A month ago, when President Obama nominated Navy Rear Adm. James D. Syring to head the troubled Missile Defense Agency, some folks thought that meant that Lt. Gen. Patrick O’Reilly, the current MDA director, would be out soon.
Well, not necessarily.
In fact, we hear O’Reilly’s got a solid travel schedule set for this fall, starting with a trip to Berlin next week to attend the 10th annual Multinational Ballistic Missile Defense conference in Berlin on Monday. (Berlin’s lovely this time of year, but don’t start packing unless you have a “secret,” need-to-know clearance.)
O’Reilly, Loop Fans may recall, has come under heavy fire from the Pentagon inspector general, whose May 2 report criticized him for having an abusive management style — probably one reason why MDA had ranked 223 out of 224 smaller agencies in a survey by the Partnership for Public Service.
“If the Senate acts, there should be a change in leadership this fall from O’Reilly to Syring,” a senior Defense official tells us. “The exact timing depends on congressional action.”
If that’s the case, detractors shouldn’t get excited. O’Reilly could be there for quite a while.