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Senator Tim Kaine and Congressman Randy Forbes Address NVTC Board

On April 28, Sen. Tim Kaine and Rep. Randy Forbes joined the NVTC Board of Directors at LMI in McLean to discuss formulating a bipartisan defense strategy for Virginia. Sen. Kaine is a member of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee and Representative Forbes is the Chairman of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee of the U.S. House Armed Services Committee.

April 28 event.
From left: NVTC President and CEO Bobbie Kilbery, Congressman Randy Forbes, Senator Tim Kaine, and NVTC Chair Sudhakar Kesavan, CEO of ICF International, at the April 28 meeting.

During the discussion, both Kaine and Forbes highlighted the bipartisan efforts of Virginia’s congressional delegation to work together to bring investments to and support innovation in the Commonwealth. They agreed that Virginia is well-positioned for America’s future defense needs and strategies, in part, because of the Commonwealth’s strength and expertise related to the U.S. Navy.

In order to keep America’s military strong despite budget cuts and sequestration, Kaine and Forbes stressed the need for Congress to address budget challenges impacting defense strategies and spending. Sen. Kaine emphasized the importance of implementing a two year budget cycle to bring more certainty for both government leaders and the private sector in terms of defense spending. Rep. Forbes suggested that rather than focus on specific cuts to the defense budget, policymakers should ask what we can afford and what the risks are of not providing adequate defense resources. They both also discussed the need for private sector‎ leaders to work with our congressional leaders in identifying federal funding priorities and opportunities.

Both Kaine and Forbes stressed the importance of cybersecurity to our nation’s defense and offered ideas on how to expand and promote Virginia’s workforce and expertise in this sector. Finally, the congressmen also discussed defense R&D and strategic planning, Virginia’s role as a hub for modeling and simulation, and how to reenergize the defense workforce.