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Larsen: Annual Defense Bill Fosters U.S. Leadership in New and Emerging Technologies

Rep. Rick Larsen (WA-02) successfully secured provisions in the Fiscal Year 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to foster U.S. leadership in new and emerging technologies. The NDAA was debated, amended and approved by the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) and will be considered by the full House of Representatives later this year.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, Rep. Rick Larsen (WA-02) successfully secured provisions in the Fiscal Year 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to foster U.S. leadership in new and emerging technologies. The NDAA was debated, amended and approved by the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) and will be considered by the full House of Representatives later this year. 

“The U.S. must increase economic and strategic engagement in the Asia-Pacific region. The NDAA accomplishes this in part by investing in U.S. leadership and innovation in emerging technology initiatives,” said Larsen, a senior HASC member. 

The NDAA includes several provisions Larsen supported that will protect national security and ensure the U.S. maintains its role as a leader in critical emerging technologies. 

Technological Preparedness 

Larsen championed a provision that requires the Department of Defense (DoD) to complete its information operations strategy and posture review. The NDAA also expands survivability training to include non-kinetic threats, including information warfare, and requires a report on information operations. 

Digital Technical Skills 

The DoD must recruit and train a workforce able to work with the technologies of the future, like artificial intelligence. Larsen supported provisions to: 

  • Implement several key recommendations from the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence 
  • Bring expertise to software acquisition
  • Require a report on the technical and digital talent within the DoD, work incentives and pay structure 

Collaboration with Private Sector Innovators 

To maintain a strategic edge as the military shifts its focus to the Asia-Pacific, the DoD must increase collaboration with existing American small businesses. The NDAA includes a provision to assist private sector innovators with participation in DoD procurement and acquisition programs. 

Key Research and Development Priorities 

The NDAA increases investments in key areas of research and development, including biotechnology, directed energy, and the electromagnetic spectrum:

  • $446 million for basic and applied research
  • $50 million for improvement of directed energy beam control
  • $140 million for research into Position, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) modernization and resiliency
  • $68 million for spectrum innovation
  • $43 million for undersea warfare research 
  • $20 million for improved R&D partnerships with allies
  • $20 million for the Defense University Research Instrumentation Program 

Cyberspace Activities 

Larsen supported a provision to provide additional funding to further protect DoD information systems. The NDAA also: 

  • Directs the establishment of a Cyber Threat Information Collaboration Environment within the Executive Branch to analyze cyber threats
  • Updates the Strategic Cybersecurity Program with new critical mission sets for study and mitigations 

For more information about the NDAA from the House Armed Services Committee, click here.