By Jim Garamone DoD News, Defense Media Activity
WASHINGTON, September 8, 2015 — Defense Secretary Ash Carter will travel to St. Louis tomorrow to speak with workers at Boeing and to kick off the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s “Wait, What? Forum,” Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said today.
The trip allows the defense secretary to highlight the many ways private advanced technology firms can work with the department, Cook said.
Carter is scheduled to visit Boeing’s operations, visit with leaders and workers and thank the employees for their contributions to the technological advantage the American military enjoys today, the press secretary said.
Carter will then deliver remarks to open the “Wait What?” Future Technology forum organized by DARPA. “This forum is a first of its kind outreach event, bringing together 1,200 scientists, engineers and innovators from across the country to generate new ideas and foster collaboration with the Department of Defense,” he said.
Carter will lunch with some of the agency’s rising stars, Cook said, “and he’ll also spend some time seeing first hand some of the new technologies DARPA is developing and he’ll be meeting with some of the folks behind those technologies while he is there.”
The trip continues the defense secretary’s emphasis on opening doors to innovation and new ways of doing business, the press secretary said. Carter has visited Silicon Valley twice since he has been in office, and in both visits he emphasized the importance of maintaining the U.S. military’s technological edge.
Cook said that people should view tomorrow’s trip -- and the secretary’s previous trips -- as a sign “from this secretary of defense and this Department of Defense that we’re open for business and we are eager to do business with any company, any innovators out there who might have technology that could bolster the warfighter, bolster this department going forward.”
As well-equipped as the U.S. military is today, there are still opportunities for new technologies, Cook said. DoD still seeks “to grab onto new technology, new ideas that perhaps people hadn’t yet considered.”