Ellspermann picks former Crane official to serve oversee defense development

Radio report

Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann named a long time Navy man to serve as the first director of the Office of Defense Development.

TheStatehouseFile.com’s Brittany Muncy reports.

By Lesley Weidenbener
TheStatehouseFile.com

INDIANAPOLIS – Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann named a long time Navy man to serve as the first director of the Office of Defense Development, an agency Gov. Mike Pence created with an executive order the day he took office.

Duane Embree takes on the new position after a career in the defense sector, most recently as the ranking senior civilian at the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Southern Indiana.

He’s tasked with protecting and expanding Indiana’s military assets and creating jobs by helping companies commercialize defense discoveries. He said Indiana is a bargain for the military and related businesses.

Indiana has a lot of assets,” Embree said. “The first thing we’re going to do is understand how they can all play together better, create a common vision and a common voice and strategy.”

Duane Embree will take over as director of the Indiana Office of Defense Development, where he'll be charged with strengthing the state's military-related assets and contracts. Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann announced the appointment on Monday at the Statehouse. Photo by Lesley Weidenbener, TheStatehouseFile.com

Duane Embree will take over as director of the Indiana Office of Defense Development, where he’ll be charged with strengthing the state’s military-related assets and contracts. Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann announced the appointment on Monday at the Statehouse. Photo by Lesley Weidenbener, TheStatehouseFile.com

Ellspermann said Indiana already has a strong defense sector with more than $4 billion in annual contracts and significant related businesses clustered in several areas of the state. Defense-related jobs pay higher wages than other companies, she said.

“Because of our existing strengths and the realities of increased competition for jobs in the future, we believe it’s truly essential that Indiana have a dedicated tactical team to increase our momentum,” she said.

The Office of Defense Development will be located in Bloomington and has signed a partnership agreement with the Crane warfare center. The agreement is meant to leverage at Crane and other defense installations along with Indiana’s industry and academic assets for economic development.

Lesley Weidenbener is managing editor of TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.

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