Defense's buying chief to retire in May

After serving the Defense Department in various assignments over 18 years of a 42-year career in the defense arena, Edward C. "Pete" Aldridge Jr. has announced his plans to retire May 23.

Since taking the job of undersecretary of Defense for acquisition, technology and logistics in mid-2001, Aldridge has championed acquisition reform at DOD?from pushing electronic invoices to establishing domain owners to implement the soon-to-be-released Defense financial enterprise architecture.

Aldridge's principal deputy, Michael W. Wynne, will serve as acting undersecretary until Defense brass name a permanent replacement.

In a resignation letter to President Bush, Aldridge said his team had "made significant progress on accomplishing" five acquisition and logistics reform goals.

"First, I wanted to improve the credibility and effectiveness of the acquisition and logistics support process," Aldridge said. "Second, I wanted to improve the morale and quality of the acquisition work force. Third, I wanted to improve the health of the defense industrial base. Fourth, I needed to support the decision process rationalizing our weapons systems and defense infrastructure with our new defense strategy. And fifth, I wanted to initiate those high-leverage technologies that would provide the war-winning capabilities of the future."

Aldridge began his career with DOD as an operations research analyst in the Pentagon. He later was director of planning and evaluation.

Aldridge also served as both deputy secretary and secretary of the Air Force during the Reagan administration. His most recent nongovernment work included stints as president of Aerospace Corp., a nonprofit science and technology organization, and as president of the former McDonnell Douglas Corp.'s electronic systems division.

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