The candidate for the takeover of the USAF acquisition names software and IT as top priorities
Improving the way the service procures software and IT systems while making DevSecOps the norm is a top priority in Biden Administration’s choice as the Air Force’s primary weapon purchaser.
“Today, our processes clearly need to be tweaked to enable better software procurement and cybersecurity,” said Andrew Hunter, who was nominated for the Air Force Assistant Secretary for Procurement, Technology and Logistics at the White House, in response to policy questions to the Senators, his October 5th confirmation hearing, which testified that “cybersecurity works best when you make it part of the design.”
“We need to approach the acquisition of software and software-intensive systems that provide our military with many of the latest new capabilities from a different angle using alternative approaches and alternative tools,” Hunter said before the Senate Armed Forces Committee.
Hunter’s comments come after the resignation of the Air Force’s first chief software officer, Nicolas Chaillan. Senator Mike Rounds (RS.D.) said Chaillan’s departure “showed growing concern and frustration at the lack of investment in new technology to enable shared leadership and control” along with the workforce challenges in “recruiting and retaining talent.” in critical positions “. ”
Rounds asked Hunter how to address Chaillan’s concerns, adding that the current acquisition process and bureaucracy “are limiting innovation today.”
Hunter, who was previously a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said that if confirmed, he will focus on deciphering which acquisition pilots and agencies are at work, as well as strengthening the workforce and training on tools such as other transaction agencies .
“It just so happens that our systems, which are designed to take a more industrial development approach, are really struggling to get software with the pace of change in this technology,” said Hunter.
Hunter also noted that IT business system development is an integral part of any service and that lessons learned need to be shared. To do this, we had to work with the Air Force CIO and other services “to find ways to leverage software development innovations, including institutionalizing DevSecOps to address security issues early in the development lifecycle of our systems.”
However, the top IT priority remains to get software through faster: “The Air Force Department’s approach to the procurement of software and software-intensive systems must allow these systems to be regularly updated in weeks and months, not years,” wrote Hunter.
Lauren C. Williams is Senior Editor for FCW and Defense Systems, specializing in defense and cybersecurity.
Prior to joining FCW, Williams was a tech reporter at ThinkProgress, where she covered everything from internet culture to national security issues. In previous positions, Williams has reported on health care, politics, and crime for a variety of publications including the Seattle Times.
Williams graduated with a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park and a bachelor’s degree in dietetics from the University of Delaware. She can be reached at [email protected], or follow her on Twitter @lalaurenista.
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