Corporate members of the National Defense Industrial Association who need to
stay on top of defense-related issues should not miss the breakfast meetings
of the Legislative Information Division.
Meetings are held over a full breakfast at 8 a.m., every third week, usually
on a Tuesday, when Congress is in session. The location: The Army and Navy Club,
in downtown Washington, D.C.
Speakers include members of Congress, senior congressional staff, high-ranking
officials from the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security and other federal
agencies, as well as industry experts.
Information discussed at LID meetings is not for attribution or available to
the media, which ensures an open and informative forum for issues of interest
to NDIA members.
The division’s primary objectives are providing NDIA members with access
to key government and industry officials, monitoring defense and technology-related
legislation and identifying national security issues of significant interest
to NDIA members and leadership.
This year—the first session of the 108th Congress—attendance reached
a record high average of 70 members per event. LID reached its highest level
of participation in March, with 94 members in attendance.
The increase can be contributed to the quality and diversity of guest speakers
and the topics they discussed. Subjects included Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation
Enduring Freedom, the Defense Authorization and Appropriations Acts, and the
state of military equipment and readiness. Here is a brief summary of the year’s
January: U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Armed Services
Committee, noted that with the Republican Party holding the majority in the
U.S. House of Representatives and Senate and controlling the White House, the
outlook for legislation favoring the defense industry appeared good.
March: Dov Zakheim, undersecretary of defense and comptroller for the Department
of Defense outlined the 2004 defense budget and discussed the war in Iraq and
other current military operations.
April: U.S. Rep. Curt Weldon, R-Pa., chairman of the House Tactical Air and
Land Forces Subcommittee, spoke about the 2004 Defense Authorization Act. He
also discussed national missile defense.
Also in April, Gen. John M. Keane, vice chief of staff of the U.S. Army, provided
a detailed account of operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. He also discussed
the effectiveness of current military equipment and transportation systems.
May: Paul McHale, assistant secretary of defense for homeland defense, addressed
the Defense Department’s role in homeland security and the challenges
facing the new Department of Homeland Security. McHale also described several
security proposals underway and steps already taken to protect the United States
June: U.S. Rep. Jerry Lewis, R-Calif., chairman of the Defense Subcommittee
of the House Appropriations Committee, provided the outlook for the 2004 Defense
Later that month, U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., a House Armed Services Committee
member, discussed his recent trip to North Korea and the foreign-policy challenges
posed by that country.
July: U.S. Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., a member of the Senate Select Committee
on Intelligence, briefed attendees on his recent visit to Iraq. He talked about
the coalition’s progress and where improvement is still needed. Hagel
highlighted the need to develop a sustainable infrastructure and ensure the
safety of all Iraqis.
Hagel also noted that although it is common practice to emphasize the international
challenges that the United States faces, it is equally important to recognize
the influence that strong U.S. leadership can have worldwide.
September: Charles McQueary, undersecretary for science and technology in the
Department of Homeland Security, explained how the science and technology directorate
works within DHS. The defense industry’s role in research and development
is a crucial component to maintaining national security, he said.
Later in September, Gen. T. Michael Moseley, vice chief of staff of the U.S.
Air Force, closed this year’s breakfast series with an in-depth discussion
of the air operations during Operation Iraqi Freedom. As the air-component commander
of that operation, Moseley offered a first-hand look at the readiness and effectiveness
of U.S. air units in Iraq. For service men and women to do their jobs properly,
they need up-to-date equipment, he said. Technological advances have run circles
around the production of military equipment, Moseley said.
LID’s breakfast schedule for 2004 currently is being assembled. For more
information on LID activities, contact Chandra Hubbard at firstname.lastname@example.org.