4 candidates for DOD positions testify before the Senate > US Department of Defense > Defense Department News

On Capitol Hill today, four candidates for Defense Department positions met with senators to discuss their vision for how they might handle their roles if confirmed.

Radha Plumb: Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment

Milancy D. Harris: Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security

Laura Taylor Kale: Assistant Secretary of Defense for Industrial Base Policy

Brendan Owens: Under Secretary of Defense for Energy, Facilities, and Environment

“We have the best military in the world and the creativity and skill of a thriving business sector that is also the envy of the world,” Plumb said. “If confirmed, my task will be to match the demands of our army’s fighters with the technologies of this vibrant industrial base to ensure our army has the capabilities it needs to prevail in critical missions at all times. , anywhere.”

If confirmed, Plumb said she believes the department needs to establish clear transition pathways for critical new technologies such as hypersonics, artificial intelligence and directed energy. She also said the department must find ways to leverage new acquisition avenues to acquire software and software-intensive systems to meet warfighter needs and also invest in the defense industrial base to reduce foreign dependence.

Plumb is currently Chief of Staff to the Under Secretary of Defense. She previously held positions at Google, Facebook, the RAND Corporation, the Department of Energy and the White House National Security Council.

“Defence, intelligence, and security efforts provide critical support to the Secretary’s national defense strategy and are critical to ensuring the United States maintains its strategic advantage today and in the future,” Harris said. . “I approach my appointment with a clear focus on ensuring that we are in the best position to work with allies and partners, collect information, perform analysis on intelligence priorities and protect our intelligence and our assets. innovation.”

Appointed deputy assistant secretary of defense for intelligence and security, Harris told senators the department should ensure it recruits and retains a workforce that reflects the nation’s diversity and must also increase reciprocity within the intelligence community and creating opportunities for education and expansion.

Harris is currently the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Irregular Warfare and Counterterrorism. She has also held positions with the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Counterterrorism Center and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

Appointed under secretary of defense for industrial base policy, Taylor-Kale said her tenure, if confirmed, would be shaped by her belief that America’s economic security is fundamentally national security.

“My experience in international economics and development finance has reinforced my belief that our open democratic system and our rules-based market economy are our strength,” she said. “And may our resilience and innovative defense industrial base strengthen our ability to prevail in an age of strategic competition against China and other competitors.”

If confirmed, Taylor-Kale said she would focus on key issues which include, among others, engaging industry and strategic allies as partners to mitigate supply chain risks. of the department, increasing competition and supporting small businesses and non-traditional suppliers, protecting the defense industrial base from adversary foreign capital, and increasing domestic production of critical minerals and strategic materials.

Currently, Taylor-Kale is a Fellow for Innovation and Economic Competitiveness at the Council on Foreign Relations. She has held previous positions with the International Trade Administration, the US Development Finance Corporation, the Department of State and the World Bank.

Appointed to, among other things, manage the Department of Defence’s global real estate portfolio, Owens said if confirmed he would be honored to serve the men and women who defend the nation.

“I will do everything I can to ensure their ability to carry out their mission decisively, while those of us who support this mission safeguard their well-being, he said. “For most forces, this starts with ensuring they have safe, healthy, efficient and resilient places to live and work. These places should improve the health, well-being and readiness of our military and of their families.”

If confirmed, Owens said he would be a champion for service members to ensure their environment, homes, workplaces and infrastructure serve to enhance their ability to carry out their mission. and to thrive. He also noted that almost all military installations in what would be his portfolio depend on local communities for their energy needs and that this poses a risk to the department. He told lawmakers he believed that because of the large size of the Department of Defense, the department’s ongoing efforts to improve the energy resilience of military installations through things like microgrids, integration from building to grid, energy production and storage, could benefit not only at the local level. communities but also the nation as a whole.

Owens, an engineer, is currently director of Black Vest Strategy, a consulting firm he founded. He also worked for 19 years with the US Green Building Council and before that as an energy manager at Fort Belvoir.

All four nominees will need to be confirmed by the US Senate before assuming their DOD duties.

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