Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz called it “a profound disappointment” that the Air Force apparently botched the Light Air Support aircraft contract award. “There’s no way to put a happy face on this,” said Schwartz during a meeting with defense reporters Wednesday in Washington, D.C. He explained that “the documentation of the source selection [authority], which awarded the contract to Sierra Nevada and its sub[contractors] didn’t meet standards.” As a result, the Air Force announced this week that it would terminate the contract, effective Friday. “We have to move quickly now,” explained Schwartz, “and get it done before the funds expire,” because the Afghan air force needs the LAS aircraft to provide Afghan ground troops with close air support. “We have labored diligently to improve our acquisition process,” said Schwartz. He added, “If we fumbled on this, we obviously haven’t arrived at the point where we are providing the level of acquisition excellence that’s expected.” Gen. Donald Hoffman, Air Force Materiel Command boss, has launched an investigation into the matter to scrutinize “our standard of due diligence and adequacy of oversight,” said Schwartz. The probe will “help us understand if there are still systemic issues involved,” he noted.