Air Force acquisition chief Van Buren to retire

Tuesday - 2/7/2012, 12:23pm EST

The Air Force acquisition chief David Van Buren is retiring in March and returning to private industry.

Frank Kendall, the Defense Department's acting under secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, said Van Buren announced he was leaving on Friday. Kendall spoke Monday at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

Van Buren, the Air Force's service acquisition executive, has been with the service since March 2008 and in his position since April 2009.

An email to the Air Force public affairs seeking more details was not immediately returned.

After spending 10 years as an Air Force officer, Van Buren worked for several large contractors including Lockheed Martin, Northrop Corp. and Raytheon. He returned to the Air Force in 2008.

As the service acquisition executive, Van Buren directs about $70 billion in major programs, including the refueling tanker, the F-35 fighter and a host of other information technology, cyber, command and control and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems.

He's also playing a key role in helping the Air Force reduce its spending. In January, Van Buren told an industry audience the service will not keep underperforming programs. Van Buren also wants the Air Force to place heavy emphasis on small business contracting, and will award the NetCents 2 contract this year.

RELATED STORIES:

target="_blank">DoD fortifying cyber buying strategy

Air Force: Underperforming programs will suffer in 2013 budget

Air Force adding new IT stovepipes every day, general says