Frank Kendall Needs a New Chief of Staff

Andrew Hunter, Frank Kendall's former chief of staff who is now in charge of the Pentagon's Joint Rapid Acquisition Cell. (DoD photo)

Pentagon acquisition chief Frank Kendall is looking for a new chief of staff to not only oversee the day-to-day weapons buying business, but to lead a daunting effort to overhaul decades of acquisition law.

Kendall wants to revise many of the complex laws that have been instituted over the past three decades. Among these regulations are numerous, multilayered certifications and signoffs needed for acquisition decisions.

“I’m looking for somebody with Hill experience to do this who kind of understands legislative process, who kind of understands acquisition law,” Kendall said at a Precision Strike Association conference in March.

Kendall had planned to task his former chief of staff Andrew Hunter — a one-time House Armed Services Committee staffer — with leading the project.

But, Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, who previously served as the Pentagon’s acquisition chief, put Hunter in charge of DoD’s Joint Rapid Acquisition Cell, an OSD organization works to get equipment to the battlefield quickly. Carter still oversees rapid acquisition.

“I may not be able to attract anybody [to the chief of staff position] because I put out that I want them to do this,” Kendall joked during an April 24 meeting with reporters at the Pentagon.

DoD officially announced Hunter’s promotion on Wednesday.

Andrew P. Hunter has been assigned as director, Joint Rapid Acquisition Cell, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, Washington, D.C.  Hunter previously served as special assistant to the under secretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, Washington, D.C.

Marcus Weisgerber
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Marcus Weisgerber

Senior Pentagon Correspondent at Defense News
I write about broad-ranging policy, acquisition and budget issues affecting the US military.
Marcus Weisgerber
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