LaPlante confirmed as DOD acquisition chief

By Tony Bertuca / April 8, 2022 at 2:11 PM

The Senate has voted to confirm Bill LaPlante as Pentagon acquisition chief.

LaPlante, who served as Air Force acquisition executive during the Obama administration, previously worked as president and CEO of the Charles Stark Draper Laboratory in Cambridge, MA.

LaPlante’s confirmation as under secretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment fills the senior-most vacancy at the Pentagon. President Biden announced his intent to nominate LaPlante in November, but the Senate did not officially receive the nomination until Feb 28.

Biden’s first choice, however, was Defense Innovation Unit Michael Brown, who withdrew from consideration last July amid an investigation by the Defense Department inspector general’s office over alleged misuse of contracting authority. Brown has denied any wrongdoing.

Brown’s derailed nomination, however, meant that several officials would have to serve as acting DOD acquisition chiefs, the most recent being Andrew Hunter, who has been confirmed to be the Air Force acquisition executive.

During his nomination hearing last month, LaPlante told Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Jack Reed (D-RI) that his most immediate priority, if confirmed, would be to accelerate all equipment and capabilities being sent to Ukraine and NATO allies, as well as replenishing U.S. stockpiles of those systems.