WASHINGTON — Forrest Brown, an engineer employed at Hill Air Force Base, met with Utah’s U.S. elected officials and staff recently in Washington D.C. to discuss issues important to the nation in keeping a competitive edge.

Brown, a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Elec-tronics Engineers (IEEE) professional organization, made the proposal to Utah Rep. John Curtis, and also met with the senior staff from the offices of Rep. Rob Bishop, Sen. Mitt Romney and Sen. Mike Lee.

Along with 100 other IEEE colleagues who visited U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives members from their respective 22 states, Brown discussed issues important to economy and ways for the nation to stay ahead of world competition.

“The United States has routinely been the world leader in research and development expenditures,” Brown said, adding that it is important to increase spending for scientific and engineering research so the U.S. can continue to stay competitive with other countries.

As part of the visit, the organization asked for an increase to the 2020 federal budget that Brown said could positively impact Hill Air Force Base in the way of technology for advanced defensive weapons.

“We’re trying to promote and get better and faster weapons systems with the best technology,” he said. “More dollars means there is more research, and I think that’s important for us at Hill.”

Brown and the IEEE members also talked to Utah elected officials about strengthening the green card citizenship program for people getting training and education.

“A lot of really smart people come here and go to school,” he said. “They are a great benefit to this nation. They’re highly skilled… and it would greatly enhance America’s competitiveness in the world.”

Brown said he was pleased with what they accomplished and hoped it made a difference in keeping America strong in the future.

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