Ms. Katherine Flattery has spent most of her career in the resource management field. She has served in a variety of positions within Naval Intelligence throughout her career and is currently a member of the Defense Intelligence Senior Executive Service (DISES). As of October 2010, Ms. Flattery serves in the office of the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Information Dominance/Director of Naval Intelligence as the N2/N6 corporate director and manages and oversees all Information Dominance Corps manpower, personnel, training and education resources. Ms. Flattery provided a written response to questions in late March.
Q: What is the state of the Information Dominance Corps (IDC) today?
A: The IDC is fully engaged around the world as a warfighting asset in the Navy’s arsenal. Since [the former] Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead established the IDC in 2009, we’ve successfully come together to deliver dominant information capabilities as a crucial element of U.S. Navy, joint and national warfighting.
Our communities include intelligence, METOC (meteorology and oceanography), information warfare, information professional, and the space cadre, and we now have roughly 45,000 people — military (officer and enlisted) and civilian — working hard to achieve our goals.
The IDC can now more effectively and collaboratively lead and manage a specialized collective of officers, enlisted and civilian professionals who possess extensive skills in information-intensive fields.
Q: What is your role within the IDC leadership?
A. I report to Vice Adm. Kendall Card, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Information Dominance (N2/N6) as the corporate director for the IDC.
My goal as the corporate director for this corps of professionals is to ensure that our workforce has the right blend of formal education, training, certification and professional experience across a career continuum.
Also, along with other IDC leaders, I am charged with promoting the development of an IDC culture emphasizing operational context and warrior ethos while supporting the specialized requirements for information, intelligence, counterintelligence, human-derived information, networks, space and oceanographic disciplines.
Q: Has the vision for the IDC changed since coming together in 2009?
A: The vision has not changed. We are still focused on pioneering, fielding and employing game-changing capabilities to ensure information dominance over adversaries and decision superiority for commanders, operational forces and the nation.
Q: What is the desired end state for the corps?
A:The desired end state is for the IDC to deliver decision quality information and warfighting options to the commander and front-line warrior with assured C2 (command and control), exquisite knowledge of the battlespace, precise targeting, freedom of maneuver and action in and through cyberspace and the electromagnetic spectrum and power projection through the network.
Q: How will training and education assist (aid) in realizing the vision?
A: While we are delivering technical capabilities to the fleet, we also need to ensure that the Sailors we are training (and educating) have the knowledge, skills and abilities to effectively operate and maintain the equipment.
Beyond just the 'buttonology,' they have to be able to employ critical thinking skills and fundamental knowledge, i.e., to think on their feet. We will never fully realize the true capability of a system unless we invest in training and educating our force.
Q: What are your current training and education priorities and initiatives?
A: Our forthcoming IDC Human Capital Strategy will outline the direction we need to develop our total workforce to include active duty, Reserve and civilians. To that end, we have already undertaken several initiatives we believe are critical to our success. We are developing a process to identify, vet and validate cross community skillset gaps, especially critical in this fiscally constrained environment. This is not only internal to our specific Navy requirements but also in support of our Title 10 responsibilities to train the joint community to include the intelligence community (IC).
Our role in USDI's (Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence) Intelligence Training and Education Executive Boards, and the other Combat Support Agency's functional management training councils (as per USDI's 3305 Instructions), is key to ensuring a unity of effort within DoD and the IC.
In conjunction with our DoD and IC partners we will address individual skills training, education, and Navy training systems plans solutions, as well as funding prioritization.
This process is analogous to what the surface warfare community has established with their Surface Warfare Training Council.
Our goal is to promote mission wholeness solutions. Regarding graduate-level education, we have several new educational initiatives underway with the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) and a pilot program with Carnegie Mellon University, and are in our second year of participating in the Cyber Federal Executive Fellowship program.
We continue to research other educational institutions with particular focus on cyber systems and operations, along with software computer science, network operations and technology, and most
importantly, on identifying the optimal, subsequent placement of those students to better support the Navy's mission.
Our next steps are to begin looking at the enlisted cross-training requirements for the IDC. For the courses we have already established, officers (both active and Reserve component), senior enlisted and civilians attend. These opportunities and others enable our workforce to experience the warfare aspects of information dominance and promote cross community understanding of what they provide to the Navy's warfighting capability.
[For the] IDC Acquisition Professional Career Track, we are developing an IDC acquisition workforce strategy by reviewing IDC acquisition billets and manning to identify requirements and developing processes to manage, track and mentor acquisition professionals within the IDC.
