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DoD Officials, Senators Talk Science Investments in FY 2016 Budget Hearing

Frank Kendall
Frank Kendall

Officials from the Defense Department testified before the Senate Appropriations Committee’s defense panel on the department’s fiscal 2016 budget request and focused on the $12.2 billion allotted for science and technology initiatives, DoD News reported Friday.

Cheryl Pellerin writes Pentagon acquisition chief Frank Kendall told the subcommittee that DoD has sought to maintain a steady investment in science and technology to drive innovation and U.S. military superiority.

Kendall, who is also an inductee into Executive Mosaic‘s Wash100 for 2015, said programs such as the Defense Innovation Initiative and Better Buying Power 3.0 work to bolster innovation efforts through increased research and development work, an improved acquisition system and partnerships with industry.

Alan Shaffer
Alan Shaffer

“We’re trying to align our financial incentive structure with the things we want. In this case, what we want is innovation — more creative, more capable products that we can get to the warfighter,” he said.

Alan Shaffer, acting assistant secretary of defense for development, research and engineering, added that DoD’s Reliance 21 framework is another program that aims to enable collaboration in the science and technology arenas.

Steven Walker, deputy director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, also highlighted that agency’s current lineup of investments in technologies that support national security, including the Tactical Boost Glide system and Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept.

During the hearing, Kendall also urged the panel to prevent another potential sequestration as the service is still working on building up “lost” readiness and capabilities, Pellerin reports.

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