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DoD Releases Industrial Defense Strategy

The Department of Defense recently released its first-ever National Defense Industrial Strategy, a roadmap for the agency’s “engagement, policy development and investment in the industrial base over the next three to five years,” according to an agency press release

What’s going on: The strategy, unveiled last month, is intended to “help ensure we build the modern defense industrial and innovation ecosystem that’s required to defend America, our allies and partners, and our interests in the 21st century,” according to Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks.

  • The NAM recently held a well-attended roundtable with the Industrial Base Policy Office at the Department of Defense to discuss the NDIS and specific action items for implementation.

What’s in it: The strategy puts forth a vision based on four priorities, according to a DoD fact sheet.

  • Resilient supply chains: “[T]he DoD will incentivize industry to improve resilience by investing in extra capacity, manage inventory and stockpile planning to decrease near-term risk [and] continue and expand support for domestic production,” among other actions.
  • Workforce readiness: The department “will work to prepare the workforce for future technological innovation, continue targeting critical skill sets in science, technology, engineering and math” and more.
  • Flexible acquisition: To this end, the department will seek “to broaden platform standards and interoperability, strengthen requirements to curb ‘scope creep’ [and] prioritize off-the-shelf acquisition where applicable and reasonable,” in addition to other moves.
  • Economic deterrence: To address this priority, the DoD will work to strengthen international economic security agreements, enable international interoperability standards through active participation in standards-setting bodies, fortify alliances to share science and technology [and] strengthen enforcement against adversarial ownership and against cyberattacks.”

Why it’s important: “In an increasingly volatile world, a strong and resilient U.S. defense and manufacturing industrial base is as important as ever,” said NAM Senior Director of International Policy Ali Aafedt.

  • “U.S. policy- and decision-makers can support manufacturers by implementing actions that improve supply chain resilience, workforce, acquisition and engagement with allies and partners, as discussed in the NDIS. They must also consider the other key policy priorities outlined in the NAM’s ‘Competing to Win’ manufacturing agenda.”

For questions about or feedback on the NDIS, please email Aafedt.

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