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President Obama has nominated William LaPlante to serve as assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, announced the White House on Oct. 30. Since May, LaPlante has been the principal deputy in the service's acquisition office. If the Senate confirms this nomination, it would mark the first time since April 2009, when Sue Payton stepped down, that the Air Force has an assistant secretary leading its acquisition office. Following Payton's departure, David Van Buren, who had been her principal deputy, ran the acquisition office, performing the duties of an assistant secretary under the title "service acquisition executive." Van Buren left the post in February. LaPlante, prior to assuming his current position, was missile defense portfolio director at the Mitre Corporation. He has been a member of the Defense Science Board since 2010. (See also Payton Leaving.)