USAF Acquisition Lead Candidate names software and IT as top priorities – FCW

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Defense

USAF Acquisition Lead Candidate Names Software, IT As Top Priorities

Improving the way the service acquires software and computer systems, while making DevSecOps the standard, is a top priority in choosing the Biden administration to be the Air Force’s primary weapon buyer.

“There is a clear need today to adapt our processes to enable better software acquisition and better cybersecurity,” Andrew Hunter, the White House candidate for Deputy Secretary of the Air Force, told Senators. acquisition, technology and logistics. its confirmation hearing on Oct. 5, testifying that “cybersecurity works best when you build it into design.”

“We need to approach the acquisition of software-intensive software and systems, which provide many of the new advanced capabilities for our military, from a different perspective with alternative approaches and alternative tools,” said Hunter. before the Senate Armed Forces Committee.

Hunter’s comments come in the wake of the resignation of the Air Force’s first head of software, Nicolas Chaillan. Senator Mike Rounds (RS.D.) said that Chaillan’s departure “highlighted growing concern and frustration over the lack of investment in new technologies to enable joint command and control,” as well as workforce challenges to “recruit and retain talent in critical positions”. ”

Rounds asked Hunter how to address Chaillan’s concerns, adding that the current procurement process and bureaucracy “limits innovation today.”

Hunter, who was previously a senior researcher at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said if confirmed, he plans to focus on deciphering acquisition pilots and working authorities, as well as strengthening and educate the workforce on tools such as other transaction authorities.

“This is just the case when you are acquiring software at the rate of the evolution of this technology, our systems which were designed for a more industrial type development approach are really struggling to do that”, Hunter said.

Hunter also noted that developing business IT systems is an integral part of every department and that lessons learned need to be shared. Part of achieving this goal was to work with the Air Force CIO and other departments “on ways to harness innovation in software development, including the institutionalization of DevSecOps to resolve issues. security issues early in the development lifecycle of our systems “.

But the main IT priority remains software acceleration: “The Air Force Department’s approach to acquiring software and software-intensive systems should allow these systems to be regularly upgraded in a matter of weeks. and months, not years, ”Hunter wrote.

About the Author

Lauren C. Williams is a senior editor for FCW and Defense Systems, covering defense and cybersecurity.

Prior to joining FCW, Williams was a tech reporter for ThinkProgress, where she covered everything from internet culture to national security issues. In previous positions, Williams has covered healthcare, politics, and crime for various publications, including the Seattle Times.

Williams holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park and a bachelor’s degree in dietetics from the University of Delaware. She can be contacted at [email protected], or follow her on Twitter @lalaurenista.

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