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01 June 22. US military may need innovation overhaul to fight future wars, Milley says. The U.S. military may need to reorganize to fight future wars, which will be profoundly changed by artificial intelligence, robotics and other advanced technologies, according to Army Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
The nation’s top military officer said during a trip to Europe this week that he’s working on recommendations that could lead to a high-level reorganization. After launching Army Futures Command in 2018 to drive modernization when he was that service’s chief of staff, Milley said he’s mulling a similar effort for the joint force.
“You’re going to have to do really fundamental changes to our military in order to take advantage of this change in the character of war. In order to do that, you need organizations to drive that,” he told reporters. “You look at what the Army did with Army Futures Command, for example. Can that be done at the joint level, at the DoD level?”
How Army Futures Command could be adapted across the services, which have innovation efforts of their own, is unclear, and Milley wasn’t ready to say whether he’d be proposing an umbrella “Joint Futures Command.” Army civilian leaders have moved some of the service’s command’s powers back to its senior civilian acquisitions office, though it shepherded 24 modernization programs since its inception.
The comments follow a warning he gave graduating cadets at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point last week that the military’s technological edge is in danger. No longer the unchallenged global power, America is being tested in Europe by Russian aggression and in Asia by China’s dramatic economic and military growth.
“We’re going to have to really think hard about fundamental shifts to our military,” Milley said in London. “The country that maximizes development of these technologies with their doctrines and organizations, in the time we have available, could be decisive in the next conflict … I would suggest, in 10 to 15 years, you have to do these fundamental changes.”
The Pentagon has been trumpeting its stepped up investments in emerging technologies and last week made its latest tech-focused organizational move. An Emerging Capabilities Policy Office will help integrate autonomous systems, hypersonic tech, directed-energy weapons, and other innovations into the department strategy, planning guidance and budget processes.
The principal military advisor to the president and the secretary of defense, Milley said he is also thinking through the implications of emerging technologies, following the lead of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. The military is examining options for operational design and structure of the force ― its brigades, divisions and fleets ― but also its institutions.
“The institutions we have today may or may not be optimally designed to leverage these technologies,” he said. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
26 May 22. Pentagon Seeks Out Swedish Tech Partnerships. A Defense Department team that scouts for foreign technology recently met with Swedish defense companies to discuss emerging capabilities.
Foreign comparative testing, or FCT, personnel made a trip at the end of April, said Bryant Streett, deputy director mission prototypes at the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering.
The Arctic nation — which is already responsible for $1.5 bn worth of U.S. defense procurement — is expected to make a decision about joining NATO in May, which was sparked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Streett said the Pentagon wants to continue to use the FCT program to find innovative prototypes to cut costs and get technology to warfighters faster.
“The reason we did this is because Sweden — and of course Norway — has really been a great source of phenomenal technologies for us,” he said during the 18th U.S. – Sweden Defense Industry Conference organized by the National Defense Industrial Association at the Swedish embassy in Washington, D.C.
The staff met with 20 teams, including one with additive manufacturing technology for steel, one that made a rebreathing system and another company that made a chemical-biological sensor, he said.
The second day, staff met with leadership of the Swedish Security and Defence Industry Association to discuss electromagnetic warfare and maritime technology.
While its NATO membership is not assured, Sweden’s defense budget is already swelling. Its investment in its military has spiked with the recent passage of its latest defense legislation, said Gen. Göran Mårtensson, director general Swedish Defence Materiel Administration.
“Swedish defense is now expected to grow in size and with a pace that has not been seen since the second World War,” he said during the event.
While there is “political ambition” to spend up to 2 percent of the nation’s GDP, Sweden’s military is looking at how to adapt its procurement to times of war and crisis, he said.
Upcoming defense projects include upgrades to integrated air and missile defense, next generation of surface ships, new airborne radar reconnaissance and command systems and replacement of long-range sensor systems among other technology acquisitions, he said.
Sweden’s partnership will help the United States maintain military technology advantage over its adversaries, said Michael Vaccaro, principal deputy assistant secretary for defense industrial base policy at the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment.
“If you look at what our modernization priorities are in the United States, they’ve aligned very similar to what Sweden is looking at,” he said. (Source: glstrade.com/National Defense)
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