AUSN

SPRING 2018

Navy magazine is distributed on Capitol Hill,the Pentagon and naval bases around the world. It provides information that impacts Sailors, their families and the Navy. Navy is published quarterly by the Association of the United States Navy (AUSN).

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14 Navy | Spring 2018 Previous to this R&D framework that we put out, we had been thinking about these in terms of, hey, this is the science and technology piece. Once that's done, now we'll start the R&D piece. And then once that's done, then we'll productionize it. If we think that way, we create an unnecessary set of impediments to moving that through that whole continuum of activity at speed and, frankly, at the rate that the technology will allow. I think of all those pieces in there, we have put a bunch of artificial constraints in there. If we can step back and start thinking about how ought we be investing in R&D, how ought we think about the movement of technologies across that path, then maybe we'll think differently about how we can pace the technology and absorb it all in the same breath, because that's how we have to do this. In the push to advance capability in the field, do you anticipate any gap in the learning curve to use these new technologies and, if so, how is that being addressed? Do you do that in tandem? Short answer is yes, those have to be done in parallel. Some of the best examples of this … is back on your supercomputer, on your cell phone. at's a user-cen- tered experience. at's a pretty complex set of activ- ities and concepts to absorb if you were to start from scratch and then just kind of get there. e way that we use it is built on a gradual movement over time that we're all pretty familiar with, and it's so intuitive that you can have a young child pick up an iPad and, aer watching an adult, aer playing on it in a way that's almost penalty free, they can learn and understand what becomes effective. at user is now centered on how that device works, and this virtuous cycle begins. As we think about how we get capability out there, it has to be user centered. If the users — the Sailor and Marine — aren't part of that, we lose every time. Were there any specific capability gaps that you saw as needing immediate attention through this effort? ere weren't any specific areas that weren't being attended to. In general, I think we've got a pretty well- tuned set of folks inside of the research and development community — and that's the Office of Naval Research, the Naval Research Lab, our warfare centers writ large, and even in the program offices — they're attending to most of the areas where the requirements folks and the warfighter end says, "We've got a problem here that the current set of kit is not solving to our satisfaction." But, at the end of the day, we need to be very efficient as we do that and recognize that a technology may be able to solve many different gap areas and, if we view the world and we view the acquisition of capa- bility through the lens of opportunity that gets created with that technology instead of looking at it through the lens of the program, looking back into the tech- nology space, then our absorption model might have to change. Tailoring a specific technology to meet the specifics of a program — and there are many, many programs that may be using an underlying technology that is the same — that over time gets very expensive because you have to tailor it to many programs. And back to the user experience, now we create many different user instantiations of the same thing. at gets pretty difficult over time. Are we attuned to the gaps? Yes, we are, but we may not be focusing as much on the ones that are really important because we tend to be solving the same problem over and over again. So our system is just in need of a little calibration. What needs to be done within the acquisition process and acquisition community for this "full-spectrum view of research" to pay off in the field? at's the fundamental question here. We believe we're in partnership with the acquisition community because, at the end of the day, that's how we get capability to scale. We're full partners. e most successful programs we have watched over time to be able to consume tech- nology — at the speed that the technology will allow — are the ones that sort of view it as a conveyor belt. ey look at their contracting model, their resourcing model, their requirements model, their funding model, their testing model, all those things you do on the back end to productionize capability. ey view that as set of activities that all have to be meshed together and operate in a conveyor-belt manner, and the things that pass muster at any one of those points along the way, they get to the end of the conveyor belt and get delivered. ose things that don't pass muster — for whatever reason — they don't just fall off the end of the Earth. ey're still available to them, and maybe there's another cycle in a year or two where they can be absorbed, because now they've matured or the user understands it better or the CONOPS [concept of operations] now has changed and now that becomes valuable. I oen point to the Acoustic-Rapid COTS Inser- tion, or A-RCI, program that's run by the submarine

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