ABMS architect joins Air Force acquisition team

By Sara Sirota / March 8, 2019 at 5:09 PM

Preston Dunlap joined the office of the assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, technology and logistics as chief architect this week, according to service spokeswoman Capt. Hope Cronin.

Dunlap's first duty will be to lead the advanced battle management system in support of multidomain command and control objectives.

“The Chief Architect position [has] been established by SAF/AQ to enable the development of enterprise-wide combat capability through families of systems,” the statement said. “He will create and manage family of systems trade space, design margins, and define interfaces and standards to ensure interoperability across domains and permissive to highly contested environments.”

ABMS will replace the current E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System, which the Air Force intends to keep operational through the mid-2020s. The transition to ABMS supports the Pentagon's renewed focus on great power competition, as outlined in the 2018 National Defense Strategy.

The Air Force's acquisition chief Will Roper said in September that the trade requirements of ABMS mandates a "different kind of person in acquisition that acts like an architect that's an analyst.”

Dunlap previously served as national security analysis mission area executive at the Johns Hopkins University applied physics laboratory, which he joined in 2014 as national security fellow. Prior to this work, he served more than 11 years as a member of the senior executive service in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, where he held such positions as director of program analysis and chief of staff to the director of cost assessment and program evaluation.