Reuters news service reports that Air Force acquisition official Charles Reichers, who apparently committed suicide last week, left a note addressed to Air Force acquisition chief Sue Payton that “expressed remorse” over his part in a new wave of acquisition-related questions. The Washington Post first surfaced an arrangement the Air Force made with Commonwealth Research Institute to hire and pay Reichers for two months while he awaited Senate confirmation. He reportedly worked on non-CRI Air Force projects. Subsequently, questions have arisen about a possible conflict of interest related to a Boeing contract. There is lawmaker interest and an ongoing Government Accountability Office review.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.