AFCEA International Chapter News
LEXINGTON-CONCORD CHAPTER CHAPTER - Mar 17, 2021

Chapter Holds Its 41st New Horizons Virtually

The chapter kicked off its annual New Horizons Symposium this year, which spanned five days over two weeks in March. Jamie Thurber, chapter first vice president and senior manager of government affairs, Lockheed-Martin, performed master of ceremonies duties for the event, 'Accelerating Change-Strengthening Partnerships-Securing the Future,' which focused on exploring how the Air Force was responding to the mandate from Gen. Charles Brown, USAF, chief of staff, to 'accelerate change or lose.' Thurber welcomed more than 700 registrants and acknowledged 47 sponsors who made the symposium possible, paying special note to double diamond sponsors CACI International, Lumen and Oasis Systems, plus Diamond Sponsors Tricentis and Veritas Technologies. A panel discussion (Leading in Times of Great Change) featuring six former Electronic Systems Division/Center (now Air Force Life Cycle Management Center) commanders opened the first day. Moderated by Phyllis DiTocco, The Boeing Company, and Tim Ceteras, Collins Aerospace, the symposium featured Gen. William Looney, USAF; Lt. Gen. Ted Bowlds, USAF; Lt. Gen. Charles Davis, USAF; Lt. Gen. Gordon Fornell, USAF; Lt. Gen. Charles Franklin, USAF; and Lt. Gen. Charles Johnson, USAF, addressed the challenges of leading change during their respective tours. They also discussed the chief's mandate to accelerate change in a digital environment and stated that the Air Force is always undergoing change to continuously improve. Then they responded to questions from listeners. The panel concluded by paying special homage to the executive secretary at Hanscom Air Force Base, Maria Bandouveres. Incredibly, Maria has been serving her country for an unparalleled 75 plus years. She had not supported these six former commanders but, amazingly, has worked for every Electronic Systems Division/Center commander both before and after them. In fact, she still actively serves today and is currently assisting Maj. Gen. Michel Schmidt, USAF, Program Executive Office Command, Control, Communication, Intelligence, (C3I) and Networks, Hanscom Air Force Base, Massachusetts.

Adm. Chas Richard, USN, commander, U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM), followed as this year's keynote speaker. The admiral discussed his responsibilities as the USSTRATCOM commander, including his oversight responsibility for the Nuclear Command, Control & Communications (NC3) Enterprise. He noted that his most important mission is setting operating conditions for strategic deterrence (the foundation of our national defense) and cautioned that China is emerging as a nuclear superpower. As such, the United States has to postulate different strategic deterrence strategies not only for Russia but now for China as well. He observed that key to his strategic deterrence mission is full modernization of the strategic triad and the command and control infrastructure. He also mentioned the importance of artificial intelligence and machine learning to strategic deterrence plans and advised that the U.S. must catch up with industry and incorporate the latest tools to keep pace with our adversaries.

Program Executive Officers (PEOs) Gen. Schmidt and Col. Amanda Kato, USAF, NC3, followed. Each discussed their respective organizational structure, programs portfolio; initiatives/changes they are pursuing to speed the acquisition process; new contracting methods; and their changing partnerships with industry to accelerate change and rapidly deliver capability to the warfighter. They covered a wide range of topics, including digital engineering; cybersecurity; cloud and edge computing; agile software; open architecture; effective use of data; partnerships with labs and academia; and close collaboration with users and operators to deliver capability and ensure integrated command and control across all domains and services. Additionally, each of their corresponding division chiefs also provided insight into their specific missions and identified upcoming new business opportunities for industry.

