Hill panel settles on DOD funding

Congressional negotiators last week agreed to recommend $355.1 billion in new discretionary spending for the Defense Department for fiscal 2003, with a focus on improving DOD's ability to collect, share and analyze information.

Negotiators reached agreement Oct. 9 and received House approval Oct. 10. The budget includes funding for many command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance programs, such as:

* $251 million for the Army's Future Combat System, in which networked information and communications systems will give a competitive edge to soldiers in the field and commanders in the control room.

* $131 million, $26 million above the budget request, for 22 Predator unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that use radar, a TV camera and an infrared camera for surveillance, reconnaissance and targeting.

* $129 million to buy three Global Hawk UAVs and $42 million to accelerate development of a Navy variant, the Broad Area Maritime Surveillance system.

* A 17 percent increase from last year's funding for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

About the Authors

Christopher J. Dorobek is the co-anchor of Federal News Radio’s afternoon drive program, The Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris, and the founder, publisher and editor of the DorobekInsider.com, a leading blog for the Federal IT community.

Dorobek joined Federal News Radio in 2008 with 16 years of experience covering government issues with an emphasis on government information technology. Prior to joining Federal News Radio, Dorobek was editor-in-chief of Federal Computer Week, the leading news magazine for government IT decision-makers and the flagship of the 1105 Government Information Group portfolio of publications. As editor-in-chief, Dorobek served as a member of the senior leadership team at 1105 Government Information Group, providing daily editorial direction and management for FCW magazine, FCW.com, Government Health IT and its other editorial products.

Dorobek joined FCW in 2001 as a senior reporter and assumed increasing responsibilities, becoming managing editor and executive editor before being named editor-in-chief in 2006. Prior to joining FCW, Dorobek was a technology reporter at PlanetGov.com, one of the first online community centers for current and former government employees. He also spent five years at Government Computer News, another leading industry publication, covering a variety of federal IT-related issues.

Dorobek is a frequent speaker on issues involving the government IT industry, and has appeared as a frequent contributor to NewsChannel 8’s Federal News Today program. He began his career as a reporter at the Foster’s Daily Democrat, a daily newspaper in Dover, N.H. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California. He lives in Washington, DC.


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