Army Chief of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey, nominee to be the Joint Chiefs’ next Chairman, said Tuesday he favors a larger role for the service Chiefs in the Defense Department’s acquisition process as part of broader acquisition reforms that he supports. “I think the service Chiefs need to have a greater role throughout the process,” he told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee during his confirmation hearing. “Right now, [they] tend to have a role in requirements determination, but then, the process is handed over [to acquisition professionals] to find the materiel solution.” Dempsey said this bifurcated set-up “hasn’t worked and I think it has to be revisited.” Overall, he called the Pentagon’s current acquisition process “unacceptable” and said it “has not delivered the capabilities we’ve required within the resources available to do so.” He also voiced support for closer collaboration with industry “throughout the process from start to finish” and “shorter time horizons” to field new capability. (See also Dempsey’s responses to advance questions.)
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.