Defense returns some programs to Air Force control

The Defense Department has returned control of 10 major acquisition programs to the Air Force after 10 months of being under the control of the undersecretary of Defense for acquisition, technology and logistics.

Twenty-one programs were temporarily redesignated in March 2005 as acquisition category 1D buys, requiring the undersecretary's approval.

Pentagon spokeswoman Cheryl Irwin denied at the time that the move was connected to procurement problems that arose in programs overseen by former Air Force acquisition executive Darleen Druyun.

Druyun is the former principal deputy assistant Air Force secretary for acquisition and management who later became a vice president at Boeing Co.

She was convicted in 2004 of conspiring with Boeing's chief financial officer to help the company win a multibillion-dollar airplane leasing contract. At her sentencing, Druyun said she had given the company preferential treatment for years while she worked for the Air Force.

Michael Wynne, then the Defense undersecretary for acquisition who took on oversight responsibility, said at the time, '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 was confirmed as secretary of the Air Force in November and is up to speed on the programs and 'milestone decision authority' for them falls under him.

Stan Soloway of the Professional Services Council said Wynne's appointment was probably the key to returning control of the programs to the Air Force.

'I certainly didn't expect a major overhaul [of Air Force acquisitions] because so many of the problems they had were personality driven, rather than organizational,' Soloway said. 'I didn't see the need for fundamental restructuring.'

As for the 11 programs that remain under control of Kenneth Krieg, who took over as Defense undersecretary for acquisition, technology and logistics when Wynne was elevated to the Air Force post, Irwin said today that they 'are currently under review.' She had no information regarding when the review would be completed.

The programs returned to Air Force acquisition authority include:
  • Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile

  • B-2 Radar Modernization Program

  • C-5 Aircraft Reliability Enhancement and Reengineering Program

  • Globemaster III Advanced Cargo Aircraft

  • C-130 Aircraft Avionics Modernization Program

  • Hercules Cargo Aircraft

  • Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles

  • Joint Direct Attack Munition

  • Joint Primary Aircraft Training System and the

  • National Airspace System.

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