Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks is scheduled to travel to four different states this week to discuss the Pentagon's efforts to strengthen the defense industrial base.
Hicks, who will depart Wednesday, will first visit Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, where she is expected to “highlight department efforts to strengthen American manufacturing and supply chain resilience,” according to a Pentagon statement.
Hicks plans to visit multiple facilities and meet scientists researching energy storage, materials science, and other areas of interest to DOD.
She will then travel to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio to visit the Air Force Research Laboratory to discuss research into “cutting-edge innovation, experimentation, and partnerships with academia which further national security objectives,” according to DOD.
Hicks’ next stop will be U.S. Transportation Command at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois to “gain insight into future mobility, lift and sustainment requirements, and receive an update on efforts to integrate artificial intelligence and Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) into our logistics systems,” according to DOD.
Lastly, Hicks will travel to Purdue University in Indiana, where she will visit the Hypersonics Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center and receive briefings on microelectronics programs and microelectronics workforce development. She is also expected to make a public speech and participate in a question-and-answer session.
“Throughout her travel, Deputy Secretary Hicks will focus on linking the department’s resources to our strategic competition priorities, including the pacing threat of China, and ensuring DOD remains the world leader in cutting-edge innovation,” DOD said.