The Pentagon’s buyer-in-chief, who aims to improve overall military acquisition by mimicking its non-traditional weapons shops, is about to get some major help. That’s because the president today nominated Will Roper, the founding director of the secretive Strategic Capabilities Office, to become the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition.
Created in 2012, SCO helps the services modify existing arms and gear to produce “surprising new capabilities,” as then-Defense Secretary Ash Carter put it. Its best-known success stories are swarming Perdix micro-drones and an altered SM-6 missile that could sink ships.
Roper’s office — or perhaps, Roper himself — drew the eye of Ellen Lord, Trump’s first defense undersecretary for acquisition, technology and logistics. Last month, Lord brought him along to a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on acquisition reform, and pointed him out as she answered senators’ questions about her plans to speed up military purchasing.
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