CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA – Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center (SSC) Atlantic teamed up with the Tidewater Association of Service Contractors in Norfolk, Virginia, Oct. 11 for the SSC Atlantic Industry Information Day.
The purpose of the event is to foster conversation and collaboration among government and industry. SSC Atlantic Executive Director Christopher A. Miller served as keynote speaker. Other SSC Atlantic leadership gave presentations, including Fleet C4I and Readiness Department Head Charles (Charlie) Adams, Chief of Contracting Office Steve Harnig, and Deputy Director for the Office of Small Business Robin Rourk.
In his presentation, Miller defined the key takeaways from Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) John Richardson’s call for the Navy to “fulfill the maritime responsibilities” in accordance with the 2018 National Defense Strategy. The CNO has called for the Navy to be bigger, better, networked, talented, agile and ready; Miller addressed each of these terms individually as a call to action for SSC Atlantic employees.
Miller cited the Navy’s shipboard Consolidated Afloat Networks and Enterprise Services program — more commonly known as CANES — as an example where innovative technologies are needed. “CANES isn’t your old school network, it’s a data center,” Miller said.
SSC Atlantic is primarily a Navy Working Capital Fund organization composed of nearly 4,500 civil service employees, including more than 240 new professionals and more than 120 military members. Top sponsors are the Program Executive Office Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence (PEO C4I) which designs, acquires and deploys CANES, and the Marine Corps Systems Command (MCSC). SSC Atlantic plays an integral role in modernizing MCSC’s systems and business information technology (IT), and is currently designing network upgrades that ensure cybersecurity.
Naval Sea Systems Command is another valued sponsor, who, according to Miller, spends more on IT modernization and cybersecurity than the rest of the Navy. “Our workload for them [NAVSEA] is growing quickly,” he said.
SSC Atlantic delivers mission-critical information warfare capabilities to the warfighter, such as satellite communication, navigation, networking systems, intelligence and cyber operations, and has strategically located detachments spanning five continents and seven time zones.
“It’s important for us to be close to the fleet,” Miller said. “Where the Navy goes, we go. In all places, the mission is the same.”
SSC Atlantic has a wide variety of hard-charging teams that work with partners in industry, academia and government agencies such as the National Security Agency, Office of Naval Research and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. These teams include Fleet C4I Readiness, Expeditionary Warfare, Enterprise Systems, Shore C2ISR and Integration, and Science and Technology.
Miller also spoke about the need to “grow” the command’s technology as discussed in the SSC Atlantic Technology Strategy, which was developed from the perspective of “technology needs and technology availability.” Growth areas include assured communications, autonomy, cloud computing, cyber warfare, internet of things and mobility solutions, among others.
Miller explained that technology exchanges are especially beneficial when it comes to fostering discussion about growing future technology. These one-day events provide the opportunity for government and industry subject matter experts to engage in meaningful dialogue about issues and solutions during plenary sessions and on a one-to-one basis.
“Technology exchanges are where we will start to build a pipeline [of talent and innovation],” Miller said.
SSC Atlantic provides systems engineering and acquisition to deliver information warfare capabilities to the naval, joint and national warfighter through the acquisition, development, integration, production, test, deployment, and sustainment of interoperable command, control, communication, computers, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, cyber and information technology capabilities.