OPNAV N2/N6 is working to ensure the following: The Acquisition Professional track is sustainable, requirements driven, aligned with Navy acquisition policy and delivers to the Navy the double benefit of an information dominance warrior ready to meet the DoD and Navy’s acquisition
Q: What are your long-term initiatives?
A: I want to identify ways to further the information dominance warriors into a warfighting force whose value is intrinsically understood and demanded by the Navy.
I want holistic training and education continuums, which are effective both from a technical and operational perspective, [and] that promote an ID warfighting culture earlier in their careers.
We will need to partner with academia, industry, our sister services and other agencies to promote consistency and potentially eliminate duplicative efforts (given considerable resourcing
constraints) and remain vigilant to ensure efficacy and efficiency of our efforts.
Q: What are your challenges?
A: Our challenges include:
- Balancing community specialization versus ID core specialization, in other words — what makes sense?
- Emerging cyber threat — what does that mean for our workforce? Is commercial certification the right answer or is on-the-job training more valuable? What is the right mix of technical skills versus liberal arts or political science skills?
- Understanding civilians’ role in supporting our missions — do we hire with skills — or train and develop from within once they are onboard?
- Operating in a fiscally constrained environment and ensuring that training and education remain a major priority.
- We have to accomplish much in the short term for the long term-gain. How do we develop programs as we go forward to ensure our information dominance warriors are second to none?
Q: Can you talk about the IDC Human Capital Strategy? Does it include the same standards of competency and performance mapped to jobs and grade levels for civilian personnel and ranks and ratings for military personnel? There was some discussion on this in the beginning of developing
these skills across the workforce, and also to ensure that military and civilian personnel in the same jobs had the same standards of competency.
A: The IDC Human Capital Strategy (HCS) is aligned to and consistent with the umbrella Navy Strategy for Achieving Information Dominance (2012–2016), which emphasizes the elevation of
information as the centerpiece of Navy warfighting.
HCS provides the strategic direction and priorities needed to build a cross-trained, competent and mission-ready workforce optimized to deliver information-based capabilities and warfighting
effects to the fleet. This HCS identifies four strategic goals, each supported by a set of measurable objectives, that will drive strategy implementation: (1) fusion, integration and effectiveness; (2) competencies, training and education; (3) total force management; and (4) IDC culture.
The IDC has developed an information dominance competency framework describing the required core and enterprise management level competencies for the IDC Total Force.
The IDC has also conducted separate competency development initiatives (e.g., Human Performance Requirements Review) for sub-populations within the corps. There is now a requirement to align these efforts and apply them uniformly across the IDC. Once accomplished, these competencies must be aligned to the Navy Education and Training Command business process to inform training and development requirements.
Q: I think some people would be surprised to see that you are developing an IDC acquisition
workforce strategy. Why is this important — it doesn't sound like a cyber workforce job.
A: The Information Dominance Corps is working to develop acquisition expertise within its officer communities. The emergence of the IDC presented an opportunity for the Navy to more fully align responsibility for weapon and C4I systems development, as well as improve accountability for the acquisition of information dominance systems and services with the appropriate future IDC leaders.
This broadened horizon for the IDC requires a transformational cadre of highly qualified IDC officers with significant operational experience, astute technical expertise and practical systems
engineering acquisition skills. IDC officers are uniquely qualified to effectively manage the Navy's information dominance capability development and acquisition process in this fiscally constrained environment to effectively close warfighting gaps and leverage technological advances and enterprise IT investments.>
IDC acquisition workforce strategy seeks to produce and maintain acquisition expertise and create a sustainable capability to proficiently lead development of the Navy's information dominance
systems and services. In the near term, the IDC will focus on building the requisite credentials to fill the critical IDC acquisition billets. The IDC billet base must provide sufficient experience to the workforce. These officers must be competitive for promotion and assignment to acquisition eadership positions.
Detailing into key acquisition billets within major information dominance programs will enable the IDC to effectively develop and implement information dominance capabilities. Success will be evidenced by accelerated acquisition life cycles, more efficient procurement, and improved installation and sustainment management of all future information dominance systems and services.
Q: What would you like the members of IDC to know about you and your team’s efforts?
A: We are committed to building, maintaining and retaining an IDC team that delivers all the capabilities the Navy and the nation need to win the battle today — and to be prepared to win the battle tomorrow.
Our corps has some of the best and brightest people the Navy has to offer and we want to do all we can to give them the tools to succeed, whether that is additional training and education, or a broad base of experience. Our diverse team of professionals is indeed our strength — and our greatest asset.