WASHINGTON , April 10, 2008 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is a transcript of remarks by Vice President Cheney on the 50th Anniversary of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency:
8:11 P.M. EDT
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Good evening. Thank you very much. And I want to extend a special welcome to those of you who've come from out of town to help us mark the 50th anniversary of DARPA.
I'm genuinely pleased to be here. And let me thank especially my friend and colleague Gordon England for the introduction, and Dr. Tether for the invitation to join all of you tonight. I'm in good company this evening -- with Secretary Don Winter , representatives of the military and industry, and alumni of DARPA. Some of you I've known going back to the time I was Secretary of Defense -- the good old days, when I had real power in this town. (Laughter.)
It's possible that some of us go back even further, to my prior service on the House Intelligence Committee, or even to the administration of Gerald Ford , when I served as his chief of staff. In any case, I've always had great respect for DARPA and its people, and I've been closely interested in your mission.
As Tony remembers, back in 2001, not long after becoming Vice President, I went out to headquarters for a briefing. After eight years out of public life, I was eager to get back up to date on everything that was going on at DARPA. Each time I've met with representatives from DARPA, I've gone away even more deeply impressed by the work product of this agency. Anyone who seeks the very definition of high intellectual standards, creative energy, and hard, persistent effort will find it at DARPA. It's a huge credit to the Defense Department and to the nation. Every one of you can be proud of your association with DARPA -- and tonight I bring congratulations and good wishes from the President of the United States , George W. Bush . (Applause.)
DARPA was, of course, founded in a moment of urgency. It was 1958, and the United States was facing all the implications of the launch of Sputnik the preceding October. The man in the White House, Dwight Eisenhower , didn't scare easy. He had complete, justified confidence in this nation's ability to reclaim the technological edge, and to hold it from then on. But he knew it would take a focused effort within government, public education, and the private sector. Eisenhower knew, as well, that it would require significant investments -- and he trusted that future Presidents and future Congresses would provide those resources. I'm proud to say that DARPA has had many friends in our administration, from the President and myself to Gordon England and two fine leaders of the Pentagon in Don Rumsfeld and Bob Gates .
From the earliest days, it's been the fundamental charge of this agency to make sure that America is never again caught off guard. DARPA's job is to prevent technological surprises -- and to make sure that the great inventions, the breakthroughs, and the game-changing technologies are created by us, not by somebody else. And for 50 incredible years, DARPA has kept that charge.
This agency brought forth the Saturn Five Rocket surveillance satellites, the Internet, stealth technology, guided munitions, unmanned aerial vehicles, night vision, and the body armor that's in use today. During my time as Secretary of Defense, we saw a number of major projects come to fruition. We had the first combat use of stealth technology with the F-117 during Operation Just Cause in '89, and then made extensive use of that aircraft during Desert Storm in the Persian Gulf in 1991. The Gulf War also gave us the first use of the JSTARs command and control aircraft, which allowed us to monitor the movement of enemy forces on the ground hundreds of miles away.