Six of the twelve FY 2013 appropriations bills will have been considered on the House floor by the end of this week. Awaiting floor action, which may occur in late July, is H.R. 5856, the FY 2013 Department of Defense Appropriations Bill. The full House Appropriations Committee passed this bill by voice vote, and has issued House Report 112-493, a 356-page document containing funding and policy recommendations.
The Senate Appropriations Committee has not acted on three of the twelve FY 2013 measures, including that for the Department of Defense. None of the Senate bills has been considered on the floor.
Figures from the House Appropriations Committee report pertaining to Title V, Research, Development, Test and Evaluation, starting on page 205 are below. Note that the FY 2012 funding and FY 2013 administration request figures are taken from a document prepared by the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller).
Total 6.1 Basic Research:
FY 2012 funding is $2,112.4 million The FY 2013 request is $2,116.9 million, an increase of $4.5 million or 0.2 percent The House bill provides $2,116.9 million, an increase of $4.5 million or 0.2 percent
Total 6.2 Applied Research:
FY 2012 funding is $4,739.3 million The FY 2013 request is $4,478.0 million, a decrease of $261.3 million or 5.5 percent The House bill provides $4,563.2 million, a decrease of $176.1 million or 3.7 percent
Total 6.3 Advanced Technology Development:
FY 2012 funding is $5,411.3 million The FY 2013 request is $5,266.3 million, a decrease of $145.0 million or 2.7 percent The House bill provides $5,529.8 million, an increase of $118.5 million or 2.2 percent
Total Army 6.1, 6.2, and 6.3:
FY 2012 funding is $2,535.8 million The FY 2013 request is $2,209.5 million, a decrease of $326.3 million or 12.9 percent The House bill provides $2,295.9 million, a decrease of $239.9 million or 9.5 percent
Total Navy 6.1, 6.2, and 6.3:
FY 2012 funding is $2,120.4 million The FY 2013 request is $1,979.7 million, a decrease of $140.7 million or 6.6 percent The House bill provides $2,063.4 million, a decrease of $57.0 million or 2.7 percent
Total Air Force 6.1, 6.2, and 6.3:
FY 2012 funding is $2,435.7 million The FY 2013 request is $2,221.8 million, a decrease of $213.9 million or 8.8 percent The House bill provides $2,241.8 million, a decrease of $193.9 million or 8.0 percent
Total Defense-Wide (i.e., DARPA) 6.1, 6.2, and 6.3:
FY 2012 funding is $5,171.2 million The FY 2013 request is $5,450.0 million, an increase of $278.8 million or 5.4 percent The House bill provides $5,608.8 million, an increase of $437.6 million or 8.5 percent
In addition to the funding recommendations, the committee’s report contains the following language regarding defense science and technology programs:
“The Committee is concerned about the future of the Nation’s workforce, specifically in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) disciplines. These skills are vitally needed within the Department of Defense to maintain United States military superiority. While these skills are underrepresented in the available workforce, minorities especially are underrepresented in these skill sets both in the current workforce and at university levels.
“The Committee encourages the Department to support the development of STEM skill sets, especially in undergraduate and graduate programs, and to focus on increasing the participation and success of minority students through engaged mentoring, enriched research experiences, and opportunities to publish, present, and network. These factors, along with peer-to-peer mentoring, have been demonstrated to be a successful model for minority education.” (Page 59)
“The Committee recognizes the importance of a strong systems engineering workforce for the success of acquisition programs within the Department of Defense. Studies indicate that early and sustained investment in systems engineering reduces the likelihood of cost and schedule overruns in acquisition programs. . . .
“The Department conducts a wide range of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) outreach programs aimed at all education levels to encourage students to pursue careers in these fields. Recruiting personnel with STEM backgrounds would logically help improve the quality of the systems engineering workforce.
“The Committee urges the Secretary of Defense to establish a mechanism for identifying and tracking personnel within the Department’s organic acquisition workforce whom the Department recognizes as being qualified in the discipline of systems engineering, on the basis of education, experience, and such other factors as it may identify (such as prior performance). Additionally, the Committee believes it would benefit the Department to track the effectiveness of its many STEM outreach programs in an effort to determine if these programs are actually resulting in an improved STEM (including systems engineers) workforce within the Department.” (Page 207)
“SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING, AND MATHEMATICS EDUCATION
“The Committee notes with increasing concern the underperformance of students in science and math, and recognizes efforts being made at the Department to remedy these concerns. The Committee recommends that the Department explore the expansion of programs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics for grades K through 12 that are comprehensive in nature, provide curriculum for in-school and after-school programs, and promote an overall appreciation for the subject matter.” (Page 254)
“EXPANDING UNDERREPRESENTED MINORITY PARTICIPATION
“Consistent with the National Academy of Sciences report ‘Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation: America’s Science and Technology Talent at the Crossroads’, the Committee recognizes the importance of ensuring that there is a strong pipeline of underrepresented minorities pursuing engineering, science, and technology careers. The Committee commends public-private partnerships that have come together to ensure scholarship support innovative ideas like Academies of Engineering in high schools, and corporate partnership and sponsorship of district, urban, and rural areas to build a minority pipeline in key fields like engineering, which are needed for both national security and national economic reasons and by virtually every federal science and technology agency. The Committee encourages the Secretary of Defense to provide resources for scholarships for minorities in engineering and to promote the collection of research information on the status of minorities in engineering education and employment.” (Page 254)