Also featured was a presentation on the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office (RCO) where Randall Walden, director and PEO, discussed how the RCO works, its history, where the RCO is going with Advanced Battle Management System, and how his organization is collaborating with the other services on Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2).
A 'post-game analysis' encapsulating each PEO's discussion followed. These were moderated by Jason Dyer, Air Force and Combatant Commands client executive; Perspecta, who was joined by a representative from industry associated with each PEO organization. Additionally, PEO fireside chats were also added to the venue this year. These brought individual PEOs together with their particular operators and requirements stakeholders to discuss how they were collaborating to accelerate change respective to their missions. The PEO C3I & Networks chat, moderated by Charles Benway, managing director, Cyber Operations Division, The MITRE Corporation, included Gen. Schmidt; Brig. Gen. Chad Raduege, USAF, director of cyberspace and information dominance and chief information officer, Air Combat Command; Lauren Knausenberger, deputy chief information manager, USAF; and John Vona, deputy director of plans, programs and requirements directorate, Air Combat Command. The Digital 'chat,' moderated by Kerry Buckley, vice president, National Security Engineering Center, The MITRE Corporation, included Wert; Vona; and Maj. Gen. Angela Cadwell, USAF, director, Cyberspace Operations, North American Aerospace Defense and U.S. Northern Command. The last, PEO, NC3, moderated by Mark Ward, chief of staff and director of operations, Louisiana Tech Research Institute, included Col. Kato; and Brig. Gen. Mark Pye, USAF, deputy director, Strategic Plans, Program Requirements, Air Force Global Strike Command (AFGSC). Each 'chat' responded to participant questions and addressed a host of subjects ranging from integrating command and control using a common architecture, standard software development standards, leveraging commercial information technology, integrating into ABMS and JADC2 cybersecurity, homeland defense and others.

An industry panel moderated by Bud Vazquez, Vazquez Leadership LLC, with panelists from both large and small businesses provided perspectives, feedback and suggestions to the government on its changing acquisition strategies; use of nontraditional contracts; and government efforts to accelerate change in a digital environment. Mike McGinley, lead, Defense and IT Partnerships, Google Cloud, headed the final panel composed of government and industry representatives, including Col. Clare O'Keefe, 75th Innovation Command's Cyber Electromagnetic Activities Team; Capt. Ben Van Buskirk, USN, director NavalX; Sam Gray, executive director, Silicon Valley Defense Group; and Col. Nathan Diller, USAF, director, AFWERX, who discussed accelerating innovation across the services and how each of their respective organizations fosters innovation, partnering with industry and labs, and speeding change.

Thurber concluded the five-day event by thanking all the speakers, sponsors and virtual attendees.

Event Photographs:

In March, Program Executive Office (PEO) fireside chats were a new addition to this year's New Horizons Symposium The first, moderated by Charlie Benway, managing director, Cyber Operations Division, The MITRE Corporation, includes Maj. Michael Schmidt, USAF, PEO, Command, Control, Communications, Intelligence and Networks with Chad Raduege, director of Cyberspace and Information Dominance and chief information officer, Air Combat Command; Lauren Knausenberger, deputy chief information manager, USAF; and John Vona, deputy director of Plans, Programs and Requirements Directorate, Air Combat Command.
In March, Program Executive Office (PEO) fireside chats were a new addition to this year's New Horizons Symposium The first, moderated by Charlie Benway, managing director, Cyber Operations Division, The MITRE Corporation, includes Maj. Michael Schmidt, USAF, PEO, Command, Control, Communications, Intelligence and Networks with Chad Raduege, director of Cyberspace and Information Dominance and chief information officer, Air Combat Command; Lauren Knausenberger, deputy chief information manager, USAF; and John Vona, deputy director of Plans, Programs and Requirements Directorate, Air Combat Command.
As keynote speaker, Adm. Chas Richard, USN, commander, U.S. Strategic Command, discusses his responsibilities for leading the Nuclear Command  and  Control (NC3) Enterprise during the New Horizons virtual Symposium in March.
As keynote speaker, Adm. Chas Richard, USN, commander, U.S. Strategic Command, discusses his responsibilities for leading the Nuclear Command and Control (NC3) Enterprise during the New Horizons virtual Symposium in March.
In March, a panel of six former Electronics Systems Division (ESD)/Electronic System Center (ESC) commanders kick off this year’s New Horizons Symposium with a discussion about their particular challenges of leading change in a turbulent environment. The panel is moderated by Tim Ceteras, Collins Aerospace, and Phyllis DiTocco, Boeing. The generals concluded by applauding their former executive secretary, Maria Bandouveres, for her remarkable 75 plus years of federal service as she continues to serve at Hanscom Air Force Base to this day.
In March, a panel of six former Electronics Systems Division (ESD)/Electronic System Center (ESC) commanders kick off this year’s New Horizons Symposium with a discussion about their particular challenges of leading change in a turbulent environment. The panel is moderated by Tim Ceteras, Collins Aerospace, and Phyllis DiTocco, Boeing. The generals concluded by applauding their former executive secretary, Maria Bandouveres, for her remarkable 75 plus years of federal service as she continues to serve at Hanscom Air Force Base to this day.

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