Tag Archives: Innovation

Manufacturing Innovation and Technological Superiority

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Frank Kendall

At the end of the Cold War, I was serving as the Deputy Director of Defense Research and Engineering for Tactical Warfare Programs in the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD). For years I had studied the intelligence reports on Soviet weapon systems and worked on ways the United States could achieve or maintain a military advantage over those systems. We knew the Russians had some of the best scientists and engineers in the world working on their designs. They also had aggressive modernization cycles in areas they considered important; their multiple competing design bureaus turned out new designs for armored vehicles, missiles and tactical aircraft on a predictable schedule at intervals of about 5 years.

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Army, Air Force Collaborate on Education, Innovation


Capt. José R. Davis

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas—Gen. David G. Perkins, the commanding general of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), visited officials from Air Education and Training Command Jan. 7-8 to collaborate with Air Force leaders on advancing education and innovation within the respective military services.

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Innovation in the Defense Acquisition Enterprise

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Author: Frank Kendall, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics

kendall-200Innovation has become a very popular word lately. Former Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced the Defense Innovation Initiative about a year ago. At about the same time, the draft Better Buying Power 3.0 set of initiatives, focusing on technical excellence and innovation, were published for comment. Deputy Defense Secretary Robert O. Work has led the effort to develop an innovative “Third Offset Strategy.” Most recently, Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter announced the opening of the Defense Innovation Unit—Experimental, or DIU-X, in California’s Silicon Valley. President Obama has led the administration’s successful opening of several Manufacturing Innovation Institutes, most of which are sponsored by the Department of Defense (DoD). And more institutes are on the way.

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Defense Labs: The Innovation Engine for Sustaining Our Quality Edge

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Authors: Dale Ormond  and  Edie Williams, Ed.D.

Ormond is principal director for Research in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (ASD[R&E]). Williams is consultant to the ASD(R&E).

The recently released National Military Strategy (NMS) characterizes the strategic environment as one in which globalized, diffused technology in the hands of not only nation-states, but also violent extremist organizations, is challenging the competitive advantage we have enjoyed for decades. The NMS calls for investment in future capabilities like space, cyber, integrated and resilient Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR), precision strike, missile defense, autonomous systems and other changes, to retain or increase our fighting edge.

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Does Your Culture Encourage Innovation?

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Authors: CDR Craig Whittinghill, USN, David Berkowitz, and Phillip A. Farrington

For many years military leaders have been calling for the U.S. Armed Forces to be more agile, adaptive, and innovative in order to defeat future and emerging threats. To assist the military in this endeavor, the University of Alabama in Huntsville explored Department of Defense (DoD) culture at the organizational level.  Having the proper organizational culture can improve performance by empowering members to interact better with their environment, to communicate and act rapidly, and, perhaps most importantly, to innovate. If organizational culture does not encourage innovation, however, organizations can improve innovativeness through culture manipulation. By implementing identified actions that influence cultural attributes, culture can be modified, and subsequently organizations can improve innovativeness, enabling them to meet new and complex challenges.

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DoD Comprehensive Military Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Smart Device Ground Control Station Threat Model

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Authors: Katrina Mansfield, Timothy Eveleigh, Thomas H. Holzer, and Shahryar Sarkani

In an effort to reduce costs and time to deploy mission capable unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), the Department of Defense (DoD) has transitioned smart devices into the battlefield as portable, handheld UAV ground control stations (GCS) without adequate cybersecurity protection. While a number of threat model approaches have been published, they are outdated and fail to evaluate a complete system. This article develops a holistic threat model that analyzes the cybersecurity vulnerabilities within the communication network, smart device hardware, software applications, as well as the insider threat. Additionally, this article provides a risk-based threat profile of a DoD pilot UAV smart device GCS system. This model will fill the gaps in current threat model approaches, to provide the DoD with a tool to properly assess the threat environment of a UAV smart device GCS, and build layers of security into the system throughout the system development life cycle.

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Moving from Best Practices to Standard Practices in Defense Acquisition

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Authors: Alex Miller and Joshua L. Ray

Years of process improvement in defense acquisition have produced many isolated best practices that failed to become widespread standard practices.  The authors’ research identified six factors critical to seeing best practices adopted as standard practices. Both contextual and managerial in nature, these address the extent to which standardization is pulled, pushed, and practical.  They organize the factors in a simple 2×3 framework, explain the nature of each factor, provide examples of each factor, and discuss each factor’s implications for defense acquisition.

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