under traditional weapons acquisition rules and timelines, which can sometimes take seven to 10 years to field, he noted.

"In software, that's just not tenable," he said during the National Defense Industrial Association's annual Special Operations Forces Industry Conference, which was held virtually this year due to COVID-19 safety concerns. "We've always kind of procured software as a square peg into a round hole trying to apply the appropriate rule set."

The new office was slated to be chartered in June and will assist other SOCOM program executive offices in their development processes for digital products, he noted. Major software-intensive programs, such as the distributed common ground system-SOF and acquisition management system, will be moved under the new office's jurisdiction. According to Weizer's presentation slides, it will be headquartered in Tampa, Florida, and have multiple satellite program offices.

The organization is expected to reach initial operating capability by the end of the summer.


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