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Congresswoman Claudia Tenney Testifies in Front of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee

Tenney reiterates the need for federal support and funding for Rome Lab

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Washington, DC, March 9, 2017 | comments

Today, Congresswoman Claudia Tenney (R—NY) had the unique opportunity to testify in front of members of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee in support of the Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate in Rome, also known as Rome Lab. The subcommittee today began consideration of the Department of Defense Appropriations Bill for the 2018 fiscal year.

“It is a distinct honor to stand before the Defense Subcommittee on Appropriations today to testify on behalf of Rome Lab, an integral installation in the 22nd District. For decades, Rome Lab has stood at the forefront of advanced cyber research and development projects within the Airforce,” said Rep. Claudia Tenney.

Rep. Tenney continued, “Rome Lab continues to lead in the development of sophisticated technologies vitally important to our military intelligence and defense operations. In keeping with this mission, Rome Lab is dedicated to providing our military with the tools and resources needed to dominate on today’s high-tech battlefields. As the mother of an active duty Marine and a Member of Congress, it is among my top priorities to provide our military with the tools and resources necessary for a strong national defense. Adequately funding Rome Lab will help to ensure that this is the case.”

“Now more than ever our warfighters need the most innovative and high-tech tools to complete their missions successfully and return home safely,” said Defense Subcommittee Chairwoman Kay Granger. “I appreciate Congresswoman Tenney’s testimony today in front of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee that discussed the important role of Rome Lab in researching and developing cutting-edge technologies that contribute to this end.” 

In Tenney’s testimony, she reiterated the vital role Rome Lab plays in ensuring that our warfighters have the tools and resources military with improved situational awareness while also maintaining secure and effective communications. Tenney requested increased funding for both of Rome Lab’s budget lines: Cyber Battlespace Knowledge Development and Demonstration and Dominant Information Sciences and Methods.

To view Rep. Tenney’s testimony, click here:

Read the full transcript of the testimony below:

“Chairwoman Granger, Ranking Member Visclosky and other Members of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, I thank you for providing me with this opportunity to testify today.

As the mother of an active duty Marine and a Member of Congress, I take my constitutional responsibility to provide for our common defense seriously. I thank you for your ongoing support of our servicemen and women and am deeply appreciative of your steadfast commitment to a strong and robust national defense.

As this subcommittee begins consideration of the Fiscal Year 2018 Department of Defense Appropriations bill, it is my distinct honor to testify in support of the Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate in Rome, New York, also known as Rome Lab. Rome Lab has for decades stood at the forefront of advanced cyber research and development projects within the Air Force. Today, Rome Lab leads a wide range of critical missions that are vital to deploying a 21st century force.

Ensuring that our military has the tools and resources to dominate in cyberspace is among Rome Lab’s chief missions. On today's high-tech battlefields, our country's superiority in cyberspace is critical. Rome Lab provides full spectrum support for cyberspace operations, equipping our operators with the agility to disrupt and deny cyber-attacks and the resiliency to fight through and recover from intrusions.

Rome Lab is also leading the fight to maintain command and control superiority, both on the battlefield and in cyberspace. Rome Lab continues to push the boundaries in developing sophisticated technologies that effectively integrate resilient and robust command and control systems. The advancements made by Rome Lab have provided our military with greater situational awareness through improved unified planning systems and enhanced mission focused autonomy.

Ensuring secure and effective communications and reliable connectivity are also vital components of Rome Lab’s mission. In battlespaces that are increasingly congested, Rome Lab provides the warfighter with mobile and secure communications. On the ground, Rome Lab facilitates the deployment of technologies that allow our servicemen and women to securely share information. In the air, Rome Lab has pioneered technologies to provide mission responsive battlespace communication abilities across multiple domains.

Perhaps most impressive is Rome Lab’s ability to adapt to emerging challenges. For example, in the arena of unmanned aerial systems (UAS), Rome Lab is poised for significant contributions. As this committee knows, the threat posed by the proliferation of UAS is growing and varied. There are countless examples of small UAS posing serious threats to our servicemen and women in Iraq, with ISIS increasingly relying on these relatively inexpensive tools. With expertise in cyberspace, command and control, and communications and connectivity, and with the continued support of this subcommittee, Rome Lab will lead the charge to find innovative ways of detecting, identifying, and disabling potentially hostile UAS’s.

Rome Lab’s advancements extend well beyond the Air Force. In Fiscal Year 2015, Rome Lab leveraged more than one billion dollars in funding from its non-Air Force defense partners. This additional funding has helped Rome Lab serve the critical and otherwise unmet research needs of the Department of Defense. Ultimately, the stronger Rome Lab’s foundation is, the stronger our national defense will be.

This subcommittee has recognized the vital importance of Rome Lab, providing increased funding over the last several fiscal years. In the Fiscal Year 2017 bill passed just this week, the House provided Rome Lab five million dollars more in funding than was requested by the President, which marked a 4 percent increase over Fiscal Year 2016 funding. The work supported by this funding is vital to maintaining Rome Lab’s dynamic set of research and development capabilities. I strongly encourage this subcommittee to maintain this funding, or to increase it accordingly to reflect new and evolving missions. 

I would again like to express my appreciation for the opportunity to provide my testimony this afternoon.  I look forward to working with you and the other members of this subcommittee to ensure that our nation’s military remains ready to confront the challenges of the 21st century. Thank you.”


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