A chronological review of highlights from a difficult and busy year for the Federal Government, including January 6th, the ongoing pandemic response, withdrawal from Kabul, and the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Federal efforts in AI and Cybersecurity, as well as critical infrastructure security and supply chain initiatives, are also addressed in this year-end review.
Supply Chain and Cybersecurity Resilience: Palantir-backed Analytics Platform Partnership and DoD CMMC 2.0 Announced
Two recent developments speak to both a market-driven and governmental response to the vital operational role technology, innovation, standardization, and collaboration will play in a transition to 1) a resilient supply chain that mitigates risk in the global IT supply chain; and 2) cybersecurity processes to protect the defense industrial base. We provide a brief analysis of both developments: The Athinia Platform and the DoD Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) 2.0 Program.
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.