Hundreds of corporations profit directly from the Pentagon’s global wars. Understanding information about the Pentagon’s acquisition process is crucial to establishing and maintaining an informed citizenry. Using this guide, citizens can break down and decipher Department of Defense (DOD) contracts as an act of education, empowerment, or resistance.
The general format of a DOD contract involves:
NAME OF CORPORATION, City, State, has been awarded a $—,—,— [TYPE of] contract for PRODUCT. Contractor will provide … [further details, often quite obscure, esoteric, or cloudy]. Work will be performed in City, State. Work is expected to be completed by Month, Day, Year. These types of funds are being allocated. This unit is the contracting activity [a.k.a. what DOD authority arranged for the purchase].
The main corporations supporting DOD are: Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Textron, and United Technologies. Other frequent contributors include: BAE Systems, CACI, Exelis, General Atomics, General Dynamics, General Electric, Honeywell, Huntington Ingalls, Jacobs Engineering, L3, Orbital ATK, Rockwell Collins, Rolls Royce, and SAIC. Hundreds of other corporations, big and small, cover the landscape.
DOD employs many different contract types. They have fancy names, which vary depending on: whether or how they can be adjusted at a later date; the quantity of the product involved; the product’s delivery schedule; and anticipated price fluctuations. Examples of contract types include: firm-fixed-price; firm-fixed-price with economic adjustment; firm-fixed-fee; cost-plus-fixed-fee; and indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity. For thorough elaboration, consult the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR).
Exorbitant initial costs worry the taxpayer. Subsequent costs are tacked on later in…