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Wed, Jul 30, 2008

Top USAF Acquisitions Official Resigns

Aides Say Kenneth Miller Was Under Investigation

The fallout from recent scandals involving the US Air Force continues. A senior USAF acquisitions official resigned Monday, less than two months after his civilian boss was forced out of the service.

The Associated Press reports Kenneth Miller was special assistant for acquisitions at the USAF under former Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne, who -- along with Air Force Chief of Staff General T. Michael Moseley -- resigned in June, following an investigation that revealed a decline in the Air Force's nuclear program focus, performance and effective leadership.

USAF spokesman Lt. Col. Mike Paoli said Miller was due to resign shortly after Wynne... but two congressional aides, speaking anonymously, told the AP Miller had been under Air Force investigation for leaking confidential information to the public, ahead of Pentagon approval to have the information released. Paoli would not confirm Miller was under investigation.

Though the departures of Wynne and Moseley were tied primarily to incidents involving mishandled nuclear material -- one involving Taiwan, and another in which an Air Force B-52 bomber flew across the United States carrying six armed nuclear cruise missiles -- Miller's resignation comes in the aftermath of the latest bungling of a US Air Force acquisitions program, this one the KC-X tanker contract to replace the service's aging fleet of KC-135s.

As ANN reported, the Pentagon announced earlier this month it would allow the KC-X competition to be rebid, after the Government Accountability Office uncovered "a number of prejudicial errors that call into question the Air Force's decision" to award the bid to a team comprised of EADS and Northrop Grumman.

That decision stripped decision-making authority from the Air Force, giving sole authority to select a winner to John J. Young Jr., undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics.

FMI: www.af.mil

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