Strategy and technology converge in DoD’s FY 2013 budget request
The fiscal 2013 budget request from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) is in lock-step with President Obama’s adjuration for the DoD to maintain a leaner yet agile military force, testified Zachary J. Lemnios, assistant secretary of defense for research and engineering, before the Senate Armed Services Committee’s emerging threats and capabilities subcommittee earlier this week.
The DoD’s fiscal year budget request for 2013 tops out at $11.9 billion, plunging slightly from this year’s $12.2 billion. Of the fiscal 2013 request, DARPA is slated for a $2.8 billion piece of the pie, while $2.1 billion is allotted to basic research, $1 billion goes toward thwarting weapons of mass destruction, and about $2 billion is slated for technology and science spending by each military department.
Added to the budget request is $700 million assigned to increase all-domain, joint service operational capability, in addition to hastening development of an anti-ship long-range missile program and advanced electronic warfare techniques. It will also be used to kick off development of precision guided anti-jam munitions and demonstration of an Air Force hypersonic cruise missile. The Adaptive Versatile Engine Technology high-efficiency turbine engine, along with cyberspace, advanced manufacturing, and robotics, also received increased funding. Consequently, unspecified lower-priority budget request areas were realigned.
Lemnios also conveyed the need for Service and DoD laboratories to be able to keep highly qualified staff members onboard, whether civilian, contracted, or military. Presently 26 percent of the labs’ staff have master’s degrees, while doctorate degrees are held by 9 percent of the labs’ tens of thousands of employees.