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Air Force Secretary Michael Donley said he believes the Air Force finally has a candidate "lined up" to serve as the service's assistant secretary for acquisition—a post that has been empty since 2009. "Regarding the absence of a confirmed acquisition official, we had had in place a very capable principle deputy for two years of that period," said Donley during the House Armed Services Committee's April 12 hearing on the Air Force's Fiscal 2014 budget request. "And since his departure last year, we've been looking for a replacement. I do believe we have a candidate lined up, who will be in place within the next month or so." Donley declined to offer a name, but said the Air Force had sought out "several candidates" to fill the long-empty position, but each had "been unable to step up to the requirements of leaving their corporate position to spend time in government." He acknowledged it's been a "lengthy process" and one that has been "longer than I would have liked," but said the delay has not been for "a lack of interest in filling the position on our part."