The Department of Defense has created a new position to oversee its future software strategy, including key elements of F-35 aircraft system upgrades, and has hired a former Air Force cyber operations officer to lead the role.

Jeff Boleng, the acting chief technology officer with Carnegie Mellon University’s Software Engineering Institute, will begin his tenure as DoD’s special assistant for software acquisition on Monday, according to Ellen Lord, under secretary of defense for Acquisition and Sustainment.

Jeff Boleng, DoD's new special assistant for software acquisition
Jeff Boleng, DoD’s new special assistant for software acquisition

“Boleng will serve as a key member of the Under Secretary’s executive leadership team, providing strategic focus and overall policy guidance on all matters of defense software acquisition,” Lord said in a statement.

In the new role, Boleng will develop the department’s software acquisition strategy, advise Pentagon leadership on the latest commercial software developments and support recruitment of the software engineer workforce.

The majority of Boleng’s responsibilities will belong to overseeing the F-35’s agile software strategy to remove legacy systems and reduce opportunities for vulnerability exploitation.

The F-35 software prioritization is part of the program’s Continuous Capability Development and Delivery effort, which is expected to undergo a review in June (Defense Daily, March 7).

Boleng previously served in the Air Force for 21 years as a cyberspace operations officer and software engineer.