Special Operations Command has a new acquisition leader, the Air Force announced Feb. 8.
James Smith, the former deputy director for acquisition at the command, assumed the role of executive as his predecessor, James “Hondo” Geurts, now serves as assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition. A former Army officer, Smith joined SOCOM after his retirement from the service in 2013.
He takes the helm as the command is working to build more survivable platforms and increase lethality. Programs including the tactical assault light operator suit look to harness cutting-edge technologies to build the ultimate warfighter protection system. The organization’s SOFWERX facility is finding ways to work more quickly and easily with industry to field capabilities faster. In an email, Smith responded to questions from National Defense about how he plans to lead the directorate, near-term acquisition priorities and where industry can give him a hand. The Q&A has been edited for length and clarity.