The National Security Innovation Network (NSIN) is one of the many innovation programs that have sprung up in the past few years to create opportunities for academia and technology start-ups to help solve DoD problems. Any DoD customer can approach NSIN with a problem set and ask them to help create a network of non-traditional solution providers to look at the issues. Today, there are about 50 DoD civilians and contractors running NSIN full time, with offices in 8 universities and teaming with over 40.
CNO NAVPLAN 2021 was released by the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), ADM GILDAY, on 11 JAN. This Navigation Plan is basically the execution plan of the Advantages at Sea Tri-Service Maritime Strategy released last month. The Navy examines their current challenges and lays out four focus priorities: readiness, capabilities, capacity and Sailors. It begins by setting a grim tone: “our collective security – and our way of life – are under threat”. It calls out China and Russia as “determined rivals” who’s flagrant disregard of international rules of conduct on the open seas indicate they will never become responsible partners. This plan supports the Naval Service’s mission to “deploy forward to defend America and our allies and protect freedom of the seas”.
All of DoD will embrace JADC2 – resistance is futile. The Air Force is the main architect, and the Army is gratefully climbing onboard, seeing an advantage to jumping in early and adopting lessons learned for Army advantages. Meanwhile, the Navy has been doing “JADC2-Like” operations for decades. Navy will make sure all their existing and future programs can operate in the JADC2 Environment; however, Navy is already confident that their existing “function oriented C2” can work in all-domains. They have been doing it for years, constantly testing the envelope of various sensor-to-shooter scenarios. Navy’s uniquely distributed force has always required this type of C2 environment.
We previously wrote that the Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) is perhaps the most important program in DoD today. The Air Force plays a particularly important role in developing the JADC2 concept. They have been designated as the Executive Agent. That means they will have major input into how the framework is shaped. Their work will influence every sensor, shooter and network advance the Department of Defense puts forward for the next decade.
Air Force’s Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS) is the architecture approach they are using to flush out the JADC2 concept. Through a carefully structured series of events, they are developing the standards that will enable current and future weapon systems and networks to migrate to a JADC2/Joint All Domain Operations environment.
The Navy is using “Digital Twins” to help them speed up afloat innovation. Read how this effort will transform how Navy updates the Fleet.
Can a Digital Twin help Navy deploy new technology without pulling the ship into port? Can a Digital Twin reduce the chance of breaking important mission critical systems?
Prize Challenges have been growing in popularity as the Government tries to get out from under their cumbersome, innovation-sapping Federal Acquisition Regulations. Recently, the US Navy has seen some excellent success with their Artificial Intelligence Applications to Autonomous Cybersecurity (IA ATAC) Challenge. Anyone over 18 years of age, who is a US citizen, can participate. And there can be real money in it!
What The Business Strategist Should Know About Congress’s Latest Report On Future Threats and Defense
The House Armed Services Committee (HASC) chartered a special task force to assess what the nation should know about the dynamic national security environment and produce a report to guide future action. The report was just issued. It evaluates strategic priorities of the US DoD to seek better matches of national resources to next-generation threats and sets goals for the entire national security community to achieve to ensure success in the coming decades.
The report was not meant to inform action in corporate America, but there are some considerations that may be of critical importance to strategic planning. This report provides our cut on what this report means for business strategists and suggestions on what actions to consider because of the shifting national security environment discussed in this report.
Foreign bad actors are conducting a covert cyber war. The pace, frequency, and intensity of cyberattacks are now greater than ever. As the physical realm inevitably merges with the cyber one, forming a new kind of infrastructure, cyberattacks on this infrastructure can have a catastrophic impact on our energy, waste, water, transportation, and telecommunications facilities. Examples include potential attack on infrastructures like distributed control system (DCS) and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) that monitor and control processes and plant with many control loops. Additionally, exploitation of supply chain vulnerabilities can substantially disrupt the way we live, work, and play.
This piece dives deep into these topics and sheds light into optimal approaches while leaning on the lessons of Sun Tzu.
Several years ago, the Navy selected Hondo (James) Geurts as their new Acquisition Chief. His previous experience buying for Special Operations Command taught him some unique ways to incentivize innovation and improve speed-to-capability. While some programs (ships, submarines, etc.) benefit from the full scrutiny of the Federal Acquisition Regulation, most IT systems do not. The Navy is tired of delivering great technologies that are several years out of date by the time the Sailors see them. In the past three years, the Navy has greatly improved the way they look at these cutting-edge technologies. This includes new contract types (Other Transactional Authorities (OTA’s) are now commonplace for IT solutions). The Navy can communicate their pain points quickly and directly with Industry via white papers, and commercial demonstrations or pilots are able to move rapidly from concept to contract without further competition.
Unmanned ground systems have been around and in use in DoD for decades. They were used throughout WWII for various functions considered too dangerous for humans, like demolition missions or advancing on a battle front to draw enemy fire. What’s exciting today is the explosion of possibilities as we couple artificial intelligence with modern day sensors and a versatile all-terrain ground platform. The FY21 President’s Budget dedicates serious funding to the R&D of Intelligent Robotics and Autonomous Systems (IRAS). Systems that can perform autonomously, make intelligent decisions based on what they “sense” and carry our successful missions (with or without a human in the mix) are critical to DoD’s strategy over the next decade.