Defense

January 17, 2014

AF acquisition chief nominee testifies

Dr. William A. LaPlante smiles for an official photo. LaPlante is the principal deputy, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force (Acquisition), Washington, D.C.

Dr. Bill LaPlante testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee Jan. 16 during his nomination hearing to be the next assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition.

“I’ve spent over 28 years around systems technologies, acquisition programs; touching all aspects of those programs for all services,” he said. “This experience along with my time on the Defense Science Board offers firsthand impressions of Defense acquisition.”

Many of those years were spent at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md., and eight more spent as the department head for the University’s Global Engagement Department before moving to MITRE as the Missile Defense Portfolio director.

“In all that time I’ve formed impressions and opinions on the challenges of acquisition,” LaPlante said. “I come from a community that desperately wants to make a difference; a community that wants to find the game changing technology needed by the warfighter and get it into production; a community that wants to invent a clever way to do contracting so that we finish a development contract on time — I come from a community that just wants to make a difference.”

During the hearing, LaPlante was questioned by committee members on the time it takes to develop and field weapon systems, the importance of science and technology investment and how to speed up cyber acquisition.

In his response on the importance of science and technology during a drawdown he highlighted how the U.S. military has used technological superiority as an advantage in all conflicts and that the military must continue research or risk losing the advantage.

On cyber acquisition, LaPlante stressed the service must learn what the vulnerabilities are in our weapon systems and work to reduce risks, a task that may sound simple but is actually very difficult. He said resiliency must be built into systems but the time required to design and acquire a weapons system makes that difficult.

“A problem two years ago is not a problem today, and what’s a problem today we couldn’t have imagined two years ago,” LaPlante said. “So, anything that will help us build resiliency and get the compliance part of the system to be much quicker would be very helpful.”

If confirmed, LaPlante will follow Sue Payton who left the position in April 2009. LaPlante currently serves as the principal deputy, assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Air Force photograph by MSgt. J. Scott Wilcox

Aerial target QF-16 takes to the sky

Air Force photograph by MSgt. J. Scott Wilcox The first unmanned QF-16 Viper struck down over the Gulf of Mexico Sept. 5, 2014, was part of a joint effort between the Test and Training Division at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., an...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SSgt. Annie Edwards, Utah Air National Guard

DRAGON ‘fires up’ for flight

Air Force photograph by SSgt. Annie Edwards, Utah Air National Guard A NATO E-3A AWACS aircraft approaches a Utah Air National Guard KC-135R Stratotanker for air refueling during a training exercise over Germany in May 2014. Th...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Ethan Wagner

C-17 treads into new territory

Air Force photograph by Ethan Wagner A C-17 Globemaster III performs a wet-runway performance test Aug. 20, 2014, on the flightline at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. Since Dunlop Tire was selected as the replacement tire for th...
 

 
Air Force photograph by SrA. Damon Kasberg

C-17 crew gets Army Strykers into the ‘fight’

Air Force photograph by SrA. Damon Kasberg An Army Stryker assigned to the 2nd Cavalry Regiment, off loads from a C-17 Globemaster III in support of Steadfast Javelin II on Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Sept. 4, 2014. Steadfast J...
 
 
Navy photograph

Navy integrates common software into next-generation unmanned carrier-based system

Navy photograph Navy flight test pilot demonstrates functionality of new software for the future Unmanned Carrier-Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike system at the program’s Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md. lab...
 
 
Air Force photograph by TSgt. Christopher Marasky

Investing in the Army’s future

Army photograph An M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, or HIMARS, fires a missile downrange. The U.S. Army vision for lethality science and technology investment is to enable overmatch in weapon systems for both offensi...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>