DoD Forms New Task Force

The Defense Department has created a new task force dedicated to addressing ongoing challenges with its supply chain visibility and resiliency, including ways to mitigate risk.

Gregory Kausner, who is currently handling the duties of under secretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, stood up the Supply Chain Resiliency Working Group on Aug. 30, the Pentagon said last week.

“A comprehensive strategic approach will take time, dedicated attention, and resources,” Kausner said in a Department release announcing the task force. “Effective implementation begins with understanding our vulnerabilities and the necessary responses, so we can focus our efforts to build greater resiliency across critical supply chains.”

The task force will build on existing DoD efforts to shore up supply chain risks that have been an increasingly critical concern for the Pentagon, Congress, and the Biden administration. The COVID-19 pandemic, in particular, brought some long-perceived supply chain vulnerabilities into stark light, with an official in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence earlier this spring characterizing the events of the past year as a “wake-up call.”

“We are working to solve a problem that took 50 years to evolve,” Kausner said.

According to the release, the Office of Industrial Policy, led by Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Industrial Policy Jesse Salazar, will spearhead the task force’s activities.

“It coalesces efforts from across the Department and provides a mechanism to develop a framework and proactive strategy to change the way DoD does business and better secure our supply chains,” Salazar said in the Department release.

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