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Title: Analysis of the Acquisition Approach for the Next-Generation Special Operations Forces Personal Equipment Advanced Requirements (SPEAR) Loadout for SEALs
Authors: Michael Zecca
Keywords: Special Operations Forces Personal Equipment Advanced Requirements (SPEAR)
USTRANSCOM Acquisition (US)
Acquisition Strategy
Special Operations Forces (SOF)
Body Armor
Issue Date: 1-Dec-2022
Publisher: Acquisition Research Program
Citation: Published--Unlimited Distribution
Series/Report no.: Acquisition Management;NPS-AM-23-001
Abstract: Special Operations Forces Personal Equipment Advanced Requirements (SPEAR) is the U.S. Special Operations Command’s program for outfitting Special Operations Forces with advanced clothing and equipment. However, a 2021 survey indicated that much SPEAR gear goes unused, and a majority of U.S. Navy sea, air, and land (SEAL) operators personally procure commercial gear to supplement their loadout. This study examines two of the 10 functional areas of Naval Special Warfare’s (NSW) next-generation SPEAR loadout, the Load Carriage System and Body Armor Vest, to determine user adherence (gear utilization), the amount of gear SEALs personally procure, and whether the new SPEAR loadout is reducing SEALs’ out-of-pocket expenses. Quantitative extrapolations from an electronic fielding questionnaire revealed that while the new loadout has mostly favorable user adherence, it has a 58% projected cost-efficiency, which equates to $1.6 million in unused gear. Additionally, experienced SEALs spent close to $3,000 on personally procured gear, on average, in 2022 dollars. The new loadout will reduce out-of-pocket expenses for 34% of SEALs, showing recent program improvement, yet over two-thirds of SEALs still feel SPEAR does not meet operational requirements. Recommendations for modification to NSW’s acquisition strategy include transferring a portion of SPEAR sustainment funding to SEALs in the form of an advanced equipment allowance to minimize SEALs’ out-of-pocket expenses and reduce waste.
Description: Acquisition Management / Graduate Student Research
Appears in Collections:NPS Graduate Student Theses & Reports

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
NPS-AM-23-001.pdfStudent Thesis2.12 MBAdobe PDFView/Open
Final Research Poster Student Zecca.pdfStudent Research Poster1.16 MBAdobe PDFView/Open

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