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FYI Number 66: May 25, 2004

House and Senate DOD Authorization Bills: S&T Report Language

As reported in FYI #65, the House and Senate have been working on the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2005. The House has passed its bill, H.R. 4200; the Senate will continue work on S. 2400 after it returns from the Memorial Day recess. The Defense Authorization bill serves as guidance for the FY 2005 Defense Appropriations bill.

There is lengthy report language accompanying the House and Senate bills on the 6.1 Basic Research, 6.2 Applied Research, and 6.3 Advanced Technology programs. Below is the general report language pertaining to science and technology funding from each report. Readers interested in the language regarding a specific S&T program can review it by consulting the full report language at http://thomas.loc.gov/

SENATE ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE REPORT 108-260 LANGUAGE - Defense science and technology funding:

"The committee commends the Department of Defense for its commitment to the importance of science and technology (S&T) programs. The Science and Technology Program budget request has increased by 22 percent over the last three fiscal years, keeping pace with the overall increased investment in defense spending. However, at $10.55 billion, or 2.62 percent of the overall Department's budget, the request falls short of the Department's stated goal of three percent of total funding for S&T. The committee urges the Department to increase its efforts to meet this important goal for its long-range programs.

"The Department faces pressing and competing priorities and challenging operational requirements. In confronting, adapting to, and surmounting these challenges, which are represented by unexpected low- and high-tech threats, interoperability of new capabilities, such as unmanned systems and coalition forces, and rapid response demands, the Department's S&T investment remains a key transformational enabler.

"As has been demonstrated in recent operations, stable long-term investments in basic and applied research have led to critical force protection technologies, stand off sensing and detection capabilities, and improved, precision lethality. Future technological innovations resulting from basic research and scientific endeavors, as well as rapid transition and adaptation of old capabilities in new ways, will ensure the continued technological superiority of the U.S. military. The committee recommends an increase of over $445 million [over the Administration's FY 2005 request] for S&T programs, including an increase of: approximately $40 million in projects designed to combat terrorism; over $30 million toward development of future weapons systems; almost $70 million for unmanned systems; and approximately $100 million for the future force and force protection.

"The committee supports the Department's efforts to recruit and retain scientists and engineers (S&E) in national security critical disciplines, such as ocean acoustics, hypervelocity physics, energetics, propulsion, and adaptive optics, and has provided authorization for a pilot program to further the Department's S&E workforce goals.

"The committee remains concerned with the increasingly near-term, applied nature of the S&T program and recommends a renewed focus on the kind of discovery-oriented research, informed by the military mission, that has yielded tangible benefits for today's warfighter. The committee recommends an increase of approximately $80 million in these fundamental research programs.

"It is the courage and commitment of our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines that make the U.S. military the finest fighting force in the world. When that courage and commitment is coupled with the finest technology America's scientists and engineers have to offer, the effectiveness of America's warfighter is dramatically increased."


HOUSE ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE REPORT 108-491 LANGUAGE - Defense science and technology funding:

"The budget request contained $10.6 billion for the Department of Defense (DOD) science and technology program, including all defense-wide and military service funding for basic research, applied research, and advanced technology development. The request included $1.8 billion for the Army, $1.7 billion for the Navy, $1.9 billion for the Air Force, and $5.1 billion for Defense Agency science and technology, including $3.1 billion for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The committee recommends $11.1 billion for the Department of Defense science and technology program, an increase of $874.0 million to the budget request. The committee's recommendation includes $2.1 billion for the Army, an increase of $304.8 million; $1.8 billion for the Navy, an increase of $201.7 million; $2.0 billion for the Air Force, an increase of $114.0 million; and $5.2 billion for Defense agency science and technology, an increase of $64.5 million (including $2.9 billion for DARPA, a decrease of $204.0 million). Elsewhere in this report the committee has recommended a provision (section 214) that would transfer funding for the joint experimentation program from the Navy to a Defense-wide account.

"The committee regards defense science and technology investment as critical to maintaining U.S. military technological superiority in the face of growing and changing threats to U.S. national security interests around the world. Adjusted for inflation, the fiscal year 2005 request represents an increase of about $200.0 million [from the Administration's FY 2004 request], but shows a decline from the fiscal year 2004 appropriation of $12.2 billion. The committee notes that the budget request at a level of 2.6 percent of the total DOD budget, does not meet the goal of 3 percent established by the 2001 Quadrennial Defense Review. However, the committee received testimony from DOD witnesses during the committee hearing on the defense science and technology program that confirmed that the goal for science and technology funding remains 3 percent of the total DOD budget.

"The committee notes that the military departments are responsible for approximately 51 percent of the defense science and technology budget (Army 17 percent, Navy 16 percent, and Air Force 18 percent) and Defense Agencies account for 49 percent, including 29 percent in DARPA. Defense agencies focus on science and technology specific to the particular agency or, in the case of DARPA, on national-level problems, operational dominance, and exploitation of high-risk, high-payoff technologies. The military departments' science and technology programs focus on the development and transition of more mature technologies into future weapons systems that are key to the ability of the individual military departments to achieve their transformation objectives.

"The past year has provided numerous examples of successful technology development and deployment. The men and women of the U.S. armed forces are better equipped, trained, and protected because of revolutionary breakthroughs emerging from the technology base. The committee commends the Department for the response of the Defense science and technology base to the emerging critical operational needs in support of the global war on terrorism and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Elsewhere in this report the committee has recommended increased funding to further accelerate the transition of advanced technologies.

"Despite the positive aspects of the Department's science and technology program, the committee is concerned about long-term projections for reductions in DOD science and technology as a percentage of total obligation authority and in short-term trends in the science and technology accounts of some of the military departments and defense agencies. The committee cannot emphasize too strongly the need for the Department to maintain a strong and robustly funded science and technology program that will provide the advanced technologies needed to assure technical dominance of our armed forces on any current or future battlefield."

Richard M. Jones
Media and Government Relations Division
American Institute of Physics
fyi@aip.org
301-209-3095

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