Roper says he seeks to help Red 6 address 'color of money' challenges

By Marjorie Censer / March 9, 2021 at 1:33 PM

Will Roper, the former top Air Force acquisition official who has now joined the advisory board of Red 6, told Inside Defense last week he wants to help the training startup address the challenge created by the military's "color of money" budgets.

Last week, Red 6, which has previously gotten the attention of Lockheed Martin, said it had added Roper to its board. The company also previously brought retired Air Force Gen. Mike Holmes onto the board.

Roper said Friday he has been impressed with the work Red 6 has done so far to change military training, but added the company still has development work to do.

However, "their military customer is the training enterprise, which doesn't have development money," Roper said. The "color of money . . . is really holding back bringing innovative solutions into training."

Roper said he wants to help the company understand the use cases and what each will cost to develop.

"The easiest to develop we should . . . get over the goal line first," he said. The color of money "challenge is one we're going to be able to get through."

Roper pointed to multiple potential use cases, from early pilot training to tanker training to fourth-generation tactics.

"The hardest use cases are going to require the most development," he said. "We don't have to start there to make a big difference."