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Immediate Release

Readout of Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks' Visit to Silicon Valley, California

Pentagon Spokesman Eric Pahon provided the following readout:

Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks visited locations in Silicon Valley today to discuss the Department’s drive toward innovation to counter the strategic pacing challenge presented by the People’s Republic of China and to ensure the Department is delivering the most cutting-edge technologies to warfighters.  

At the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU), Deputy Secretary Hicks met with personnel who are accelerating the U.S. military’s adoption of commercial technology to strengthen national security and received an update on DIU projects through a series of capabilities demonstrations.   

The demonstrations, which covered capabilities that include air defense; virtual training for pilots; augmented reality for warfighters; and hybrid space architecture demonstrated the breadth of capabilities that DIU has helped integrate into the Department.  
The Deputy then met with nine companies to discuss the Department’s Replicator Initiative, offering an opportunity to engage directly on their experiences working with DoD. 

“It’s clear that the character of warfare is changing,” said Deputy Secretary of Defense Hicks. “Replicator is part of how at DoD we’re putting our thumb on the scale to make sure America, not our strategic competitors and adversaries, are the ones who see, drive, and master the future character of warfare.”

She also met with a dozen innovation thought leaders in a round-table setting to discuss the challenges associated with scaling innovation in mature organizations.  

Finally, Deputy Secretary Hicks visited two companies, Kodiak Robotics, and Skydio, to see demonstrations of how these companies are using AI and advanced manufacturing processes to address urgent needs in commercial sectors.   

Throughout her trip, Deputy Secretary Hicks is focused on driving forward DoD innovation efforts. Her visit comes on the heels of Secretary Lloyd Austin III’s visit to DIU on December 1, where the Secretary focused on accelerating the adoption of leading commercial technology throughout the military and growing the national security innovation base.