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Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2013

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. LANGEVIN. I rise to engage in a colloquy with my colleagues and good friends, a member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, Mr. Frelinghuysen, and the ranking member of the subcommittee, Mr. Dicks.

First of all, I'd like to thank the chairman and the ranking member for their hard work on this very important legislation. Their efforts to strengthen our national defense and support our men and women in uniform have been tireless, and they truly should be commended. Moreover, I'm very pleased that they make key investments in areas of great interest and concern to me, the first of which is the Virginia class submarine, as well as cybersecurity.

I believe that our technological edge is critical to ensuring that our warfighters not only can do what we ask them to do in the future, but can do so as safely and efficiently as possible. In addition to the Virginia class submarine and cybersecurity, no family of technologies shows as much promise to this end as directed-energy weapons.

With that, I would yield to the gentleman.

Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. I thank the gentleman and welcome the opportunity to engage with him.

Mr. LANGEVIN. In this vein, I'd like to talk about the decades of investment that this Congress and the Department of Defense have made into directed-energy weapons research. More specifically, I'd like to direct them to a recent report by the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessment that clearly showed many directed-energy technologies have actually matured to the point that cultural factors, not technological maturity, are the most significant barriers to operational deployment.

To this end, I offered an amendment to this year's National Defense Authorization Act that would require a report detailing how we can accelerate the deployment of the most promising directed-energy initiatives; and I recognize the commitment that this bill before us today continues in terms of investing in directed-energy weapons technology, and I would encourage the committee to support these efforts in future appropriations measures.

With that, I yield to the gentleman.

Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. The committee is aware of the Department's research into directed-energy capabilities and shares the gentleman from Rhode Island's interest in ensuring that our warfighters have the capabilities they need to operate in the complex environments of the future.

I would assure the gentleman that the committee will continue to make every effort to ensure that the Department of Defense is adequately and effectively resourced to meet the challenges of the future, including the transformational technologies such as directed energy.

Mr. DICKS. Will the gentleman yield?

Mr. LANGEVIN. I yield to the gentleman.

Mr. DICKS. I, too, echo the gentleman's interest in the field of directed energy and solid-state laser technology. With the threats and environment that the warfighter and the intelligence community are facing, the addition of new technologies that provide a tactical and strategic edge should be examined more rigorously.

I appreciate the gentleman yielding.

Mr. LANGEVIN. I thank the chairman for his and the ranking member's commitment, and I certainly look forward to working to realize the potential of directed-energy weapons and to harvest the Nation's past investments in this family of technologies.

With that, I yield to the chairman.

Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. We appreciate the gentleman's view. And I will assure him that we'll look forward to working with him and the ranking member, Mr. Dicks, to make sure that our warfighters can realize the benefits of our Nation's research and development investments, including directed energy.

Mr. DICKS. I thank the gentleman for his hard work on this issue and look forward to working with him.

Mr. LANGEVIN. I thank the ranking member and the chairman, and I yield back the balance of my time.


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