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Carnegie Mellon software, cybersecurity leader nominated to head Pentagon weapons testing

Aaron Aupperlee
| Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017, 4:39 p.m.
Robert Behler| Photo from Carnegie Mellon University Software Engineering Institute
Robert Behler| Photo from Carnegie Mellon University Software Engineering Institute

President Trump has nominated a leader in software development and cybersecurity from Carnegie Mellon University to head the military's weapons testing program.

The nomination of Robert Behler, chief operating officer and deputy director at CMU's Software Engineering Institute, can be seen as a nod to the increasingly critical and complex role software and cybersecurity plays in U.S. defense systems.

Behler declined to be interviewed until after the Senate confirmation process but said he is honored by the nomination and called the post important in assuring American defense capabilities.

Trump sent Behler's nomination to the Senate on Tuesday.

As a test pilot in the U.S. Air Force, Behler flew more than 65 different aircraft, including the supersonic SR-71 Blackbird and the U-2 spy plane. He retired from the Air Force in 2003 as a major general after serving 31 years.

Behler has been at the Software Engineering Institute since 2012. SEI is a Department of Defense-funded research and development center working to make sure the software and systems used by the military, government and businesses are safe, secure and operational.

Aaron Aupperlee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at, 412-336-8448 or via Twitter @tinynotebook.

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