It’s A Three-Person Job

Air Force acquisition requires a “three-person leadership team,” said Lt. Gen. Arnold Bunch, the military deputy in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition. Speaking at an AFA-sponsored Air Force breakfast on March 16, Bunch noted that for some time, the Assistant Secretary for Acquisition post has been vacant—the last incumbent was William LaPlante, who left the job in late 2015. He and Darlene Costello, the SES deputy, have been running things but “we need the political appointee” who would replace LaPlante. “We’ve been getting everything done, but it makes it much more busy than we would like it and it would help us a lot if we could get someone in there,” Bunch said. He and Costello have sign-off authority for most acquisition matters, but “it’s a matter of workload, three versus two. There’s a reason it’s a three-person shop,” he added. The Air Force is currently managing a wide array of modernization programs. At the event, Bunch gave a status report on 14 of those programs, as well as several that are in planning.