Pentagon takes over 21 major Air Force buys

The Defense Department has temporarily taken over 21 Air Force projects worth more than $200 billion.

Michael Wynne, undersecretary of Defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, said the projects include the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle program, Joint Primary Aircraft Training System, Navstar Global Positioning System and Transformational Communications Satellite program. Several of the buys have extensive IT components.

'This action is not a punitive one, rather it is meant to assist the Air Force by overseeing and providing advice on important Air Force programs during a time of transition,' Wynne said in a statement.

The service has no permanent secretary or acquisition chief.

Previously, Defense officials designated the projects as acquisition category 1C, meaning the Air Force's acquisition chief had authority to approve actions.

But the department said it has redesignated them as 1D buys, requiring the undersecretary's approval.

Pentagon spokeswoman Cheryl Irwin said the move is not connected to procurement problems that have arisen in programs overseen by former Air Force acquisition manager Darleen Druyun.
Druyun was convicted last year of conspiring with Boeing Co.'s chief financial officer to help the company win a multibillion-dollar airplane-leasing contract.

In his statement, Wynne said there is no set time frame for the temporary shift in acquisition authority. He has asked the Air Force to provide within 15 days a list for each program that details all significant program and milestone decisions expected over the next six months.

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