The U.S. Department of Defense's (DoD) shift from a focus on counterterrorism to one of near-peer rivals has highlighted the need to incorporate emerging technologies into the DoD faster than ever before. To keep up with the technological advances of peer nations, it is critical that the DoD speed the time to the field of technologies that can give our troops an advantage in terms of intelligence, data sharing, and visibility. But in this need for speed, the security and the reliability of these solutions cannot be ignored.
DoD is successfully striking the balance of speed, innovation, and reliability with several recent implementations of emerging technology.
- Digital Engineering, construction of digital models that represent every characteristic of a complex product or system - using models instead of documents - is being leveraged to speed product design, development, and delivery. It has been used to accelerate the design-to-prototype processes of reconnaissance and surveillance drones that are crucial for battlefield situational awareness.
- Additive manufacturing, a formal term for 3D printing, has proven critical to meeting the maintenance needs of the U.S. Navy. Rear Adm. Jonathan Rucker, the Navy's lead buyer for attack submarines, recently told a congressional committee that being able to quickly manufacture parts on board a ship has kept construction and maintenance plans on schedule, providing a ready and resilient fleet.
- The development of an unmanned fleet has been supercharged by the U.S. Navy Task Force 59, which is looking for new ways to acquire and field technology that could make up a future hybrid manned-unmanned fleet. These efforts recently resulted in a test run of a "complex operation" that had crews at sea working alongside unmanned surface, subsurface, and aerial vehicles.
- The DoD Chief Digital and Artificial Intelligence Office is promoting a "culture to experiment" with Artificial Intelligence (AI). The office is embracing the reality that every new technology brings risk and that to utilize the benefits of AI the DoD will have to learn by doing. One example is Task Force Lima, which is looking to expedite the military's understanding and deployment of generative AI capabilities.
The 2023 DoDIIS conference, being held December 12-14 in Portland, OR, will explore these innovative applications and more. Sessions that address the 2023 theme of "Chaos to Clarity: Leveraging Emerging Technologies" will explore how the DoD is employing cutting-edge technology to deliver battlefield and intelligence advantages.
GovEvents will be at DoDIIS in Booth 1408. We'd love to meet with you there! If you can't make it to DoDIIS, GovEvents and GovWhitePapers have a number of other resources to help you stay up to speed on DoD's use of emerging technology.
- 2023 DoD Maintenance Symposium (December 18-21, 2023; San Diego, CA) - The strategic military advantages that we once took for granted are no longer guaranteed. General topical discussion areas include integrated deterrence, software sustainment, commercial industry and the organic industrial base, data analytics, agile combat sustainment, human capital, artificial intelligence, sustainment considerations in acquisition, and more.
- 10th Annual Defense R&D Summit (January 31, 2024; Falls Church, VA) - The foremost defense leaders, researchers, experts, and decision makers convene to discuss the latest developments in cutting-edge technology for the U.S. military.
- Defense IT Summit (February 9, 2024; Arlington, VA) - Federal and industry leaders discuss how IT modernization programs are restructuring the defense landscape. Hear senior leadership's priorities and get a jump start on the shifting needs around artificial intelligence, JADC2, data innovation, and workforce development.
- Reimagining Homeland Defense: A Need for an Integrated Approach (white paper) - Given the complexity of the current global environment and the expanding, holistic capabilities of our competitors, particularly the People's Republic of China and Russia, the United States must approach deterrence in a new way. Integrated deterrence has become the principal concept the DOD aims to implement against U.S. competitors across the competition continuum.
- National Defense Science & Technology Strategy 2023 (white paper) - The United States is in the midst of a decisive decade where the terms of geopolitical competition between the world's major powers will be set. The DoD will advance its priorities in three interlocking ways - through integrated deterrence, campaigning, and by building enduring advantages.
- Great Power Competition: Implications for Defense - Issues for Congress (white paper) - This report provides a brief overview of some implications for U.S. defense of intensified U.S. competition with the People's Republic of China and the Russian Federation, often referred to as great power competition (GPC) or strategic competition. The issue for Congress is how U.S. defense planning and budgeting should respond to GPC.