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CHIPS Articles: New SPAWAR Commander Outlines Near, Long-Range Goals

New SPAWAR Commander Outlines Near, Long-Range Goals
Rear Adm. Bachmann Seeks to Solidify Ties with Fleet, Acquisition Community
By Steven A. Davis - April-June 2006
The new head of the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) is no stranger to San Diego sites and scenery - but since his assumption of command Feb. 23 - he's had little time to enjoy them.

Significant changes occurring in the Navy and within the Navy's acquisition community have provided Rear Adm. Michael C. Bachmann a host of opportunities and challenges that have kept him focused on the command's future and evolving mission.

As SPAWAR commander, Bachmann serves as the FORCEnet chief engineer and is responsible for developing the architecture and standards for the Navy's vision of network-centric warfare for the 21st century. In addition to developing the FORCEnet architecture, he is the chief engineer for the Navy's command, control, communications, computer and intelligence, or C4I, systems.

Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Michael Mullen's stated goals of sustained combat readiness, the need to build the right force of the future, and the need to transform the Navy's manpower and personnel system are significantly impacting the way TEAM SPAWAR conducts business. In addition, the Navy's acquisition chief, Dr. Delores M. Etter, Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition (ASN RDA), is fine-tuning the acquisition community's structure and focus.

"It's no surprise that networks are now considered an indispensable necessity for daily fleet operations," explained Bachmann, who was recently nominated to receive his second star. "And today, our program executive offices (PEOs) and labs are delivering FORCEnet capabilities that allow our warfighters, joint and coalition partners the ability to rapidly respond to virtually any threat around the globe."

Bachmann has extensive acquisition experience through a wide variety of afloat, shore-based and joint duty assignments, including a previous assignment at SPAWAR. He assumed command of the Naval Tactical Command Support System in November 1995. The Department of Defense ACAT I program was selected into the Secretary of the Navy Acquisition Hall of Fame in April 1998, nominated for the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) Packard Award, and awarded the OSD Certificate for Acquisition Excellence. Prior to arriving at SPAWAR, Bachmann was the vice commander at the Naval Air Systems Command.

As the Navy's architecture for transformational efforts, FORCEnet must integrate warriors, sensors, command and control, platforms, and weapons into a networked combat force. This requires an environment in which information at all levels is accessible, assured and actionable. It's for this reason that FORCEnet is fleet-centric by design, focused on the warfighter and decision makers at all levels.

FORCEnet's development requires unprecedented expertise and collaboration from across the Navy. For this reason, the CNO established the Naval NETWAR FORCEnet Enterprise (NNFE), which is based on the previously established Naval Aviation Enterprise construct. This collaborative effort follows the industry model of a chief executive officer (CEO), chief financial officer (CFO) and chief operations officer (COO).

The Naval Network Warfare Command, or NETWARCOM, which represents warfighters who rely on C4I systems to accomplish their missions, is the CEO. The CEO prioritizes and integrates requirements from the fleet and identifies optimum current and future readiness levels.

The CFO role is fulfilled by the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, which evaluates the financial soundness of programs and develops financial plans to support warfighting priorities.

As FORCEnet's chief engineer, SPAWAR fulfills the COO role by aligning the processes by which the joint, interoperable architecture is designed. This role requires extensive collaboration with the Navy's acquisition community, which includes partner program executive offices and ASN RDA.

“Having participated in the Naval Aviation Enterprise for the last couple of years, it’s really a great framework for success all around. Its initiatives are focused on the fleet, driven by the fleet and provide metrics that ensure we will meet the CNO’s readiness cycles. It’s really the right approach,” Bachmann said.

The vast and varied challenges facing this FORCEnet stakeholders group are daunting. The key to success is linking the systems engineering process to the prioritization and the resourcing so the path established from the outset is architecturally sound and fiscally executable, and provides the capabilities required by the warfighter.

The architecture and standards developed today must result in a fully networked force of the future. Additionally, early FORCEnet capabilities must be implemented in a way that provides tomorrow’s warfighter the greatest tactical and strategic advantage.

“The CNO has clearly defined his objectives for 2006, and it is apparent that the Naval NETWAR FORCEnet Enterprise is contributing to the attainment of these objectives,” said Bachmann, "and we are committed to bring the CNO’s objectives to fruition.”

The Navy’s acquisition community has also undergone changes that affect TEAM SPAWAR. Etter was named ASN RDA in September 2005, and as Bachmann explained, “She acts quickly and decisively and is accelerating the PEO/systems command dialog across the Navy. She immediately addressed such questions as ‘What’s the best way for the acquisition community to be organized?’”

On Feb. 23, ASN RDA announced a restructuring in the Navy’s information technology arena. Rear Adm. James B. Godwin, who had previously served as NMCI’s Direct Reporting Program Manager, was designated as the lead for the newly-established PEO for Enterprise Information Systems. PEO EIS is responsible for initiatives of the former PEO Information Technology and now includes NMCI, Base Level Information Infrastructure – ONE-NET and Navy Enterprise Resource Planning. The restructuring also affected PEO C4I and Space, which added another essential joint-oriented program to its organization.

The Distributed Common Ground System-Navy (DCGS-N) program, which provides time-critical fire control solutions and situational awareness support for command and control planning, will now report to Program Executive Officer Dennis Bauman.

With only a few weeks on the job and several more East Coast trips already planned, Bachmann has outlined an ambitious agenda by which his tenure will be evaluated:
• Support NNFE and NETWARCOM to more effectively deliver FORCEnet capabilities to the fleet;
• Increase support and strengthen relationships with PEOs;
• Move TEAM SPAWAR more toward competency alignment;
• Make TEAM SPAWAR as efficient and effective as possible.

One of Bachmann's first directives was to clarify how SPAWAR Headquarters and its associated PEOs (PEO Space Systems, PEO C4I and Space, and PEO EIS), systems centers and field activities should be referred. With the advent of NNFE, it became clear that using the term "SPAWAR Enterprise" would likely cause confusion among government and industry partners, academia and the fleet.

Accordingly, the SPAWAR corporate organization has been renamed "TEAM SPAWAR" to help alleviate any confusion between the organization and the collaborative enterprise organizations established by the CNO. “One message we’ve received from the CNO is ‘Do not sit on the fence with game-changing ideas. Figure out a way to get those ideas heard and to the fleet. Don’t let the system crush innovative new ideas.’ And I plan to take the CNO up on that offer,” Bachmann said.

For more information about SPAWAR, go to www.spawar.navy.mil/.

Rear Adm. Michael C. Bachmann addresses TEAM SPAWAR personnel during an assumption ceremony Feb. 23 at SPAWAR Headquarters in San Diego. Bachmann relieved Rear Adm. Will Rodriguez, left, who served as acting commander since November 2005.
Rear Adm. Michael C. Bachmann addresses TEAM SPAWAR personnel during an assumption ceremony Feb. 23 at SPAWAR Headquarters in San Diego. Bachmann relieved Rear Adm. Will Rodriguez, left, who served as acting commander since November 2005.

Rear Adm. Michael C. Bachmann addresses TEAM SPAWAR personnel during an assumption ceremony Feb. 23 at SPAWAR Headquarters in San Diego
Rear Adm. Michael C. Bachmann addresses TEAM SPAWAR personnel during an assumption ceremony Feb. 23 at SPAWAR Headquarters in San Diego
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