FYI: The AIP Bulletin of Science Policy News

Coalition Supports Administrationís Request for Defense S&T Programs

Richard M. Jones
Number 65 - May 31, 2011  |  Search FYI  |   FYI Archives  |   Subscribe to FYI

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The Coalition for National Security Research (CNSR) has issued an FY 2012 statement calling on Congress to fully fund the Pentagon’s request for the 6.1 basic research, 6.2 applied research, and 6.3 advanced technology development programs.

CNSR describes itself as “a broadly-based coalition of industry, research universities, and associations united by a commitment to a stronger Defense S&T base.”  The American Institute of Physics and several of its Member Societies participate in the Coalition.

The House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee will mark up its bill this week.  The subcommittee is chaired by Rep. C.W. Bill Young (R-FL); the Ranking Member is Rep. Norm Dicks (D-WA). 

The statement follows:

“The Coalition for National Security Research (CNSR) urges Congress to fully fund the Pentagon’s FY 12 request of $2.1 billion for defense basic research, $4.7 billion for defense applied research and $5.8 billion for defense advanced technology development.

“Investments in the Defense S&T program have yielded cutting edge technologies and innovations that have led to superiority on the battlefield, life-saving therapies for wounded soldiers, and better quality of life for civilians.  New sensor technologies help detect and neutralize threats on the battlefield from improvised explosive devices.  Battlefield medical protocols and prosthetics have been revolutionized.  Furthermore, technologies once created solely for military use, such as the Internet and GPS, are now widely used around the globe.  Companies specializing in these technologies often originated in university labs and have become economic drivers that provide thousands of high-quality jobs across the country.  These investments are critical to our national security and underpin our economic vitality.

“We are cognizant of the current fiscal situation facing our country and appreciate the desire to determine strategic national priorities. Among our national security priorities must be investments in defense-related research and technology. Federal support for Defense S&T programs are critical investments in the innovative people, ideas, and technology that our nation needs to reinvigorate its national and economic security. As the Congress makes difficult decisions about our strategic priorities, we respectfully ask for full consideration of this request, which is consistent with the Pentagon’s multi-year initiative and the recommendations of the National Academies’ 2005 report Rising Above the Gathering Storm.

“We strongly support the continued effort by the Department of Defense to increase investments in the 6.1 basic research accounts by $1 billion between FY2009 and FY13 and continued emphasis on peer-reviewed basic research.  More broadly, CNSR urges Congress to provide sufficient funding to work towards the Pentagon’s historical goal to invest three percent of the Department’s total budget in the Defense S&T program – 6.1 basic research, 6.2 applied research, and 6.3 advanced technology development. 

“CNSR also urges Congress to provide sufficient funding for Defense S&T programs that play a critical role in cultivating the next generation of talented engineers and scientists.  Programs such as the National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship Program, the National Defense Education Program and the National Security Science and Engineering Faculty Fellowship Program provide education and research opportunities that strengthen our nation’s scientific and technical workforce.

“Finally, CNSR notes the important role the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has played in funding high-risk research that has led to many of the extraordinary, historical technological advances of our day.  CNSR urges Congress to acknowledge the important role this agency plays in dealing with both near term needs and the game-changing technologies of the future by supporting the proposed increases in the DARPA budget for 6.1 and 6.2 research.”

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