Government employees will replace some contractors 


         The Defense Department is working to reduce the number of contractors it uses and replace them with government employees.

            Testifying Feb. 2 before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the goal is take the number from 34 percent of the workforce to 26 percent, the same percentage as before the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

            Gates said that includes converting 10,000 acquisition positions and 10,000 new hires through 2014. The step also re-creates an acquisition career path for Army officers.

            Adding, “We probably should not have contractors evaluating contractors.”

            He repeated a pledge to ask the president to veto a defense bill that keeps the C-17 production line open and provide a second source for the F-35 strike fighter engine.