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Nominee for Key Weapons Buyer Post at DoD Passes Senate Hurdle

FILE - Kevin Fahey (left) and, Maj. Daniel Rodriguez and Col. Terrece Harris discuss new capabilities at the Expeditionary Base Camp at Fort Bliss, Texas. Fahey has been nominated for the post of assistant secretary of defense for acquisition. (ASA System of Systems Integration Directorate Public Affairs/ Vanessa Flores)
FILE -- Kevin Fahey (left) and, Maj. Daniel Rodriguez and Col. Terrece Harris discuss new capabilities at the Expeditionary Base Camp at Fort Bliss, Texas. Fahey has been nominated for the post of assistant secretary of defense for acquisition. (ASA System of Systems Integration Directorate Public Affairs/ Vanessa Flores)

The Senate Armed Services Committee approved the nomination Tuesday of Kevin Fahey, an engineer and ground combat systems specialist, to become one of the top weapons buyers at the Pentagon.

Fahey, most recently a vice president of combat vehicles and armaments at Cypress International Inc., a defense consultancy, was approved to take the newly created post of assistant secretary of Defense (Acquisition).

Fahey previously worked in the office of the assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition, logistics and technology as executive director of systems engineering and integration.

The committee also approved the nominations of Paul C. Ney Jr. to be general counsel of the Department of Defense, and Thomas E. Ayres to be general counsel of the Air Force.

Barring any last-minute complications, Fahey, of Massachusetts, would serve under Ellen Lord, the new undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment (A&S).

Beginning Feb. 1, the Pentagon began a major bureaucratic reshuffle authorized by Congress to split the office of Acquisition, Technology and Logistics (AT&L) into the A&S office and the office of a new undersecretary of defense for research and engineering (R&E).

In the lead-up to passage last year of the National Defense Authorization Act, which authorized the split, Arizona Sen. John McCain, the SASC chairman, and Texas Rep. Mac Thornberry, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, agreed that splitting AT&L was vital to streamlining the cumbersome process of getting new weapons and technology into the hands of warfighters.

The new acquisitions office under Lord will have more money to work with than most previous administrations. Last week, Congress and President Donald Trump signed off on a two-year budget deal that will provide a total of about $1.4 trillion to the DoD.

In nominating Fahey, the White House is bringing back to the Pentagon an engineer who helped develop the Army's $11 billion Crusader self-propelled howitzer program that was canceled by then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in a still-controversial decision.

The White House announcement said that, in a long civil service career, Fahey previously served as executive director of systems engineering, integration directorate, in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology (AT&L).

He also was program executive officer for combat support and combat service support at Program Executive Officer Ground Combat Systems in Warren, Michigan.

From 1982-2014, Fahey held numerous positions in the Army, where at various times he "was responsible for all activities necessary to develop, produce, field and sustain tactical vehicle systems and force projection equipment that supported and safeguarded our armed forces fighting across the globe," according to an Army biography.

-- Richard Sisk can be reached at Richard.Sisk@Military.com.

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