DoD Director of Operational Test and Evaluation FY 2018 Annual Report
Jan. 31, 2019
The Director of Operational Test & Evaluation is a rare creature in the Pentagon's bureaucracy, as he leads what amounts to an independent agency, outside DoD's chain of command, and reports directly to the Secretary of Defense and to Congress.
The Director is appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate, and his reports, by statute, go directly to the Secretary of Defense and Congress.
These reports are, traditionally, among the best-informed and sought-after about the true state of Pentagon hardware, providing as they do an accurate picture of weapon programs, dispelling the propaganda that the armed services and the defense industry routinely "spin" about the weapons they buy or produce.
This year's report was particularly awaited as it is the first by the new director of OT&E, Robert F. Behler, who was sworn in on December 11, 2017 to succeed J. Michael Gilmore, who held the position from September 2009 to January 2017.
On the strength of this first report, Washington can rest easy: Behler seems to have assumed Gilmore's mantle as the Pentagon's main stright shooter and plain speaker, and doesn't appear to have pulled any punches.
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