Attributable to Pentagon Spokesman Eric Pahon:
Today, Deputy Secretary of Defense Dr. Kathleen Hicks visited U.S. Transportation Command (TRANSCOM) at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois; and Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.
The deputy met with TRANSCOM Commander Air Force General Jacqueline Van Ovost, Deputy Commander Army Lt. Gen. John Sullivan, and other senior leadership.
During the visit, Deputy Secretary Hicks gained insight into future mobility, lift, and sustainment requirements in contested logistics environments, and received an update on efforts to integrate artificial intelligence and Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) into U.S. logistics systems. She also received an update on TRANSCOM progress toward to leveraging tools to better integrate, analyze, and visualize data to improve situational awareness of global mobility operations; and data modernization initiatives.
Dr. Hicks also received briefings from TRANSCOM leadership on the challenges and opportunities related to the organization’s large global operations footprint, integrating data for global mobility operations, future mobility lift and sustainment requirements, global bulk fuel management, and cyber security mission assurance.
She also met with junior enlisted leaders and junior officers to thank them for their work and dedication to support global supply and transportation operations, and hear directly from them about their perspectives on the department’s challenges and opportunities.
Deputy Secretary Hicks then flew to Purdue University, Ind., where she visited a range of facilities dedicated to advancements in hypersonics testing and research and visited faculty and PhD students who are focusing their work on hypersonics. At Zucrow Lab, she visited the Scramjet Test Cell; the Hypersonics and Applied Research Facility, which will be home to two wind tunnels; and the Hypersonics Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center (HAMTC) to gain greater insight into future approaches to hypersonic systems. Teams also discussed end-to-end manufacturing energetics programs.
At the Birck Nanotechnology Center, Dr. Hicks received briefings on microelectronics programs; the Scalable Asymmetric Lifecycle Engagement (SCALE) microelectronics workforce development program; quantum computing; cybersecurity; and Purdue’s new research support facility.
Following her tours and discussions, Deputy Secretary Hicks met with ROTC students to discuss their academic progress and career goals and delivered a speech to students and faculty highlighting the spirit of American innovation and experimentation which continues to provide the U.S. with an enduring advantage against strategic competitors like Russia and China.
The deputy secretary is finishing a two-day, four-state tour of the Midwest. Throughout her travel, Deputy Secretary Hicks focused 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.