Editor’s observe: This tale was current July 16, 2021, at 4:15 p.m. EST with information and facts on the official announcement of the nominations.
President Joe Biden on Friday introduced he would nominate Andrew Hunter, a very well-recognized defense market specialist, to provide as the Air Force’s next acquisition manager.
Air Power Moments broke the information of Hunter’s selection ahead of the White Dwelling announcement on Friday afternoon. If verified by the Senate, Hunter would grow to be assistant Air Drive secretary for acquisition, technologies and logistics amid a important drive to modernize the service’s plane and weaponry.
“He is 1 of the authentic defense acquisition industry experts/industry experts in this town,” claimed John Hamre, CEO and president of the Centre for Strategic and Global Scientific studies, the Washington believe tank where Hunter functions. “Lots of people speak about it, but extremely couple are real industry experts. He is one particular.”
Hunter directs the defense-industrial initiatives group at CSIS and is a senior fellow in its international protection software. A former Pentagon senior executive and Capitol Hill staffer, his do the job focuses on industrial base coverage, trade and modern technologies.
Extensive an outside observer of Air Force procurement, Hunter could shortly oversee its hardware and software portfolio really worth extra than $60 billion. Chief among the those applications will be the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, B-21 Raider bomber, KC-46 Pegasus tanker and a number of nuclear weapons initiatives. Pandemic-era finances constraints guarantee to complicate efforts to execute a substantial approaching expending approach.
He will probably build on previous Air Pressure acquisition chief Will Roper’s initiatives to streamline improvement, introduce digital equipment and infrastructure like synthetic intelligence and cloud computing, and embrace nontraditional associates like Silicon Valley.
Hunter landed the nomination because of his previous work with Frank Kendall, the former Pentagon acquisition chief who is Biden’s choose for Air Power secretary, and the qualifications he has garnered in and out of governing administration, according to the White Home formal.
Colleagues describe him as a very low-important, mild expert who excels at listening to his team. He and Kendall operate nicely alongside one another and will be ready to hit the floor operating at a crucial time of year for protection policymaking and paying out conclusions, colleagues mentioned.
The United States “needs more Andrews” — persons who are masters of their craft without getting showy, claimed Rosa Brooks, a Georgetown University regulation professor and former counselor to Pentagon plan main Michèle Flournoy. Hunter and Brooks labored jointly on Biden’s informal protection plan crew through his 2020 presidential run.
Hunter obtained his start out in army acquisition concerns as a Dwelling staffer from 1994 to 2011, rising from a military legislative assistant to former South Carolina Democratic Rep. John Spratt, Jr., to a experienced employees member dealing with acquisition plan for the Household Armed Products and services Committee.
That practical experience will come in helpful as the Air Power negotiates with Congress on its foreseeable future inventory, specialists said.
“Many in Congress remain skeptical of these [Advanced Battle Management System and Next-Generation Air Dominance] attempts and anxiety that the Air Pressure is heading to squander income on striving to establish slicing-edge technologies that in no way mature or conduct as envisioned,” famous Stacie Pettyjohn, a senior fellow and protection plan director at the Center for a New American Stability.
In 2011, Hunter joined the Obama administration as chief of employees to previous Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Kendall through their respective tenures as undersecretary of protection for acquisition, technological innovation and logistics.
He also ran the Joint Quick Acquisition Mobile, a unit focused on receiving efficient technology into the subject a lot quicker, prior to signing up for CSIS in 2014.
Hunter served on the Defense Office landing group in the course of the transition concerning the Biden and Trump administrations final wintertime as very well.
He is the 3rd man or woman tapped by the Biden administration to fill a senior function in the Air Pressure so considerably, soon after Kendall and undersecretary nominee Gina Ortiz Jones. Neither have been verified by the Senate yet.
A number of other Air Force secretariat positions are nevertheless awaiting a nominee, like the job of assistant secretary for room acquisition and integration — Hunter’s would-be counterpart for the Space Force.
Hunter awaits a nomination listening to with the Senate Armed Companies Committee as a dozen of Biden’s other countrywide protection picks are stalled in the confirmation method. The White Dwelling has tapped 26 persons, such as Hunter, for vital DoD civilian work opportunities so significantly, but only 6 have been confirmed. Sixty-one of the Pentagon’s top rated civilian posts call for Senate confirmation.
Brooks doesn’t foresee Hunter will hit any hurdles to confirmation. She thinks he can retain his amazing if it will become a slog, noting that he never misplaced his feeling of humor for the duration of a taxing 2020 presidential marketing campaign.
“That’s not generally quick to do,” she said.
Rachel Cohen joined Air Power Situations as senior reporter in March 2021. Her function has appeared in Air Force Magazine, Within Protection, Inside Health and fitness Coverage, the Frederick News-Put up (Md.), the Washington Publish, and other folks.