Arlington, Va. (May 26, 2022) – In a letter sent to Congress today, the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) President and CEO Eric Fanning urges Congress to deliver adequate and timely investment to the Department of Defense (DOD) in the face of growing threats.
This letter underscores the need for Congress to deliver on-time resources to our nation’s military along with sound policy reforms that maximize those resources and send a clear signal to America’s adversaries and allies alike. The letter includes four key elements of the DOD topline Congress must support: (1) adequate financial investment, (2) passing appropriations on time, (3) streamlining the acquisition process and accelerating innovation at the Pentagon, and (4) support for the national security industrial base and its workforce.
“By repeating the patterns of delay and inconsistent investment that have characterized the past 15 years, China, Russia, and others will seek to exploit this vulnerability. Finding common ground to break that cycle and dedicate adequate and timely resources, along with policy reforms to maximize their impact, will help demonstrate American resolve,” Fanning said. He also stressed the essential role of the defense industrial base (DIB) and its workforce in helping enable the country’s security, noting both are strategic assets upon which the country relies.
“An innovative, competitive, and thriving DIB and its workforce are an important part of the legacy systems and emerging technology that are making a difference on the ground in Ukraine today and will be decisive in Indo-Pacific competition,” Fanning continued.
The letter comes as Congress considers the President’s Fiscal Year 2023 Budget request and record-high inflation grips much of the nation, affecting every aspect of the DIB and DOD’s purchasing power.
To combat this trend Fanning noted, “Three to five percent growth above the rate of inflation is the level of investment required to support America’s global force, maintain our competitive edge over adversaries, and catch up technologically in areas where we are falling behind.” Similarly, earlier this month Deputy Secretary of Defense Dr. Kathleen Hicks remarked that on-time appropriations are the best way to combat inflation.
Support for all elements of the DOD topline – investment, predictability, and policy – deter the kind of malign activities we have seen in Europe and sends an unmistakable message of resolve to the national security industrial base and its workforce, as well as America’s allies.
For the full letter click here.