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Are We Buying the Right Weapons in the Best Way? The Pentagon's Weapons Buying Systems: Lessons Learned

April 2, 2001 


Join us for a panel discussion with the Defense Department's top officials overseeing Pentagon procurement currently or in the recent past.

Panel Featuring
Dr. Jacques S. Gansler
Under Secretary for Acquisition and Technology 1997-2001

Mr. Philip E. Coyle, III
Assistant Secretary of Defense and Director, Operational Test and Evaluation 1994-2001

Dr. Kenneth Oscar
Army Acting Assistant Secretary for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology

Mr. James Doyle
A founder of Defense News and former executive editor of Army, Navy, and Air Force Times

Policymakers are raising questions about the military's systems for acquiring new weapons since the recent crashes of the V-22 Osprey. Why have testing regimes been cut short or deferred for many weapons systems - V-22, F-22 fighter jet, National Missile Defense? What are the most illustrative successes and failures of the acquisition system and how can we learn from them? Will new reforms being promoted by the Pentagon and defense contractors save taxpayer dollars and improve the military's contracting for weapons? What has worked, what hasn't, and why?

When: 9:00 a.m. Tuesday, April 3, 2001

Where: Room 562, Dirksen Senate Office Building
Complimentary buffet breakfast will be served.

RSVP to Danni Downing at POGO, 202-347-1122 or by email (please attend if you learn later you can join us but haven't sent an RSVP)

Jacques S. Gansler
Roger C. Lipitz Chair of the Center for Public Policy and
Private Enterprise Professor at the School of Public Affairs, University of Maryland

On January 8, 2000, The Honorable Dr. Jacques S. Gansler joined the faculty of the University of Maryland School of Public Affairs, where he will hold the Roger C. Lipitz Chair in Public Policy and Private Enterprise. Dr. Gansler will teach, and lead the School's new Center for Public Policy and Private Enterprise, which will foster collaboration among the public, private and non-profit sectors in order to promote the public interest.

Dr. Gansler was confirmed as the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Technology on November 5, 1997. In this position, he is responsible for all matters relating to Department of Defense acquisition, research and development, logistics, acquisition reform, advanced technology, international programs, environmental security, nuclear, chemical, and biological programs, and the defense technology and industrial base.

Prior to his appointment by President Clinton, Dr. Gansler was Executive Vice President and Director for TASC, Incorporated, an applied information technology company, in Arlington, Virginia. Prior to 1977, he was Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Materiel Acquisition); Assistant Director of Defense Research and Engineering (Electronics); Vice President, I.T.T.; Program Management, Singer Corporation; and Engineering Management, Raytheon Corporation.

Previously, Dr. Gansler served on numerous special committees and advisory boards to include Vice Chairman, Defense Science Board; Chairman, Board of Visitors, Defense Acquisition University; Director, Procurement Round Table; Chairman, Industry Advisory Board of Visitors, University of Virginia; Chairman, Board of Visitors, University of Maryland, School of Public Affairs; member of the FAA Blue Ribbon Panel on Acquisition Reform; and senior consultant to the "Packard Commission" on Defense Acquisition Reform.

From 1984 to 1997, Dr. Gansler was also a Visiting Scholar at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. He is an Honorary Professor, Industrial College of the Armed Forces; and formerly was a Visiting Professor at the University of Virginia.

Philip E. Coyle, III

Philip Coyle recently stepped down from the position of Assistant Secretary of Defense and Director, Operational Test and Evaluation, in the Department of Defense. He was confirmed by the Senate on September 29, 1994, and is the longest serving Director in the 17 year history of the Office. In this capacity, he was the principal advisor to the Secretary of Defense and the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics on test and evaluation in the DoD. Mr. Coyle was also the principal OSD official for operational and live fire testing within the senior management of the DoD.

Mr. Coyle's responsibilities included stewardship of the Major Range and Test Facility Bases of the DOD, including the large test ranges and test centers which the DOD operates from Maryland and Florida to California and Hawaii.

