Cebrowski retires from his job as Defense transformation czar

SAN DIEGO?The Defense Department lost its chief champion for change yesterday when retired Vice Adm. Arthur K. Cebrowski stepped down from his job as director of the force transformation?but not before he finished and signed the Future Force Architecture document and shipped it off to Congress.

Congress had also asked Cebrowski to study the Navy's shipbuilding programs and give an independent analysis of fleet architectures. The review comes at a time when the Navy faces cuts over the next six years to reduce the procurement of DD(X) destroyers by two ships at a savings of $2.5 billion and $1.2 billion from the LPD-17 ship project.

Cebrowski said Congress and DOD need to rethink how they set budgets because additions and cuts often don't fit within broader military initiatives.

"When people decide they want to reduce the budget in big chunks, aircraft and ships disappear from the force and it simply doesn't scale," he said.

The question is how does the military change decades-old metrics and introduce alternative technologies and alternative business models, he said. The focus cannot just be on combat, Cebrowski added, but moving rapidly to adopt some IT advances.

Cebrowski, who was the first transformation chief for the office that Defense created in late 2001, said he will spend his retirement traveling, writing a book and working with the Defense Science Board.

"I'm just going to take a deep breath," he said, adding, "I'm not retiring, I'm restructuring."

Terry Pudas, deputy director of force transformation, will be interim director until Defense names Cebrowski's replacement.

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