Technician plug in CPU microprocessor to motherboard socket. (Golubovy/Shutterstock.com)

Congress

House task force digs into DOD supply chain vulnerabilities

Supply chain vulnerabilities have long been a concern in the Pentagon, but the Defense Department’s growing dependence on small drones, semiconductors and microelectronics manufactured by adversaries has gained increased attention in recent months.

To address growing uneasiness, the House Armed Services Committee has launched a task force to investigate defense supply chain vulnerabilities, foreign manufacturing concerns and other issues raised by the pandemic.

Co-chairs Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.) and Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.) will lead a three-month effort that aims to survey the critical supplies DOD needs for military and national security and identify the vulnerabilities and chokepoints in those supply chains. The effort is geared toward coming up with legislative solutions to build supply chain resilience that can be included in the upcoming National Defense Authorization Act for 2022.

Gallagher, who co-chaired the Cyberspace Solarium Commission, said the task force will look at cyber vulnerabilities to the supply chain as well as material production, manufacturing and access points, leveraging the work the commission has already done on the issue.

The task force hopes to propose solutions that tap capabilities of U.S. allies and won't require reshoring production of everything DOD needs, Gallagher said.

"I'm hoping that as the Biden administration has federal agencies conduct their reviews pursuant to the supply chain executive order that they'll focus less on 'buy America' and more on this idea of 'buy ally,'" instead of manufacturing everything domestically," Gallagher said.

This article was first posted to FCW, a sibling site to Defense Systems.

About the Author

Lauren C. Williams is senior editor for FCW and Defense Systems, covering defense and cybersecurity.

Prior to joining FCW, Williams was the tech reporter for ThinkProgress, where she covered everything from internet culture to national security issues. In past positions, Williams covered health care, politics and crime for various publications, including The Seattle Times.

Williams graduated with a master's in journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park and a bachelor's in dietetics from the University of Delaware. She can be contacted at [email protected], or follow her on Twitter @lalaurenista.

Click here for previous articles by Wiliams.


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