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Biden to nominate former Pentagon acquisition chief to lead Air Force

Biden to nominate former Pentagon acquisition chief to lead Air Force
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President BidenJoe BidenBiden says Beau's assessment of first 100 days would be 'Be who you are' Biden: McCarthy's support of Cheney ouster is 'above my pay grade' Conservative group sues over prioritization of women, minorities for restaurant aid MORE will nominate Frank Kendall, who served as the Pentagon’s top weapons buyer in the Obama administration, to be secretary of the Air Force, the White House announced Tuesday.

Biden will also nominate Gina Ortiz Jones, a former Democratic congressional candidate in Texas, to serve as the Air Force’s No. 2 civilian official, the White House added in a news release.

The impending nominations were first reported by Defense News.

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Kendall previously served as under secretary of Defense for acquisition, technology and logistics from October 2011 to January 2017, focusing on acquisition reform through his Better Buying Power initiatives.

Kendall, a West Point graduate, is an Army veteran but worked frequently with the Air Force as the Pentagon’s acquisition chief.

During his previous tenure at the Pentagon, Kendall was highly critical of the F-35 fighter jet program, calling the decision to put it into production before flight tests “acquisition malpractice” in 2012.

During the 2020 presidential campaign, Kendall advised Biden on defense issues.

Jones is an openly gay Filipino American Air Force veteran who would be the first woman of color to serve as under secretary of the Air Force if she’s confirmed.

During her active-duty military career from 2003 to 2006, Jones served as an intelligence officer, deploying at one point to Iraq.

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Jones later served as an adviser at U.S. Africa Command and the Defense Intelligence Agency before holding positions in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative from 2016 to 2017.

Jones ran to represent Texas’s 23rd congressional district in both 2018 and 2020 but narrowly lost both races to her Republican opponents.

In addition to Kendall and Jones, the White House announced Biden will nominate Heidi Shyu, the Army’s former top acquisitions official, to be under secretary of Defense for research and engineering; Meredith Berger, a former Pentagon and Environmental Protection Agency official, to be assistant secretary of the Navy for energy, installations and environment; and attorney Caroline Krass to be Pentagon general counsel.