How is EXPANSIA deploying technology faster? In last month’s article, we dove into additive manufacturing and its clear advantages, and how EXPANSIA is in the frontlines of the movement. This month, we discussed the most important resource any nation can have: people. Improving on current technology is essential to strengthening the United States defense, but that is impossible without the minds behind creating the new solutions. EXPANSIA’s work with the Acquisition Instructor Course (AQIC) is developing the future potential for the Air Force and entire the defense industry, because we know there are times when the best investment we can make is building up the young people who will shape the future.
We had the opportunity to interview Jake Sabin, who is the Director of Dayton Operations at EXPANSIA on Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. His team supports the Air Force Institute of Technology Department of Systems and Logistics (AFIT/LS) as well as the Air Force Materiel Command (AFMC) in a student training capacity. AFMC is the leader in acquisitions for the Air Force. It has been designated as the owning command for AQIC, and is a major proponent of the course and its future successes. Sabin personally supports the curriculum development and provides instruction for the AQIC as a subcontractor to KBR, Inc.
AQIC began in 2019 as a Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force (VCSAF) initiative focused on developing the acquisition corps through various forms and phases of instruction, and the Vice Chief of Space Operations (VCSO) for the Space Force has since become an equal advocate of the AQIC program. “The ultimate goal,” Sabin says, “is to train graduates to become a conduit between tactical operators in the AF and our acquisition community. This synergy will ‘accelerate the kill chain’ between what is needed and the speed at which it is delivered. AQIC graduates are expected to gain an operational knowledge of Program Management, Contracting, System Engineering, Logistics, and Financial Management to help close the gap on the sometimes-lengthy acquisition cycle.” AQIC models itself after the Air Force Weapons School (AFWS) and strives to provide similar amounts of rigor and discipline expected from a weapon school graduate.
The AQIC course is broken down into five phases. “Our team is actively creating and revising curriculum as they are taught to the initial students that attend. The first phase is very rigorous for the students, as they are taught each function of the acquisition team and quizzed daily on the prior day’s lessons,” Sabin explains. Subsequent phases consist of focused areas in the acquisition lifecycle: power of money, digital enterprise and software in acquisitions, integration and cyberspace, space acquisitions, industry and test, and sustainment and depot. “We expect the students to devote ten to twelve hour days spent in class, conducting research for written evaluations and formal briefings alike.”
EXPANSIA provides skilled resources in fields of technology and software acquisition for our instructors at Dayton to lean on when creating and delivering lessons on technology and software acquisitions. Our work with the AQIC is part of how we deploy technology faster because much of the AQIC curriculum is dedicated to delivering technology to the operators before it is obsolete. After all, technology is a quick-moving industry and it’s important to be on top of our game.
“The future of AQIC is bright, and challenging,” says Sabin. “EXPANSIA’s talented workforce has always been ahead of the curve in the technology field, and willing to provide key insight to the AQIC team. We will validate the course in FY22 and continue to shape the Air Force’s acquisition workforce through this difficult and realistic training.”
The true measure of our success, according to Sabin, will be measured as graduates o
f the AQIC course move on to demonstrate their skills and abilities in the competitive world of defense technology. His team of instructors have high expectations of their students, and expect they will be key figures to pioneer new and innovative strategies that will shape the future of the United States.