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Hearing of the House Armed Services Committee - National Defense Priorities from Members for the FY 2013 National Defense Authorization Act


Location: Washington, DC

Good Morning,

I am here before you today to request the Committee provide sufficient funding for our 21st century defense initiatives as you work through the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act.

The 2013 Department of Defense budget proposed by the Administration does not provide ample funding for cyber security defenses or advanced research projects. Such projects are essential to maintaining our technological edge. They have been unreasonably cut in the Administration's budget proposal. If the Department of Defense's budget figures remain, key program areas that
are vital to our nation's infrastructure would be vastly undercut.

For instance, over $1 billion in funding would be cut from the Air Force's total funding levels for research, development, test, and evaluation programs. Of greater concern are the 17 percent cuts that the Air Force's Science and Technology Cyber funds would face.

There are many agencies that would be adversely affected as a result of these unwise cuts. Some of those agencies include STRATCOM, the Air Force's Air Combat Command, and intelligence agencies including the NSA and DIA. These cuts would hurt the ability of our agencies to attract and leverage external funding, which would multiply the damage done to our ability to maintain
the technological edge that our forces demand and deserve.

I have seen the type of innovative projects that are being worked on by our Air Force Research Laboratories, such as Rome Lab in New York. For example, Rome Lab was the first to institute computer network attack and exploitation as a formal science and technology discipline. Rome Lab is also a leader in command-and-control operations, reverse engineering, and several other
next-generation science and technology advancements.

Our economy, our armed services, and our daily lives are dependent on accessible and safe information technology. We must protect our networks by providing the funding levels necessary to do just that. The National Defense Authorization Act presents the best opportunity to show that we understand the importance of these programs. I believe that we risk falling behind if the Administration's budget figures stand.

I know that our national security and the importance of prioritizing our information technology and cyber defense programs are recognized by the members of this Committee. It is my hope that those programs will be provided with the sufficient funding levels that they require to keep us ahead.

Therefore, I would like to formally ask my colleagues on the Committee to review the Air Force Research Lab Information Directorate programs in order to provide fair funding for our nation's 21st century cyber defenses within the Fiscal Year 2013 National Defense Authorization Act.

Thank you for your consideration and your time.

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