FORCES Speaker Series: Pierre Sprey - The Weapons You Pick Can Wreck the Strategy You Want

Institute for Global Security and Defense Innovation
March 31, 2020
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
HCRN 1066


Pierre Sprey (BE from Yale, ME from Cornell) After seven years as operations researcher and statistician for Grumman Aircraft, in 1966 Sprey joined the Secretary of Defense's systems analysis office. Starting in 1967 he, with USAF Colonels John Boyd and Everest Riccioni, created the F-16 concept design, bringing it to fruition eight years later in the face of entrenched opposition. Simultaneously, working sub rosa for USAF Colonel Avery Kay, Sprey led the A-10's concept design team, then helped implement the plane's competitive prototype acquisition--against even deeper rooted opposition. Continuing this work after leaving the Pentagon in 1971 to become a principal in two consulting firms, he also analyzed numerous other air and ground weapons building on the seminal work of Army Colonel Richard Hallock, pioneer of the combat history/combat data approach to cost effectiveness analysis. In the late 1970s, Boyd and Sprey, together with a dedicated group of Pentagon and congressional insiders, launched the military reform movement and then the Congressional Military Reform Caucus, leading to passage of several military reform bills. Sprey continues to write and work actively with reform-minded officers, journalists, congressional staffs and foundations.

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