DOD preparing to brief lawmakers on AUKUS cost estimate study

By Nick Wilson / October 25, 2023 at 4:28 PM

The Defense Department is preparing to brief lawmakers on the findings of a recent AUKUS-focused industrial base study, acting Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Mara Karlin told the House Armed Services seapower and projection forces subcommittee today.

While Karlin said the Pentagon is working to organize briefings on the study, she didn't commit to providing physical copies of the report to lawmakers when pressed on the subject by Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI).

“I believe that some briefings have occurred, and some additional briefings will occur to you and your staff. I think folks are just scheduling those right now,” Karlin told the subcommittee. “I think their plan is to brief you on the cost estimates from the study and to walk through the substance of it.”

Gallagher and subcommittee Chairman Trent Kelly (R-MS) both asked that physical copies of the report be provided.

Last week, a bipartisan group of senators led by Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) sent a letter to the White House requesting this AUKUS implementation study, performed by DOD’s cost assessment and program evaluation office, be provided to Congress by the end of the month.

The Navy, Office of the Secretary of Defense and White House all declined requests from Inside Defense to provide a specific timeline for when the report’s contents would be shared with Congress.

Speaking today, Karlin also noted that the results of the study informed the White House’s supplemental spending request, which includes $3.4 billion for DOD to invest in the U.S. submarine industrial base.