NDIA statement on the nomination of William LaPlante

William LaPlante

ARLINGTON, VA -- Arnold Punaro, board chairman of the National Defense Industrial Association, offers the following statement on the Nov. 30 nomination of Dr. William LaPlante as undersecretary of Defense for acquisition and sustainment:

Today, President Joe Biden made the superb choice of nominating Dr. Bill LaPlante to be the undersecretary of Defense for acquisition and sustainment. LaPlante has a wealth of experience in government service and the responsibilities of this position. We urge his speedy confirmation.

LaPlante previously served in numerous Defense Department positions, including as the top acquisition official for the Air Force. His contributions to the Defense Science Board have been vital throughout the years. He has had a stellar career in the private sector at the MITRE Corporation and at Draper Laboratory. His decades of knowledge and experience will help him to push the Pentagon and industry to get more bang for the buck for our warfighters and taxpayers. 

LaPlante will work well with Heidi Shyu, the undersecretary of Defense for research and engineering. It is essential that these two offices ensure emerging technologies are converted into usable systems for our warfighters in a timely and cost-effective manner.

LaPlante is well known to the Senate Armed Services Committee and should have no trouble with the confirmation process. The SASC has precedents for a thorough but accelerated consideration, and I urge the SASC and Senate to get him confirmed and on board before their Christmas recess.

The Senate should also work swiftly to confirm the other acquisition officials on the calendar: Andrew Hunter, Doug Bush and Gabe Camarillo. These positions are responsible for decisions related to the more than $400 billion the Defense Department spends each year on goods and services, supplies and equipment. Getting these well-qualified nominees in place is vital.

For media queries, contact Evamarie Socha at esocha@NDIA.org.



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The National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) is America's leading defense industry association promoting national security. NDIA provides a legal and ethical forum for the exchange of information between industry and government on national security issues. NDIA and its members foster the development of the most innovative and superior equipment, training, and support for warfighters and first responders through its divisions, local chapters, affiliated associations, and events. For more information, visit NDIA.org