Less than a day after the House voted overwhelmingly on a National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that eliminates his job, Frank Kendall – now potentially the last Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics – is relatively calm about the change.
“Oh, that part. Everybody fixates on that. I’m less worried about that than I am other things,” Kendall said Saturday after an appearance at the Reagan National Defense Forum, held outside of Los Angeles.
That would seem confusing to those who have seen Kendall warning, over the last year, about the damage eliminating the AT&L office could have. But at the end of the day, a change made in conference to the NDAA apparently put many of Kendall’s fears to rest.
The original reform language, put forth from the Senate Armed Services Committee in May, would have split AT&L into two offices: a new undersecretary of defense for research and engineering, or USD(R&E), and the renamed undersecretary of management and support, or USD(M&S). However, the final language somewhat tweaks that, instead creating an undersecretary for acquisition and sustainment (AT&S), and a new undersecretary for research and engineering (R&E), essentially a chief technology officer.
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