Article was originally published on defensesystems.com by Ross Wilkers on July 13th, 2021

The Air Force’s former chief weapons buyer has been tapped to lead the commercial drone maker Volansi as CEO just four months after joining Volansi’s board of directors.

Will Roper, a champion of modernization and rapid software development for the Air Force, will oversee Volansi’s push to further expand its offerings of autonomous vertical takeoff-and-landing delivery vehicles for medium and heavy-weight payloads, the company said July 8.

The San Francisco-headquartered company was founded in 2015 and its primary investors are Lightspeed Venture Partners and Icon Ventures.

Roper most recently was assistant Air Force secretary for acquisition, technology and logistics with responsibility over an estimated $60 billion budget involving research, development, testing, production, modernization and logistics programs.

He also won the Fed100 award in 2018 when he was the director for DOD’s Strategic Capabilities Office, where he focused on major acquisition changes needed to revamp the department’s technology approach.

A version of this article first appeared on Washington Technology, a sibling publication to Defense Systems.