HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - As nations across the globe are looking into advanced technology and missile defense systems, the time is crucial for America to stay on top.
With the most recent round of defense budget cuts, that's becoming a difficult task.
Senator Jeff Sessions spoke on the issue at Wednesday's Space and Missile Defense Symposium in Huntsville.
"As we can so readily see, the world remains a dangerous place," Sessions said to the crowd.
Sen. Sessions is a ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee and a senior member of the Armed Services Committee. Amidst the most current round of Department of Defense budget cuts, Sessions has a major concern.
"Can the Defense Department sustain the low level of funding it's projected to take over the next several years, particularly," Sessions asks.
Nations around the world are turning to advanced technology, missile systems to keep up with the West. They're capable of great accuracy and they're even able to deliver nuclear weapons. The main concern right now, ISIS.
Sessions stresses, "it's essential that we and our allies be able to defend against such attacks."
That's becoming more difficult. The DOD had to cut down spending by $75 billion over a two year period. That cut is in addition to the $37 billion dollar cut they took last year.
On top of that, sequestration-level cuts will continue to hit them hard for fiscal year 2016 and beyond.
"We all have to tighten our belts, but the Defense Department has had more reductions in spending than any other agency and it's difficult to do that under these circumstances," said Senator Sessions.
By tightening up on Social Security, Medicare and other entitlement programs, Sessions said a balanced budget is possible by 2024. He said that has to be their goal, in the interest of national security.
That will help ensure missile defense programs in the U.S. stay far ahead in the game.
"Systems are effective now, but we can and will make them better," said Sessions. "The prospects for a new, more effective kill vehicle are bright and affordable. It's something we can do and we must do."
Unless congress changes the law, sequestration will cut another $50 billion from the budget beginning in fiscal year 2016.
Sessions said that hits hard in a community like Huntsville and Redstone Arsenal.