UPDATE 2-US Air Force Could Lose Acquisitions Control-Chief

March 8, 2012

The Pentagon could assume control of major Air Force acquisition decisions after paperwork problems prompted the service to abruptly cancel a $355 million contract for 20 planes to be sold to Afghanistan, the top Air Force officer said on Thursday.

"It's possible," Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz said when asked if Pentagon acquisition officials could take control of Air Force acquisitions again, as they did after a major procurement scandal in the mid-2000s.

Schwartz told a defense conference hosted by Credit Suisse and defense consultant Jim McAleese that he was embarrassed that the Air Force had found "inadequate" documentation for the contract award to privately held Sierra Nevada and partner Embraer. 

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