Gregory Kausner, executive director for international cooperation at the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment (OUSD A&S), has said the Pentagon is continuing assessments of potential COVID-19 impacts to defense suppliers.
Kausner told attendees at the ComDef 2020 virtual event that his office seeks to understand short- and long-term impacts of the pandemic to the industrial base while “appropriately reorienting the department's efforts through a broad range of responses," the U.S. Army said Tuesday.
According to Kausner, the Department of Defense (DoD) has found vulnerabilities in its international supply chain that handles the manufacture of critical components for a range of applications including microelectronics, hypersonics, cyber, artificial intelligence, machine learning, space, quantum science, biotechnology and 5G communications.
The DoD is looking to transition production activities to “less vulnerable” international suppliers while re-shoring work to domestic entities, he noted. Kausner also emphasized the need to drive partnerships and alliances with foreign companies on research efforts that can benefit the U.S. and its allies.
Whether acquiring innovative technologies from the department's own labs, U.S. industry or foreign companies, "the key to innovation is not just the innovation itself, but also the adaptation to the innovation and the integration of the innovation, because, without that, it's simply a shiny object," Kausner added.