Defense secretary to visit Rhode Island next month

In this Feb. 7, 2014 file photo, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel speaks during a briefing at the Pentagon. A U.S. official says that as part of the proposed 2015 defense budget, Pentagon chief Chuck Hagel is recommending shrinking the Army to its smallest size in decades. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel plans to visit Rhode Island next month for an event about innovation and technology in the defense arena.

U.S. Sen. Jack Reed said Friday that Hagel will attend the inaugural “Defense Innovation Days” in Newport, Rhode Island, in September. The event will bring policymakers and industry representatives together to discuss new trends within the defense industry and technologies being developed and deployed to military forces.

The Southeastern New England Defense Industry Alliance is hosting the event, Sept. 3 to Sept. 5.

Reed and other members of the state’s congressional delegation also plan to attend.

The group’s executive director Molly Donohue Magee described it as a rare opportunity for business leaders in defense to discuss emerging technologies and hear directly from those who are crafting defense priorities.

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