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Military Contractors Talk Budgets, Technology In San Diego

A view of the San Diego Convention Center from the bayside, June 1, 2014.
Michael Schuerman
A view of the San Diego Convention Center from the bayside, June 1, 2014.

The federal budget has the West Coast's defense industry looking at bottom lines and technology.

Military Contractors Talk Budgets, Technology In San Diego
The federal budget has the West Coast's defense industry looking at bottom lines and technology.

West 2015, a three-day conference that began Tuesday at the San Diego Convention Center, is the largest gathering of defense contractors on the West Coast that's focused on the nation's naval forces. The defense industry is trying to adjust to shrinking federal budgets focusing on improving existing defense platforms.

Conference organizer Bob Wood said cyber security is a key development area.

"Its capturing the attention of a younger generation who are very much at ease in this area," Wood said. "But its allowing us to use the advantages of their skills, interest, and frankly passion."

The government and industry are trying to strike a balance when it comes to the defense budget, Wood said.

"I think we're having a very important discussion as we look at the next budget. As to how to put those things together," Wood said. "That's why the theme of this conference is really how to achieve the balance between the requirements we have and the resources that are available."

The Department of Defense is asking for an additional $36 billion in the next federal budget and one top department official said across-the-board federal spending reductions need to be eliminated.

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