Interview: DoD Undersecretary for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics

Posted September 23, 2014 at 9:10am

Defense News interviews Frank Kendall, US defense undersecretary for acquisition, technology and logistics, who “oversees hundreds of billions of dollars in procurement programs. On Sept. 19 he unveiled the first draft of his Better Buying Power 3.0 initiative that seeks to push the Pentagon and industry to collaborate more on projecting future needs and meeting them through closer collaboration. The new guidance implements Better Buying Power initiatives developed by Kendall and his predecessor, Ashton Carter.”  

Highlights:

  • “I think the services are doing the best they can with their perspectives on the situation that they have to face. They’re trying to create a balance between near-term readiness, the size of the force, and modernization. I tend to be focused more on modernization, although I care a great deal about the other parts as well. I think we’ve been relatively comfortable for decades now about our technological superiority in the world relative to other powers. That’s changing and we have to take it seriously. I think there’s a growing recognition that we have to be better at getting advanced technology products out and better capabilities out in shorter cycle times.”
  • “Congress has been an ally in a lot of this. We have been working under Better Buying Power 2.0 on some legislative changes, which would simplify our lives, keep the original intent that some of the statutes in place have, but also give us more flexibility and remove some of the overhead burden associated with implementing the loss. On the House side, Congressman [Mac] Thornberry, Congressman [Adam] Smith and others, and on the Senate side, Senator [Carl] Levin and Senator [John] McCain [have supported] cutting costs. We’re working together with the Hill on this.”