Armed services chairman will push for faster IT development

Armed services chairman will push for faster IT development

Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) was chosen last night to be the new chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. He vowed to improve the 'speed of bureaucracy' by bringing new technologies to the warfighter faster.

'We live in an age in which technology is improving dramatically,' Hunter said today during a press conference. 'It's very important that we take new technology and get it to the R&D process and procurement process very quickly. We haven't seen that in the past.'

The threat of war could be the impetus to accelerate the rollout of innovative technologies, Hunter said. For example, during the conflict in Bosnia, the Predator unmanned aerial vehicle was brought into battle with remarkable results, even before it had finished testing.

Later, Hunter said, the Predator failed testing. Telling a commander of the failure, Hunter said the commander responded: 'You send me some more of those failures.'

Other plans for the committee will include modernizing the military, rolling out more precision munitions and ensuring that soldiers are well compensated, Hunter said.

He also plans to restructure the committee into six subcommittees:

  • Tactical Air and Land Forces will be responsible for Army and Air Force acquisition programs, Navy and Marine Corps aviation programs, National Guard and Army and Air Force reserve modernization, and ammunition programs.

  • Readiness will handle military readiness, training, logistics and maintenance programs.

  • Terrorism, Unconventional Threats and Capabilities will be responsible for Defense counterterrorism programs, Special Operations Forces, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, IT policy and programs, force protection policy and oversight, and intelligence support.

  • Total Force will handle military personnel policy, employment, health care, education and POW/MIA issues.

  • Strategic Forces will oversee space programs, ballistic missile defense and Energy Department national security programs.

  • Projection Forces will be responsible for Navy and Marine Corps programs'except for IT accounts'deep strike bombers and related systems.

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