DOD’s Kendall: Resources are the real problem, not innovation


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Pentagon Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition Technology and Logistics Frank Kendall (Defense Department)

The Defense Department may have problems, but innovation isn’t one, Pentagon Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition Technology and Logistics Frank Kendall said Wednesday.

What does concern Kendall is the lack of resources to realize those efforts — particularly as Congress deliberates on legislation to fund the Pentagon, he said.

“I do worry a little bit that we are at risk of obscuring the resource problem by talking so much about innovation,” Kendall said at the Common Defense Conference held at the National Press Club. “We need innovation, it’s a great thing to do; it’s just not going to solve the problems.”

Kendall outlined department initiatives to foster innovation including the Defense Innovation Unit Experimental, which opened a new hub in Boston in July. Kendall said to expect another new DIUx hub to open in the next few months.

[Read more: Carter: DIUx armed with new method to develop tech faster]

But these innovations need funding, Kendall noted.

As the fight to move any legislation on defense funding continues, Kendall said he is hoping for a three-month continuing resolution and then actual appropriations to fund the Defense Department.

Politico reported Tuesday that the Pentagon has crafted a secret plan to undercut a defense spending proposal from House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., through congressional politics, and many House Republicans issued angry statements in response.

DOD has been vocal this year in its disapproval of both the House and Senate versions of the National Defense Authorization Act.

Kendall reiterated some of the department’s qualms, arguing that the Senate’s version of the NDAA micromanages the Pentagon.

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Department of Defense (DOD), Departments