Senator HAGAN. We will bring to order the Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee.
Good afternoon. And we meet today to receive testimony on the
health and status of the Department of Defense science and technology enterprise and its contributions to developing innovative and affordable systems for the warfighter. This hearing will delve deeper into some of the important topics that we touched upon last year in our hearing on the health and status of the DOD laboratory enterprise.
Despite the significant budgetary pressures we are facing today, the Defense Department should be given credit for trying to preserve, as much as possible, the investments in science and technology. Nevertheless, these budgetary pressures, along with the pending drawdown of our forces in combat overseas and the associated decrease in rapid fielding requirements and the new defense strategic guidance, all are forcing the science and technology community to reevaluate the priorities.
Two key areas of significant concern to me are the Department's
ability to recruit and retain the best and brightest for its science and technology workforce--and I know I have spoken to some of you about this--especially daunting when you look at the sequestration environment that we are in today, and the timeliness and affordability of the new weapons systems.
In order to address and understand some of these complex issues and the Department of Defense's approach to them, we are pleased to have five expert witnesses with us today. Dr. Alan Shaffer is the acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering. And I understand that is the second time for an extended period of time over the last 10 years. So thank you.
Dr. Arati Prabhakar is the Director of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, better known as DARPA. I understand this too is your second time serving at DARPA, the first as a program manager and the founding director of DARPA's Microelectronics Technology Office. Welcome.
Ms. Mary Miller is the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Research and Technology, also in this position for the second time.
And Ms. Mary Lacey, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development, Test and Evaluation. As I said, welcome back. You are the only witness on this panel to date who was at the hearing that we had last year.
And Dr David Walker, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Science, Technology, and Engineering.
I thank all of you today for your service in the cause for our National security. We look forward to your testimony. In order for us to have adequate time to discuss a broad range of topics--and especially with five witnesses also--I ask that you keep your opening remarks to, hopefully, 2 minutes. And we are going to include your full written statements in the hearing record.
Before we hear from our panel, I want to turn to my good colleague and ranking member, Senator Fischer, for any opening remarks Senator Fischer would care to make. Thank you.