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Pentagon seeking brains and ideas in Silicon Valley

23 april 2015, 13:45

 US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter will head to Silicon Valley on Thursday in a bid to recruit tech gurus for the Pentagon, even if just on a part-time basis, AFP reports.

After giving a speech at Stanford University, Carter will meet with Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg and then with employees of the social network giant who used to work for the military.

Carter, a physicist by training who is big on technology, will also take part Friday in a round table discussion with Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and venture capital firms.

The Pentagon is trying to recruit high-tech-skilled people, especially for the National Guard and reserve military forces.

Such technicians and engineers would continue to work in their current jobs as civilians, but could also be called up regularly for military missions.

Up to 2,000 of these people could boost the Pentagon's capabilities in times of crisis, Eric Rosenbach, Carter's main cyber advisor, told Congress recently.

The Pentagon is building such a cybersecurity force and hopes to have it operational in 2018 with a staff of more than 6,200 people.

Its job would be to defend US networks but, if need be, also attack foreign networks, either civilian or military.

Carter is also due to announce that the Pentagon is going to set up an office in Silicon Valley. Its mission will be to identify promising innovations and establish links with local companies, US defense officials said.

Pentagon military and civilian staff would work at this west coast annex, the officials added.

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