RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina is forming a private foundation with the mission of bringing more Defense Department spending to the Tar Heel state, The News & Observer of Raleigh reported Monday.

The foundation is the brainchild of Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue.

Called the N.C. Military Foundation, it is expected to have an initial meeting today. Will Austin, a one-time aide to former U.S. Senator John Edwards, will be the group’s director, The N&O said.

William “Buck” Kernan, a retired four-star general who lives in Pinehurst, is expected to serve as the group’s chairman. He recently received the individual achievement award from the North Carolina Technology Association for his role in helping North Carolina land additional U.S. Army forces under the latest base realignment program.

Five companies are underwriting the cost of the new group with $1 million, The N&O said. The firms were not identified.

The NCTA is among organizations backing the new Defense and Security Technology Accelerator, a new business incubator and funding organization that recently opened in Fayetteville.

For details, see: www.newsobserver.com/102/story/517655.html