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Carter Seeks Increased Ties with West Coast Tech Community

By Lisa Ferdinando DoD News, Defense Media Activity

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WASHINGTON, Feb. 29, 2016 — Defense Secretary Ash Carter said today he is traveling to the West Coast as part of efforts to strengthen ties with the tech community, expand thinking and strengthen the department against future threats.

The trip, which begins tonight, is meant to "rebuild bridges" with "some of our nation's most innovative industries, enhancing ties that will strengthen this department and our nation's security," Carter said during a Pentagon news conference.

Carter, who is to visit California and Washington, said that over next days, he will be discussing technology, cybersecurity initiatives and other topics with "some of the top minds in the tech world."

DoD Must Be on Cutting Edge

As the United States faces a number of security challenges, it is important for the Defense Department to be on the cutting edge of technology, he said.

"We don't have the luxury of choosing which threat we may face next, but we do have the ability to set the course for how best to prepare for the future," Carter said. "A common theme across our budget is that we in the Pentagon have to innovate and think outside our five-sided box."

The secretary's itinerary includes delivering remarks to the Commonwealth Club of San Francisco and attending the annual RSA Conference in San Francisco.

In addition to the tech meetings, Carter said, he will meet with troops who are using advanced technologies to keep the nation safe and prepare for "every challenge on the horizon."