Innovation Key to Matching Clever Foes
Leaders examine new ways to leverage technology to aid warfighters.
MILCOM 2005 brought together leaders from industry and government to share new ideas to support warfighters and first responders. Held in Atlantic City, New Jersey, the conference drew a record number of attendees.
Held October 17-20 in
Conference events began on Tuesday, October 18, with a speech by Mark Johnson, chief executive officer of Innosight LLC, on the subject of innovation and how it affects the defense sector. He identified two types of innovation: sustaining and disruptive. Sustaining innovation improves an organization’s existing business model and is usually driven by its high-level customers. Although it is good for firms to continue improving their products for high-end customers, this activity tends to overshoot low- and mid-range customers, often compelling them to look elsewhere for products or services.
Johnson explained that the U.S. Defense Department’s approach to program management is not suited to managing potentially disruptive new technologies. Government agencies manage technology in a rigid, hierarchical fashion, he said, that is not appropriate for applications that must be managed more organically. To succeed, the department must begin small programs and test its assumptions against the intended business or operational model. Organizing assumptions about a technology also helps mitigate risk when dealing with the unknown, he explained.
The day’s first unclassified panel focused on the need for innovation for the military to obtain victory on all fronts. Moderator Lt. Gen. John M. Curran,
Gen. Curran noted that the
The coalition perspective was presented by Maj. Gen. Ruud S. van Dam, RNAF, assistant chief of staff for airborne common sensor command, control, communications, computers and intelligence, Supreme Allied Command Transformation. He explained that NATO operations in Kosovo in 1999 and in
Capt. John Macaluso, USCG, chief of the Research and Development and Technology Management Headquarters, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, discussed programs being developed to enhance maritime domain awareness. Noting that the capabilities necessary for homeland security also are required for national defense, he outlined vessel-tracking programs underway that will increase the Coast Guard’s situational awareness in crowded waterways and harbors. He also highlighted joint efforts taking place with the Office of Naval Research to develop enhanced harbor and ship protections and the modernization of the Loran-C radio navigation system as a potential backup for global positioning satellite systems.
Tuesday’s luncheon speaker, Lt. Gen. Stephen Boutelle,
To counter these and future adversaries, the
The afternoon panel focused on the challenges enemy warfighters, terrorists and hackers present. Lt. Gen. Robert Shea, USMC, director for command, control, communications and computers (C4), J-6, the Joint Staff, outlined the challenges facing coalition forces. A decade ago, the primary concern was electronic warfare, but it has been replaced by threats to critical infrastructure, software assurance issues and insider attacks. Gen. Shea discussed several key steps necessary to provide
Gen. Shea explained that information assurance should be incorporated into personnel training and promoted for better protection of command and control systems. The military must establish a joint information assurance manpower standard and policies to improve training. He observed that capabilities to address insider threats and to improve cyberthreat reporting also should be developed.
Brig. Gen. Susan Lawrence,
Dr. Richard Wittstruck, chief systems engineer, U.S. Army Program Executive Office–Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and Sensors, explained that the threats in the ongoing war continue to evolve. He noted that in the past 32 months, coalition forces in
Wednesday morning’s panelists examined industry leaders’ assessments of innovation for defense. Clayton Jones, Rockwell Collins’ chief executive officer, discussed how commercial industry has focused on the war on terrorism. He categorized the past 50 years into three distinct periods: the Cold War that followed World War II, the post-Cold-War period of the late 1980s and early 1990s, and the post-September 11 era. He noted that the current volatile and unpredictable situation has led to an emphasis on accelerated technology programs to meet medium-term threats.
Gregory Akers, Cisco Systems’ senior vice president and chief technology officer, explained that for warfighters to have a tactical advantage, the data they receive must be high-capacity and high-speed. He outlined several emerging technologies that will help future intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) networks: integrated telephony and video, ubiquitous security, wireless connectivity and mobility, and adequate data storage capacities to meet warfighter needs. He added that Cisco is developing systems that will reside on networks, allowing applications to be integrated easily. This will allow the Defense Department to provide a merged defense and space architecture that will benefit warfighters, he said.
Lt. Gen. Peter Cuviello,
Gen. Cuviello added that although the Defense Department uses common commercial software applications to enable jointness, these systems are often modified to the point that they cannot communicate with other identical systems in the same service. Collaborative innovation between government and commercial communities is the key to countering these difficulties. He added that Lockheed Martin recently launched the Center for Innovation in
The awards luncheon speaker was Mario Mancuso, deputy assistant secretary of defense for special operations and combating terrorism, Office of the Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict. Mancuso outlined where the
He predicted that, in the future, the
Wednesday afternoon’s panelists explored innovative command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) strategy and technology effects on counterterrorism and homeland security. Brig. Gen. Carroll Pollett,
Gary Martin, acting director of the U.S. Army’s Communications-Electronics Research and
Speaking about the homeland security aspects of intelligence and command and control systems, Michael Payne, the U.S. Coast Guard’s chief of ISR systems and technology, explained how technology serves as an enabler for his organization. The Coast Guard is building a storage grid architecture to facilitate information sharing; it also is developing a flexible data storage capability with central management across its entire IP enterprise. He added that the Coast Guard is enhancing existing systems such as the Maritime Awareness Global Network (MAGNET), which collects data from sensors and operational platforms such as aircraft and ships. The new version of MAGNET will merge the agency’s operational databases. Three versions of the architecture will be available at classified, unclassified and sensitive levels, he said.
|Lt. Gen. Robert Shea, USMC, is director for command, control, communications and computers, J-6, the Joint Staff.|
|Lt. Gen. Stephen Boutelle, USA, is the chief information officer, G-6, Office of the Secretary of the U.S. Army.|
|Lt. Gen. Peter Cuviello, USA (Ret.), is vice president, Lockheed Martin Corporation.|