Frank Kendall Urges Next Administration to Prioritize Defense R&D, Modernization Investments

Frank Kendall

Frank Kendall, the Defense Department‘s top acquisition official, has said funding defense technology research, development and modernization programs should be a priority for the next administration, DoD News reported Wednesday.

Karen Parrish writes Kendall made the statement Wednesday during a Center for Strategic and International Studies-hosted forum where he discussed his new book, “Getting Defense Acquisition Right.”

“We’ve got the ideas,” he told event audience.

“What we don’t have in our budget right now, in our budget request, is the money to take those demonstration [projects], and assuming the results are successful, go on to building products.”

Kendall added that he thinks a plan to split DoD’s current acquisition, technology and logistics organization into two offices may not be a good idea, according to a report by USNI News’ John Grady.

The AT&L separation proposal is included in the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2017.

Grady wrote that Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) and Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona) have said restructuring AT&L functions would help streamline DoD’s upper level management but Kendall noted he believes otherwise.

“You have to understand what you’re doing [in the context of the government, not private business], you have to understand the culture,” said Kendall, according to the report.

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