As Director, Operational Test and Evaluation, Mr. Coyle had responsibility for overseeing the test and evaluation of over 200 major defense acquisition systems. This included reporting to the Secretary of Defense, and to Congress, on the adequacy of the DOD testing programs, and on the results from those testing programs. Mr Coyle was called upon regularly to testify before Congress and to brief Congressional staff on the status of major defense acquisition programs. His work was followed closely by the four Defense Committees of the Congress and was frequently praised in the press. His integrity and objectivity has been recognized widely.

Mr. Coyle has 30 years experience in testing and test-related matters. From 1959 to 1979, and again from 1981 to 1993, Mr. Coyle worked at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, California. During the more recent period he served as an Associate Director of the Laboratory. First--from 1981 to 1984--he was Associate Director for Test. Later, from 1987 to 1993, he served as Laboratory Associate Director and a Deputy to the Laboratory Director. In November 1993, Mr. Coyle retired from the Laboratory. In recognition of his 33 years service to the Laboratory and to the University of California, University President Jack Peltason named Mr. Coyle Laboratory Associate Director Emeritus.

During the Carter Administration, Mr. Coyle served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Defense Programs in the Department of Energy (DOE). In this capacity he had oversight responsibility for the nuclear weapons testing programs of the Department.

Earlier in his career while at Lawrence Livermore, Mr. Coyle was directly responsible for many of the testing programs of the DOE and its predecessor agencies. He served as a Scientific Advisor on testing matters to the Nevada Operations Office. For many years he was a Test Director at the Nevada Test Site and at other testing locations. In 1971 he was the Test Director of the full-scale underground test of the Spartan warhead on Amchitka Island in the Aleutians. In the mid-1970s, Mr. Coyle also served as a Deputy in the Laboratory's laser program, developing high power lasers for fusion, isotope separation, and other applications.

Mr. Coyle has been active in community and educational programs. In 1991 he was named as a Commissioner of the East Bay Conversion and Reinvestment Commission which developed defense conversion plans for Alameda Naval Air Station and the East Bay. He was a member of the Board of the Alameda County Economic Development Advisory Board. He also served on the boards of several educational organizations.

During his last 6 years at the Laboratory, Mr. Coyle also held the position of Equal Opportunity Officer. This included responsibility for affirmative action and diversity programs. Mr. Coyle helped the Laboratory achieve substantial gains in diversity employment. Because of this work, the Laboratory received an Exemplary Voluntary Effort (EVE) Award from the Department of Labor. Mr. Coyle received personal commendation from the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, and upon his retirement, the Laboratory established a new award for excellence in diversity in his name.

Last September, the International Test and Evaluation Association awarded Mr. Coyle the Allan R. Matthews Award, its highest award, for his contributions to the management and technology of test and evaluation.

Mr. Coyle was awarded the Defense Distinguished Service Medal by Secretary Perry, and the Bronze Palm of the Defense Distinguished Service Medal by Secretary Cohen.

Mr. Coyle graduated from Dartmouth College with an MS in Mechanical Engineering (1957) and a BA (1956). His wife, Dr. Martha Krebs, is the founding Director of the new California NanoSystems Institute, a research partnership between UCLA and U.C. Santa Barbara. They have four grown children and three grandchildren, and live in Washington, DC.

Dr. Kenneth Oscar

Dr. Oscar was appointed the Acting Assistant Secretary of the Army Acquisition, Logistics and Technology January 21, 2000. He served as the Acting Administrator for the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, OMB, Executive Office of the President from June 2000 to January 2001.

Dr. Oscar became the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Procurement in June 1995. In this position, he is responsible for oversight and policy of all Army Procurement, Acquisition Reform, Industrial Base Advocacy, and proponent for the contracting career field. From May 1997 to June 1998, Dr. Oscar served as the Acting Assistant Secretary of the Army (Research, Development and Acquisition).

