Budget Woes for Research

The defense research chief, John Young, told defense reporters Thursday, acknowledged that the Pentagon’s lengthy budget process poses the biggest obstacle to quickly fielding new technologies. Young says that he is specifically focusing on technology transition from the lab to the field for time-sensitive efforts, such as IED jamming capabilities. As with most new technology, the moment it comes to “fruition,” it likely will have missed the program objective memorandum—the Pentagon’s five-year planning cycle for budgeting. He said that making the two ends meet “requires constant vigilance on the part of myself and my team.” Young recently sent transition letters to the services to tell them about projects that are near completion, encouraging them to quickly seek funding for the Fiscal 2008 POM.