Doug Roach, who served the House Armed Services Committee since 1991, died Jan. 11 due to complications from cancer. Roach was the staff lead for the tactical air and land forces subcommittee since 2001, serving the majority party whether Republicans or Democrats were in charge.
A retired Air Force colonel, Roach flew F-15 and F-4 aircraft and was an operational test pilot working on precision-guided munitions and air-to-air missiles – useful experience for his future work on the committee. He also worked for the Air Force legislative liaison and the Pentagon’s legislative affairs shop.
Roach watched the first “Great Engine War” up close and became a firm believer in the need for a competitive engine process. He fought hard to maintain a second engine for the F-35 program, even going toe-to-toe with Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter in a meeting with congressional staff.
“He always gave it to us straight, without regard to politics or parochial interests,” says Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.). “He was a man of noble virtue, a tough fighter pilot who was also known for his acts of kindness.”