WASHINGTON, Sept 12 President Barack Obama this
week nominated Jamie Morin, the Air Force's chief financial
officer, to head the Pentagon office that forecasts the costs of
major weapons systems and plays a critical role in whether they
live or die.
Morin, 38, went to the Air Force in June 2009 after working
for six years as the senior defense analyst on the U.S. Senate
Budget Committee. As Assistant Secretary of the Air Force
(Financial Management & Comptroller), he oversees the Air
Force's annual budget of $110 billion and its military and
civilian workforce of 700,000.
He also served as acting undersecretary of the Air Force for
10 months until April 29, leading the service's efforts to
implement budget cuts mandated under the process known as
sequestration while protecting military readiness and high
priority programs such as the Lockheed Martin Corp F-35
fighter jet and Boeing Co's KC-46 refueling plane.
If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Morin would head the
Pentagon's office of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation
(CAPE), an agency that will play a central role in determining
how the Pentagon will achieve the $500 billion in budget cuts
required over the next decade under the 2011 Budget Control Act.
The previous director, Christine Fox, retired at the end of
June after serving as a key adviser to three defense
The new job would put Morin in charge of a wide range of
responsibilities, including ensuring the costs of classified and
unclassified weapons programs; developing and improving
analytical tools to analyze national security planning; and
assessing the effects of Pentagon spending on the U.S. economy.
CAPE provides independent assessments of the costs of major
weapons programs, a role that often has it at odds with the
military services and big arms manufacturers.
Morin said he was honored to be nominated for what analysts
call one of the Pentagon's toughest jobs at a time when the U.S.
military must cut its planned spending by $500 billion over the
next decade, on top of $487 billion in cuts already planned for
roughly the same period.
"It's a remarkable opportunity at a critical time for the
Department of Defense and the nation," Morin said in a statement
released by the Air Force.
Todd Harrison, a defense analyst at the Center for Strategic
and Budgetary Assessments, said Morin would bring a great deal
of experience and insight to the CAPE job.
"He's the perfect guy for the job at the perfect time,"
Harrison said, noting that Morin had already refereed some big
policy debates during his time at the Air Force.
"He was involved in all the big discussions, he knows the
issues," Harrison said. "He's got the brain power to bring to