Prior to coming to Army Headquarters, Dr. Oscar served as the Army Materiel Command Principal Deputy for Acquisition. He came to HQ AMC in 1994 from the U.S. Army Tank-automotive Command (TACOM), where he served as TACOM's Deputy Commander for Research, Development and Engineering as well as Director of TACOM's Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC).

During Operation Desert Storm, Dr. Oscar was appointed as TACOM's Deputy Commander for Procurement and Readiness while GEN James Monroe served in Southwest Asia from August 1990 to June 1991. In this position, he led a successful effort to provide billions of dollars of vehicle spares and maintenance, resulting in extraordinary readiness rates for Army ground vehicles.

As TARDEC's Director, Dr. Oscar led the center to be the Army's first winner of the Federal Quality Institute's Quality Improvement Prototype Award. He also established the National Automotive Center, TARDEC University, and the Michigan Automotive Institute. Under his leadership, TARDEC created the virtual prototyping process, fielded the Army's first digital vehicle (the Abrams M1A2 tank).

Dr. Oscar has served in numerous other Army positions including Associate Technical Director for Research and Development at the U.S. Army Troop Support Command, Director of the Combat Engineering Laboratory at the Belvoir Research and Development Center and Project Manager for several programs, including countermine equipment, tactical bridging and unconventional weapons. Dr. Oscar entered civilian service from United Aircraft.

Dr. Oscar holds a B.S. in Physics from Clarkson University, as well as an M.S. and Ph.D. in Physics from American University. He is a member of numerous professional societies, including the New York and Virginia Academies of Sciences. He has published more than 55 papers; many in international scientific journals.

His awards include two Presidential Rank Awards, The Vice President Hammer Award, Department of Defense Packard Award, Excellence in Acquisition Award, Department of the Army Decorations for Exceptional Civilian Service, three Meritorious Civilian Service Awards, two Commander's Awards for Civilian Service, the Superior Civilian Service Award, the Achievement Medal for Civilian Service, Sigma XI's Scientific Achievement Award.

James S. Doyle

Jim Doyle retired in 1998 as vice president and executive editor of Army Times Publishing Company, a group of six national weeklies covering the military, defense, aerospace and civilian federal workers, which is now a division of the Gannett Corporation. He ran the editorial operations there for fifteen years.

His first assignment after retirement was to supervise the research project for the Committee of Concerned Journalists which resulted in the study entitled "The Clinton/Lewinsky Story: How Accurate? How Fair?" which has received widespread favorable comment in the press and in the journalism reviews.

Since then he has been a senior adviser to Business Leaders for Sensible Priorities, a non-profit set up by Ben Cohen of Ben's Homemade, Inc. aimed at educating the public to the need to shift 15% ($40 billion-plus) from defense procurement of cold war weapons to domestic programs such as child health insurance and Head Start.

He has been a Washington journalist since 1965, first as bureau chief for The Boston Globe, where he broke the story of an unqualified nominee for federal district judge, which led to the withdrawal of the nomination and the Globe's winning its first Pulitzer Prize for Distinguished Public Service in 1966. In 1970 he joined The Washington Star as national correspondent, and in 1973 became Special Assistant to Watergate Prosecutors Archibald Cox, Leon Jaworski and Henry Ruth, from 1973 to 1975. His book on the battles of the Watergate prosecutors, Not Above The Law, was published by William Morrow in 1977. After his work with the Watergate Special Prosecution Force he became chief political correspondent and deputy Washington bureau chief for Newsweek magazine, from 1976 to 1983. He won the New York Newspaper Guild Page One Award in 1980 for the Newsweek cover article, "Is America Turning Right?" He's a graduate of Boston College, the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism (with honors), and a member of the Society of Nieman Fellows at Harvard University. He's a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the advisory board of the Pew Center For Civic Journalism, and an associate of the Project for Excellence in Journalism.

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