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DOD Aims to Publish 1st National Defense Industrial Strategy

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Helicopter Fix
A soldier installs the main rotor head on a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter at an airfield in Kuwait, Jan. 4, 2021.
Photo By: Army Sgt. Francis Calabro
VIRIN: 210104-Z-IK914-011Y

By December, the Defense Department hopes to issue its first-ever National Defense Industrial Strategy, which will be followed by DOD's implementation plan, said Laura D. Taylor-Kale, assistant secretary of defense for industrial base policy. 

Taylor-Kale, who spoke yesterday at the 2023 Defense Conference, was confirmed by the Senate in March as the first assistant secretary of defense for industrial base policy.  

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Laura D. Taylor-Kale, assistant secretary of defense for industrial base policy, speaks at the 2023 Defense Conference, Oct. 19, 2023.
A person speaks at a podium.
Laura D. Taylor-Kale
Laura D. Taylor-Kale, assistant secretary of defense for industrial base policy, speaks at the 2023 Defense Conference, Oct. 19, 2023.
Photo By: Screen capture
VIRIN: 231019-O-D0439-001
She advises the undersecretary of defense and other senior defense leaders on all matters pertaining to industrial base resilience, workforce development, innovation, investment and policy. And, she also is shepherding the strategy's development. 

That strategy will focus on creating a clear road map for how the department will prioritize and modernize the U.S. industrial base, she said. 

"We've seen in the response to COVID and the conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East that our industrial ecosystem needs to be ready to provide the capabilities … that the department needs," Taylor-Kale said. 

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Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Payton Grader removes a nose landing gear door on an F/A-18F Super Hornet in the hangar bay of the aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford, March 27, 2023, in the Atlantic Ocean.
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The goal, she said, is to work in partnership with industry, with the inter-agencies, with Congress and with allies and partners to make defense industrial policy work much more smoothly and strategically, she said. 

"This strategy is meant to catalyze a generational change that will guide the department's focus and policy development and programs and investment in the industrial base for the next three-to-five years," she said. 

The key areas of the strategy, she said, are: 

  • Creating resilient supply chains 
  • Having an industrial base that can produce capabilities, services and technologies that are needed at speed, scale and cost 
  • Ensuring workforce readiness and development 
  • Delivering flexible acquisitions 
  • Building in metrics for measurable outcomes 

Taylor-Kale said her office hopes to attract new, innovative, non-traditional companies into the industrial base, particularly those that connect dual-use technologies with the emerging needs of the warfighter.  

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Shipbuilding contractors do work aboard the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis, in Newport News, Va., June 29, 2021.
Photo By: Navy Seaman Thomas Willis
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"I want to emphasize that the task before us is really critical. Creating a modern defense industrial ecosystem will take all of us working together. Please come to us with your ideas. We want to partner with you. I want to partner with you to make this work. We in government cannot do this alone. And frankly, we're not trying to do this alone," she said, speaking to industry representatives in attendance.

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