Headquarters Space and Missile Systems Center (AFMC)

Los Angeles Air Force Base, Ca 90245

AFMC Field Activity Management Policy


This regulation provides the policies and objectives governing the management, selection, application and purchase of space quality parts, materials, and processes (PMP) for use in high reliability space systems (e.g., satellites, boosters, and upper stages).


SMC has developed high reliability PMP practices to minimize test and mission failures due to parts, materials, and processes. A comprehensive management program which integrates criteria for design, reliability, selection, application, procurement, control, and standardization of parts, materials and processes is the basis of this policy. DOD acquisition practices as we know them today are evolving and will continue to change with the thrust towards increased and integrated use of "best commercial practices", including selected use of commercial specifications and standards. The foundation of this commander's policy and the SMC PMP management and technical process is the implementation of a jointly developed Government/industry Space Parts Strategic Plan implemented through the discipline of the Integrated Management Framework process.

The Space Parts Strategic Plan identifies eight major objective areas for improving the quality, reliability, availability and cost effectiveness of parts, materials and processes for the U.S. space community. The predominant thrust of the strategy is to remove obstacles currently preventing contractors and suppliers from doing business in a consistent manner as a "single factory" while at the same time enhancing the technical base and practices that support high reliability products. The strategy provides system manufacturers and suppliers the latitude to manage their product lines in the most efficient, effective and timely manner. The plan endorses and actively promotes the establishment of qualified product programs, such as the Qualified Manufacturer's Line Program (QML) which integrate "best commercial practices" into military acquisitions. It recognizes that military budgets will not sustain unique product or process lines -- and that practices developed and implemented for commercial applications must be utilized by the military when they accomplish military performance and reliability objectives. Several elements of the plan establish processes for discriminating between acceptable and unacceptable commercial practices and allow for the universal application across all space programs.


a. SMC space programs (satellite, launch vehicle and upper stages) will establish and apply PMP management and technical practices which support and accomplish the objectives detailed in the Space Parts Strategic Plan and the content of this policy. Requests for proposals (RFPs), technical requirements documents (TRDs), statements of work (SOWs), system specifications, and contract management and administration practices will be in concert with the provisions and objectives of the plan.

b. SMC System Program office's, including Program Executive Officer (PEO) designated programs, will assist (acquisition/engineering feedback) the Directorate of Program Management and SMC Chief Engineer to establish and improve PMP acquisition management and engineering practices.


The following elements represent principles which shall be fundamental to all SMC PMP programs. System Program Offices and supporting contractors will develop and apply contracting and management techniques which establish and implement:

- a contract and program management framework facilitating application of common Air Force and NASA PMP management and technical practices, promoting contractor optimization of in-house procurement, production and test operations, which can be applied across all space system (e.g., military, NASA, commercial) programs.

- parts procurement practices facilitating availability of cost effective, timely space quality products through application of "best commercial practices" and the use of the Qualified Manufacturing Line (QML) Program.

- optimized data sharing and communication within the space community

- improved availability of radiation hardened parts by applying cost effective technical practices for achieving radiation hardness assurance (RHA).

- a process to integrate state of the art product and process technologies into space system design and manufacture.


The objectives stated above and in the strategic plan are broad and not intended to dictate specific methodologies and practices to our SPO's. However, in order to establish cost effective, proven acquisition practices and a responsive industrial infrastructure within our industry we must apply practices consistent with the above.


Brigadier General, USAF