FLIR Systems Inc., Wilsonville, Ore., was awarded a firm-fixed-price contract with a maximum value of $82,434,800 for the procurement of the Talon Forward Looking Infrared System. The Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity.
Raytheon, Waltham, Massachusetts, has announced several leadership changes, naming Dr. Thomas A. Kennedy executive vice president and chief operating officer. Daniel J. Crowley was named president, Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems. Lynn A. Dugle was named president of the Raytheon Intelligence, Information and Services (IIS) business. John D. Harris II has been named vice president and general manager of the IIS business.
Col. Christie L. Nixon, USAR, has been nominated for promotion to the rank of brigadier general and for assignment as deputy commander, U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command, Fort Belvoir, Virginia.
Gen. Mieczyslaw Bieniek, Polish Army, opened the second day of East: Joint Warfighting 2013 by inviting military leaders from all nations to leave their comfort zones and embrace innovation. Gen. Bieniek, who is the deputy supreme allied commander transformation for NATO, said that the security model for the future requires a new attitude toward partnering and innovation. “Many talk about innovation. Few actually innovate,” the general stated.
Innovation requires a radical paradigm shift. But while military leaders often like to share stories about great advances and changes corporate leaders have made in the commercial sector, few are comfortable taking those kinds of risks in their own commands.“The status quo is no longer an option,” Gen. Bieniek stated. Change will have to occur both in the U.S. military services as well as NATO forces.
One source of change at the Allied Command Transformation (ACT) is the ACT Innovation Hub. This collaborative space for experts opened its doors only four weeks ago and already has 250 participants, the general shared. These out-of-the-box thinkers already are using this forum to discuss and find new ways to apply the technologies people are willing to embrace in their personal lives, such as social media, to the professional arena, where leaders are much more uncomfortable adopting them.
Leadership is the most important element of encouraging innovation, Gen. Bieniek said, because leaders who embrace it set the tone for innovation acceptance. Meeting future security needs will require the militaries from all nations to be agile, and this can best be achieved by being “co-creative,” he added.
East: Joint Warfighting 2013 continues at the Virginia Beach Convention Center, Virginia, today and tomorrow.
Wrapping up the panels for the first day of East: Joint Warfighting 2013 was a topic that’s on everyone’s mind: cyber. The topic was the militarization of cyber, particularly in a time when networks from military to education to commercial are the victims of enemies at an increasing amount each day. While participants agreed that additional protection and defense is needed, not all concurred on what organization should have the power or responsibility.
Franklin Kramer, former assistant secretary of defense, International Security Affairs, and board director, Atlantic Council, opened the discussion by pointing out that cybersecurity goes beyond protecting and defending U.S. military networks as joint operations take place in host nations, and coalition operations require trust, sharing and security. The increase in attacks on commercial networks within the United States also demonstrates that more network security is required within the country.
While Vice Adm. Herb Browne, USN (Ret.), former commander, U.S. Space Command, agreed on the need for security, he does not believe that it is the role of the military to take on cybersecurity for the nation. Citing that many other organizations already exist to protect government and commercial networks, the admiral argued that the U.S. Defense Department has a big enough job securing its own networks. He agreed, however, with Vice Adm. Robert C. Parker, USCG, commander, Atlantic Area, and commander, Defense Force East, that during crises, the Defense Department is excellent at providing support and vetting other organizations that offer their services.
Taking a look at the long-term effects of the current budget crunch, military participants in this afternoon’s East: Joint Warfighting 2013 panel agreed that the hits military equipment are taking as a result of reduced funding and furloughs will ultimately affect force readiness. However, some civilians on the panel believe that resources approved in the past have been enough to keep U.S. forces adequately equipped for the near future.
Moderating the panel session, Dr. Dov S. Zakheim, senior fellow, CNA Corporation, and former comptroller, U.S. Defense Department, asked representatives from many of the services sitting on the panel to share their views on current and future results of reduced resources. Vice Adm. William R. Burke, USN, deputy chief of naval operations for warfare systems, N-9, Naval Operations, pointed out that both furloughs and decreases in hiring within the shipbuilding industry could decrease readiness up to 40 percent. In addition, without training funding for troops preparing to deploy to current operations, readiness is sinking deeper into the “bathtub,” a situation that will be harder to climb out of as time goes on. “We are robbing the future to pay for today,” he stated.
Reflecting opinions expressed earlier today, Maj. Gen. Karen E. Dyson, USA, director, budget, U.S. Army, said that maintenance of equipment and facilities deferred now will end up costing more in the long run. Also, because training dollars are drying up, warfighters who are unable to learn about the latest technologies and use them in new tactics could lead to a situation that will end up costing more—in dollars and readiness—in the future.
Frank Kendall, undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, admitted that the U.S. Defense Department did not expect sequestration to happen, and he is becoming even less optimistic about the budget now. Department leaders are now “doing the best we can;” the lack of stability and lack of certainty are the primary challenges today.
Kendall shared his thoughts as the Tuesday luncheon keynote speaker at East: Joint Warfighting 2013, taking place at the Virginia Beach Convention Center, Virginia, May 14-16. While the directive from the secretary of defense is to find efficiencies wherever possible, Kendall is not willing to sacrifice the future. In fact, he’s taking his cue from former Defense Secretary William Perry, who was a proponent of keeping the future in mind even when the current funding is grim.
Calling it “hedging investments,” Kendall is a believer in investing now in at least some systems that today’s budget quandary would not support in the future. “Even if you don’t think you’ll be able to afford the systems in the future, you should still develop them, because they move technology forward. The work also will reduce the lead time to full development in the future when the money is available, and it keeps the design teams alive because otherwise they will have to go off and do other things,” he said.
Kendall also pointed out that the long-term effects of sequestration are not being considered. Because the funding to maintain technology and infrastructure is not available today, they will continue to erode and end up costing more in the future to repair.
Panelists discussing effective command and control in a contested environment at East: Joint Warfighting 2013 agreed that technology provides superb benefits but could be a severe vulnerability in the next battlespace. While the United States and its allies have experienced relatively little resistance from adversaries, this is sure to change in the future, and the military must be ready for it despite fiscal constraints.
Leading the discussion was Lt. Gen. William J. Rew, USAF, vice commander, Air Combat Command, who asked panelists to share their expertise about how the U.S. military can prevail in tactics, operations, and command and control when an enemy takes away some of the tools it has come to rely on, such as networks and situational awareness.
Brig. Gen. James E. Rainey, USA, director, Mission Command Center of Excellence, pointed out that while the U.S. military can operate and maintain communications on land and sea, it is time to think about maintaining communications via the space and cyber realms, because the network has become a weapon system. As such, said the general, while pointing out that he knew this wasn’t a panel about logistics, bandwidth must be considered a commodity and the logistics must be in place to deliver it.
The panelists concurred in their confidence in the digital native military service members. In particular, the generations that grew up with cell phones and the Internet are great at multitasking and transitioning to new capabilities as they come along. However, the tactics, techniques and procedures for operating when networks are down and communications is interrupted is just as important as learning the latest techno-navigation skills, and junior officers also must be trained in these, the panelists agreed.
The conference is taking place at the Virginia Beach Convention Center, Virginia, May 14-16.