North American Competitiveness
Department of Defense Printed Circuit Board Executive Agent
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Congress has recognized the domestic electronic supply chain's vital role in national defense readiness by directing the Department of Defense (DoD) to appoint a Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Executive Agent (EA). The EA is directed to create DoD policy addressing counterfeit parts vulnerability, advanced technological capabilities, and manufacturing capacity. The EA is critically needed to ensure that DoD has access to the PCB manufacturing capabilities to meet future military requirements.
Current DoD trends regarding the electronics industry have resulted in a reduction of defense specific purchasing. DoD's substantial increase use of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) electronics has resulted in a shift from DoD's dependence on domestic defense electronics suppliers to dependence on the global consumer market. This has led to a reduction of the number domestic PCB manufacturers able to meet future DoD innovative technology PCB needs. The affect of these trends result in DoD's susceptibility to counterfeit parts, unreliable components, and potential for a lack of technological expertise to meet future DoD needs.
DoD continues to not fully comprehend the ramifications of a dwindling number of domestic PCB manufacturers capable of supporting DoD requirements for innovative technology. North America still has a printed board supply base; however, IPC is gravely concerned with the loss of high technology manufacturing capabilities of the PCB supply chain that, if not immediately addressed and reversed, will result in a North American PCB industry unable to support DoD requirements.
Why is funding the Printed Circuit Board Executive Agent Important?
The PCB EA is in a unique position to assure that the North American PCB industry is capable to support future DoD PCB requirements. Direct funding is needed for the PCB EA to competently fulfill the congressional mandates. Only an active PCB EA can take actions to ensure our national security, help promote state of the art technology within the North America, and sustain a domestic industry capable of supporting DoD requirements.
Support Funding the DoD Printed Circuit Board Executive Agent
IPC supports funding of the DoD PCB EA to ensure that the official and their respectful office are able to carry out the PCB EA Congressional mandates. Congress should allocate funding specifically for the PCB EA.