Congressman Wants New Defense Office Solely for Unmanned Systems

May 1, 2014
By Sandra Jontz
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A bill introduced this week in the House of Representative would compel the U.S. Defense Department to create an office specifically to oversee unmanned systems strategy. Introduced by Rep. J. Randy Forbes (R-VA), the creation of the office is part of the Asia-Pacific Region Priority Act.

“This legislation seeks to make the United States’ ‘rebalance’ to the Asia-Pacific more than merely a slogan,” Forbes says in a statement about the bill, which addresses other issues as well. Forbes serves as chairman of the House Armed Services Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee. “By providing for specific actions to buttress U.S. military capabilities in the region and encouraging our allies to enhance their own capabilities, this bipartisan legislation aims to positively shape the military balance in the Asia-Pacific in the decades to come.”

The new office is but one portion of the bill and would coordinate all of the Defense Department’s unmanned systems, from research and development to buying and deployment.

The Defense Department did not comment specifically on the call for a new office. “The Department of Defense does not comment on proposed legislation, but we look forward to working with Congress on Asia-Pacific rebalance initiatives,” says spokesman Lt. Col. Jeff Pool, USMC.

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