Apparently there's a new acquisition sheriff in town at the Pentagon, and it is Ashton Carter. Aviation Week's reporters and others heard this afternoon that John J. Young, Jr. was out-bound as undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, as expected.
Young, whom the Senate confirmed in November 2007, has certainly registered in DOD affairs since taking on the job. He has battled the Air Force over F-22s, CSAR-X helicopters and military space issues, but he also backed the air service when it tried to carry out a contract award to EADS and Northrop Grumman for an aerial refueling tanker.
I think, though, in the end he may be remembered best for the discipline he tried to instill in the acquisition process, albeit late in the defense spending run-up under President George W. Bush. Competitive prototyping and true milestone decision-making hopefully will become hallmarks of the Defense Department's buying habits. If they happen, along with other process improvements he tried to make, then we owe him a debt of gratitude no matter what platform one may prefer in a given program.