Rep. Black and Rep. Kilmer's CRTC Caucus Update

Jan 13, 2014

Members of the Range & Testing Center Caucus,

We hope everyone had a restful holiday break with family and friends. As our caucus marks its one year anniversary this month, we would like to take a moment to reflect on the past year and to highlight issues of interest for the coming year.

The Range & Testing Center Caucus was established to bring together Members of Congress interested in the country’s testing and evaluation (T&E) infrastructure. It is crucial that members understand how this infrastructure operates to field safe and effective military capabilities. As a testament to the importance of T&E, the caucus is now comprised of 25 bipartisan members from across the country representing an array of Air Force, Army, and Navy installations.

Last year, the caucus was honored to host Maj. Gen. Arnold Bunch, Commander, Air Force Test Center, who briefed staff on timely issues such as testing of the Joint Strike Fighter and the T&E community’s budget situation.

Caucus member Rep. Julia Brownley (D-CA) brought the issue of Department of Defense (DoD) spectrum auctioning to the caucus’s attention, and we were delighted to team with the Electronic Warfare Working Group to host a highly informative briefing from Maj. Gen. Robert Wheeler, Deputy Chief Information Officer for Command, Control, Communications and Computers (C4) and Information Infrastructure Capabilities (DCIO for C4IIC).

Legislatively, the caucus was an effective organizational tool during last summer’s House consideration of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM) led an effort—with fellow caucus members speaking in support of his successful amendment—to give DoD final approval over any new land use project that uses T&E lands.

The T&E industry warmly welcomed the formation of the new caucus. Chairman Diane Black (R-TN) addressed the 30th Annual International Test and Evaluation (ITEA) Symposium, and the ITEA Journal published a joint article from the caucus chairmen.

This year, the caucus will continue its efforts to educate Members about timely T&E issues that affect our constituencies. One such issue will be hypersonic technology. As the administration’s Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) continues its strategic review of hypersonic weaponry, we look forward to helping Members weigh the merits of pursuing this technology.

To that end, the caucus plans to offer Members an opportunity to visit a hypervelocity wind tunnel in nearby White Oak, Maryland, where they will receive a classified briefing on this potentially revolutionary technology and witness firsthand the T&E ground infrastructure required to maintain our military’s competitive edge. Stay tuned for more information about this visit.

We look forward to an exciting year of caucus growth, outreach, and educational opportunities. As always, you can stay updated on caucus happenings through the website: https://rangeandtestingcaucus-black.house.gov. We look forward to being in touch!

Sincerely,                                  

Diane Black                                                                          Derek Kilmer
                                     

Member of Congress                                                            Member of Congress