Published Dec 23, 2002
Today, the President has authorized the Department of Defense to assist Santa with the Twelve Days of Christmas. The status of acquisitions follows:
Day 1- Partridge in a pear tree:
The Army and Air Force are in the Process of deciding whose area of responsibility Day 1 falls under. Since the partridge is a bird, the Air Force believes it should have the lead. The Army, however, feels that trees are part of the Land Component Command's area of responsibility. After three months of discussion and repeated OpsDeps Tank sessions, a $1M study has been commissioned to decide who should lead this joint program.
Day 2 - Two turtle doves:
Since doves are birds, the Air Force again claims responsibility. However, turtles are amphibious, so the Navy-Marine Corps team feels it should take the lead. Initial studies have shown that Turtles and doves may have significant interoperability problems. Terms of reference are being coordinated for a four-year, $10M DARPA study.
Day 3 - Three French Hens:
At State Department instigation, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has blocked all off-shore purchase of hens, from the French or anyone else. A $6M program is being developed to find an acceptable domestic alternative.
Day 4 - Four Calling Birds:
Source selection has been completed, with the contract awarded to AT&T. However, the award is being challenged by a Small Disadvantaged Business.
Day 5 - Five Golden Rings:
No available rings meet MILSPEC for gold plating. A three-year, $5M accelerated development program has been initiated.
Day 6 - Six Geese a-Laying:
The six geese have been acquired. However, the shells of their eggs seem to be very fragile. It might have been a mistake to build the production facility on a nuclear waste dump at a former Air Force base that was closed under BRAC.
Day 7 - Seven Swans a-Swimming:
So far, twenty swans have been killed trying to get through the Navy SEAL training program. This program has now been put on hold while the training procedures are reviewed to determine why the washout rate for swans is so high.
Day 8 - Eight Maids a-Milking:
The entire class of lactating maids in the milking training program at Aberdeen is presently involved in a sexual harassment suit against the Army. The program has been put on hold pending the resolution of this lawsuit.
Day 9 - Nine Ladies Dancing:
Recruitment of dancing ladies has been halted by a lawsuit from the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell Association." Members claim they have a right to dance and wear women's clothing as long as they're off duty.
Day 10 - Ten Lords a-Leaping:
The ten lords have been abducted by terrorists. Congress has approved $2M in funding to conduct a rescue operation. Army Special Forces and a USMC MEU(SOC) are conducting a "NEO-off" competition for the right to rescue.
Day 11 - Eleven Pipers Piping:
The pipe contractor delivered the pipes on time. However, he thought DoD wanted smoking pipes. DoD lost the claim due to defective specifications. A $22M dollar retrofit program is in process to bring the pipes into spec, where they can be properly utilized on Blackhawk helicopter engines.
Day 12 - Twelve Drummers Drumming:
Due to cutbacks, only six billets are available for drumming drummers. DoD is in the process of coordinating an RFP to obtain the six additional drummers by outsourcing; however, funds will not be available until FY 05. Program will proceed by reducing the frequency of drumming, commencing in the forth quarter of FY03.
As a result of the above-mentioned programmatic delays, and due to a High OPTEMPO that requires diversion of modernization funds to support current readiness, Christmas is hereby postponed until further notice.
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