Cochran Urges Sound Defense Strategy, Investments to Counter Emerging Threats

Senate Defense Panel Considers How to Ensure U.S. Military Technical Superiority
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Thad Cochran, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee and its Subcommittee on Defense, today stressed the importance of the Department of Defense making sound strategic decisions when investing in technologies to ensure U.S. military personnel are the best equipped and trained in the world.
Cochran on Wednesday chaired a Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee hearing focusing on the FY2016 budget request for defense innovation and research programs to develop capabilities that will advance U.S. technical superiority and counter new and emerging threats.
“The funding provided for research, development, testing and evaluation is critical to countering risks to our national security.  It is important that we invest in the correct warfare domains to maintain our technological dominance, both now and in the future,” Cochran said.  “Our challenge, with input from our military experts, is to understand and counter the advances being made by nations that could threaten our national security interests.”
At the hearing, Cochran stressed the Appropriations Committee’s role in supporting military research, noting that “this subcommittee has been a strong advocate of science and technology investments and has ensured funding is provided to make certain our nation can maintain its role as the leader in technology and innovation.”
Cochran sought information from Frank Kendall, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition Technology and Logistics, on his research on the technological advances of other nations that put American security interests at risk.
Kendall was joined by Alan Shaffer, the Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Development, Research and Engineering, and Dr. Steven Walker, the Deputy Director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA.
The President’s budget requests $70.0 billion for Research, Development, Test and Evaluation (RDT&E) in FY2016, $6.1 billion over the FY2015 enacted level.  This includes $12.3 billion for Science and Technology programs, which is $14 million above the FY2015 enacted level.