Middle Tier of Acquisition (MTA)

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System Operation & Sustainment (O&S)

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Each page in this pathway presents a wealth of curated knowledge from acquisition policies, guides, templates, training, reports, websites, case studies, and other resources. It also provides a framework for functional experts and practitioners across DoD to contribute to the collective knowledge base. This site aggregates official DoD policies, guides, references, and more.

DoD and Service policy is indicated by a BLUE vertical line.

Directly quoted material is preceeded with a link to the Reference Source.



Reference Source: DODI 5000.80, Paragraph 3.2.d


Lifecycle Cost, Logistics Support, and Interoperability. DoD Components will develop a process for considering lifecycle costs and address issues of logistics support and training; system, joint, and coalition interoperability; and planning for cooperative opportunities, to include foreign sales. This process will result in a tailored lifecycle sustainment plan

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Reference Source: Guidance from ASD(Sustainment), 2019
An effective and affordable product support solution integrates the system requirements, product support elements, and available funding, in a solution appropriate for the specific system while actively managing risk.  The PM and PSM should utilize analysis, creativity, and critical thinking to determine the details of their support solution.  The OSD Life Cycle Sustainment Plan (LCSP) outline can help.  It includes a number of areas to consider in order to “tailor-in” effective and affordable sustainment planning.

Reference Source: Guidance from ASD(Sustainment), Jan 2020

Fielding of capability will satisfy completion of an MTA effort however part of the transition strategy to operations should include a process for not only maintaining capability but allowing for technology insertion and refresh opportunities. Tailored ILAs (based on core concepts associated with operational readiness and cost outcomes as defined in the product support package) provide an opportunity to either revalidate the product support package objectives are being met or augment the existing strategy as needed based on the facts are they are presented.


Independent Logistics Assessments (ILAs)

Reference Source: Guidance from ASD(Sustainment), Jan 2020
(Based on DAG Chapter 4- content, Jan 2020)

Independent Logistics Assessments (ILAs) offer programs and their respective Services an opportunity to evaluate the effectiveness of sustainment plans. Results of ILAs should be used to adjust the product support strategy as needed to ensure sustainment requirements can be met and O&S Costs remain affordable.

See the Logistics Assessment Guidebook for more information.


Sustainment Data

Reference Source: Guidance from ASD(Sustainment), Jan 2020
(Based on DAG Chapter 4-4.2 content, Jan 2020)

While rapidly deploying and sustaining capability to the Warfighter are the most essential goals of rapid acquisitions, PMs should ensure contractors have in place processes and procedures to collect sustainment data for the capability, primarily focused on contractor actions, workload, and resources necessary to ensure asset availability. This requires the PM to apply critical thinking to determine what data collection is feasible given the mission, location, access, and operating environment. The collection of sustainment data is useful for the duration of the immediate mission, as it gives the PM insight into needed improvements in both system performance and supportability, such as for training, spares, technical data, operating software, support equipment, and maintenance.

For capabilities that continue in the current contingency or transition to a program of record, operational sustainment data supports the product support strategy, including development of the Integrated Product Support elements. This data informs performance and sustainment metrics, requests for proposals, and contracts. It also helps identify critical reliability, availability, and maintainability improvements for the current configuration. Sustainment data also provides critical information for the sustainment analyses to determine the system’s product support strategy through public, private, or hybrid Product Support Arrangements (PSAs).

DoD Component Guidance

Note that DoD Component MTA Implementation policies and guidance are currently being updated to be consistent with the newly published DODI 5000.80 (effective 30 Dec 2019). 

Air Force




Reference Source: USSOCOM Middle Tier Acquisition Authorities and Guidance, 1 Aug 2018

Logistics Management: The PSM is equally responsible for a successful F&DR or CF&DR decision before fielding and must develop an appropriately tailored Life Cycle Sustainment Plan as part of the SAMP for the capability prior to fielding.

Additional Resources