The R&D Impact of BRAC 2005
DefenseTech.org notes that amidst the recommendation of the BRAC Commission 2005, there are some seemingly-small changes that have the potential to make an outsized impact on the future of the American military. Several of the Pentagon’s most important centers of science and technology development – including DARPA, the Office of Naval Research, the Army Research Office, and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research – are all going to leave their old offices behind for the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, MD.
Estimated savings from the moves are $573 million over the next 20 years, and DefenseTech.org notes that putting these groups on a military base may make them more secure. They also express the hope that duplicative project can be eliminated, though one may see the same picture and forsee more sharing of technologies and techniques on similar projects.
The other research trend noted by DefenseTech.org is a move toward a Centers of Excellence model for some research. For instance, there is a proposal to move all research into ground robots to Detroit, where the auto industry is centered, and “leverage the world’s intellectual capital” for automotive/ground vehicle research. In addition, the Pentagon wants to set up major research and development centers for things like airplanes, helicopters, air armaments, navy sensors, and guns and ammunition.