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CHIPS Articles: SPAWAR Fosters Innovation, Industry Engagement at WEST 2019

SPAWAR Fosters Innovation, Industry Engagement at WEST 2019
By Elisha Gamboa, Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command Public Affairs - February 19, 2019
SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) joined 10 other Navy commands at the U.S. Navy Information Warfare (IW) Pavilion to demonstrate the critical teamwork required in today’s information driven environment during WEST 2019, Feb. 13-15, at the San Diego Convention Center.

The Navy’s IW pavilion at the conference, co-hosted by the U.S. Naval Institute (USNI) and Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA), showcased the Navy’s role in the information domain through the use of speakers, panels, subject matter experts and capability displays.

As part of the speaker series, SPAWAR Commander Rear Adm. Christian Becker stressed the command’s mission of delivering information capabilities to the fleet from seabed to space to protect the Navy and the nation from attack, promote prosperity, and preserve strategic influence.

“The proliferation of advanced technologies makes staying ahead of the competition a constant challenge,” said Becker. “To outpace our adversaries we must take every opportunity to innovate, lead and drive new ways to speed delivery of advanced capability to the warfighter now and into the future.”

Emphasizing information as a key domain of warfare, Becker also announced that SPAWAR will be changing the names of its Echelon III systems centers, SPAWAR Systems Center Atlantic and SPAWAR Systems Center Pacific, to Naval Information Warfare Center Atlantic and Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific respectively, effective Feb. 18.

“While the centers’ mission will remain the same, the new names reflect the centers’ focus, core capabilities, and importance in the full spectrum of warfighting,” Becker said during his address to the industry on Feb. 13. “The names also improve clarity of mission and purpose with our stakeholders across the fleet and industry and throughout the broader Information Warfare Community and Naval Research and Development Enterprise.”

To provide attendees with a comprehensive understanding of the Navy’s information warfare community, this year’s Navy IW pavilion featured three ways for industry to engage with Navy IW professionals — the Navy IW theater speaking series, the Navy IW engagement zone and Navy IW technology demonstrations.

The speaker series covered topics focused on the evolution and present state of the information warfare domain ranging from rapid prototyping, enabling ‘compile to combat in 24 hours,’ cybersecurity, military intelligence, enhancements in military training and technology, and extensive insight into the IW community status and mission areas.

In an effort to foster innovation, an engagement zone meeting area provided a platform for attendees to connect with more than two dozen program managers, business portfolio managers and subject matter experts from multiple IW commands.

“WEST provides a terrific opportunity to meet with industry experts on a wide range of technology areas to accelerate learning in support of PEO C4I's Information Warfare mission outcomes” said Capt. Kurt Rothenhaus, program manager of the Navy's Tactical Networks Program Office (PMW 160), at the Program Executive Office Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence (PEO C4I).

Surrounding the engagement zone, the IW pavilion also hosted 18 technology demonstrations spotlighting various systems and capabilities that support and facilitate information warfare, from seabed to space.

Highlighting innovation in acquisition was SPAWAR Systems Center Pacific’s rapid prototyping exhibit, demonstrating some of the latest tools available to defense acquisition professionals to deliver capability to the warfighter at the speed of relevance.

“SSC Pacific has a long, proud history as first-adopters of disruptive, information-based technologies and novel engineering methods,” said Carly Jackson, SPAWAR Systems Center Pacific’s director of prototyping-Information Warfare. “Our world class scientists and engineers have been at it again — emboldened by the urgency of calls from our fleet commanders — thriving in the power and complexity of the cresting waves of technology and innovation, and setting new standards for speed, scale, and rigor as we rapidly prototype and field capabilities to our Nation’s Sailors and Marines.”

Also popular with attendees was the SPAWAR Systems Center Pacific additive manufacturing exhibit, demonstrating modern technology developments in 3D printing of antennas for Naval applications.

PEO C4I demonstrated the Consolidated Afloat Networks and Enterprise Services (CANES), the Navy's next generation tactical afloat network. CANES will take advantage of the new business model of open architecture, Service Oriented Architecture, and rapid commercial off-the-shelf insertion, in order to bring fiscal savings to the Navy, as well as operational agility to the warfighter.

To encourage and facilitate industry connections and partnerships, SPAWAR also had representatives from the command’s Office of Small Business Programs on hand to provide information on how to do business with SPAWAR.

“The IW Pavilion provides a platform for us to inform our small business industry partners about current and future requirements needed to support SPAWAR’s mission,” said Mark McLain, SPAWAR Office of Small Business Program director. “SPAWAR recognizes that small businesses drive innovation and the creation of new industries, and tapping into their specialized capabilities and experience will assist in growing our industrial base of capable companies that can provide innovative, agile, and affordable solutions for today’s and tomorrow’s Navy.”

Other displays ranged from unmanned under water vehicles used for operational decision making, cutting-edge position, navigation and timing technologies, artificial intelligence and machine learning applications, military satellite and nanosatellite communication systems, research and development of commercial cloud services and more.

The premier naval conference and exposition on the West Coast, WEST is now in its 29th year of bringing military and industry leaders together. Co-sponsored by AFCEA International and the U.S. Naval Institute, WEST is the only event in which the makers of platforms and the designers of technologies can network, discuss and demonstrate their solutions in a single location.

SPAWAR identifies, develops, delivers and sustains information warfighting capabilities supporting naval, joint, coalition and other national missions. SPAWAR consists of more than 10,000 active duty military and civil service professionals located around the world and close to the fleet to keep SPAWAR at the forefront of research, engineering and acquisition to provide and sustain information warfare capabilities to the fleet.

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