Money might buy badly needed fleet upgrades, but it won’t buy fixes for problems that have been building in the sea services over the past decade. Reforming technology acquisition, speeding up innovation and reclaiming combat supremacy will require shifting away from traditional approaches, said the chiefs of the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard and other experts at the West 2018 conference, co-sponsored by AFCEA International and the U.S. Naval Institute.
Artificial intelligence, machine learning and neural networks are already influencing decision-making processes for both military and business, yet all of the benefits and consequences are far from understood. The way these technologies will be applied will have a profound effect on service personnel as well as civilians, and the timeline is accelerating, driven by the exponential growth in sensors, big data and simulation algorithms.
West 2018 SIGNAL Magazine Show Daily, Day 3
Quote of the Day:
In 50 or 100 years, we’ll look back and say, what were we thinking that we didn’t have a cyber service?—Adm. James G. Stavridis, USN (Ret.), dean, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University #WEST2018 @stavridisj
— Bob Ackerman (@rkackerman) February 8, 2018
The U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard all are targeting badly needed upgrades using funds proposed in the latest defense budget. But money alone won’t solve problems that have been building for more than a decade. And, potential adversaries have changed the international security game with new forms of combat that will require shifts in focus away from traditional approaches.
Not only will the race for AI go to the swiftest, military superiority may follow suit, according to a panel at West 2018 in San Diego on February 8. Hyperwar, or combat waged under the influence of AI, already is beginning to intrude on military operations. And other nations are devoting huge resources to military AI, which may tilt the balance of conflict in favor of them in little more than a decade.
Improving acquisition efficiency in a time of high funding demands may begin with letting program managers manage, according to the assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition. James F. Geurts, speaking to the audience at the final morning keynote in West 2018, being held in San Diego February 6-8, described several approaches the Navy wants to take to improve acquisition and enhance innovation.
New technologies, capabilities and tactics will be necessary for the U.S. Navy to prevail in the burgeoning arena of information warfare. But while some needs are obvious, the course for the overall way ahead remains elusive.
Explaining the complicated nature of naval information warfare was Vice Adm. Jan Tighe, USN, deputy chief of Naval Operations for Information Warfare (N2N6). Speaking at the Wednesday keynote luncheon at West 2018 being held in San Diego February 6-8, Adm. Tighe outlined a series of challenges and potential options, beginning with the state of the realm.
As if the changing nature of warfare didn’t pose a big enough challenge, U.S. security is challenged by peer and near-peer nations operating just below the threshold of conflict. Some areas of contention literally have no rules, while others are constantly shifting and posing a dilemma for uniformed and civilian planners alike.
Operating in the gray zone was the focal point of a panel comprising military and civilian experts at West 2018, being held in San Diego February 6-8. The discussion largely focused on challenges, but some potential solutions were offered as these leaders exchanged views on this undefined domain.
The already-complex Marine Corps mission is about to become more intricate as the Corps strives to incorporate new methods of warfighting and countering enemy capabilities. Viewing adversaries has given the Corps a glimpse of the future, and major changes lie over the horizon.
These points were hammered home by Lt. Gen. Robert S. Walsh, USMC, commanding general, Marine Corps Combat Development Command, speaking at the day two morning keynote address at West 2018 in San Diego. From amphibious assaults to information warfare, the Marines are incorporating new capabilities that will lead to an entirely new way of waging combat, the general allowed.
Now that the U.S. Navy is networked and fully cyber-enabled, it needs to ensure that its technologies improve efficiencies and effectiveness to a greater degree. How that is to be achieved was the topic of discussion by an afternoon panel of experts at West 2018, being held in San Diego February 6-8.
War with China is not inevitable, but the United States is in a competition with which it is unfamiliar, U.S. Navy Pacific Fleet Commander Adm. Scott H. Swift, USN, told the audience at the keynote luncheon at West 2018. China is using its own means to coerce others as it pursues its long-term goals, the admiral said at the conference, taking place February 6-8 in San Diego.
Speed, efficiency and innovation are the cornerstones of progress necessary for the new U.S. National Defense Strategy to succeed, according to the deputy secretary of defense. Speaking at the opening keynote address at West 2018, being held in San Diego February 6-8, Patrick Shanahan told the large audience that internal changes will be as important as external approaches.
“It’s not about China; it’s not about Russia: It’s about competing, and there are no such things as fair competitions,” Shanahan said of the new strategy.