The Air Force Research Laboratory’s directed energy directorate will provide lasers, high-powered lenses, and electromagnets used by organization from the 1970s through the 1990s to two museums as part of a new education partnership. The Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum in McMinnville, Ore., and Explora, in Albuquerque, N.M., will use the pieces to educate the public about developing new technology. “I view this partnership as a vital step in meeting the goals of the Directed Energy Directorate and AFRL in increasing the public’s awareness of the vital role the lab has in national defense, and in encouraging our youth to pursue scientific and technical careers,” said David Hardy, head of the energy directorate, in a release. The lab’s scientists and subject-matter experts also plan to volunteer their time at Explora to discuss the artifacts, which will be incorporated into an interactive curriculum to “enrich children’s lives,” said Patrick Lopez, Explora’s executive director.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.