NEWPORT, R.I. (NNS) — U.S. Naval War College (NWC) President Rear Adm. Jeffrey Harley opened the Institute for Future Warfare Studies (IFWS), Feb. 1, as a new research and study department of the school aimed at understanding how armed conflict may evolve in the future and how the United States can better prepare for it.
The mission of the new institute is to serve as a cross-functional focal point for NWC action to support defining the future Navy, and associated roles and missions.
"Anticipating future security challenges is critical to national security," said Harley. "And navies are expensive and require capital, and they take many years to build. That's why we have to look out a long way to figure out what we're going to need."
IFWS will be taking a long-range look at the warfare needs of the country, according to William Glenney, IFWS acting director.
"What differentiates us from other activities that are looking at these issues is the time horizon," said Glenney. "Most of the other groups are looking at a one to two, maybe three-year time horizon because they are talking about today's problems. Our charter indicates we will be looking 30 years out."
Locating at NWC allows the academic horsepower existing at the school to assist the new IFWS in carrying out its mission.
"We have a network of people already here that IFWS can have access to," said retired Vice Adm. James Wisecup, acting IFWS chairman. "People who understand the cyber world and lots of other areas — it won't be just the Institute for Future Warfare Studies figuring this out. It will be all of us. We need access to the expertise in Naval War College to help us tackle some of these problems."
Harley has placed an increased emphasis on NWC helping futurize the Navy.
"This institute will become another vital service we are providing to Navy decision makers and stakeholders," said Harley. "We are excited about the research this group — working with their partners in government, academia, and industry — will provide to us and to the fleet."
Another reason, as the IFWS charter emphasizes, is the institute's mission closely aligns with one of NWC's core missions to support defining the future Navy and associated roles and missions.
The leader of the institute said the group is hoping to contribute now and into the future.
"This is a very modest effort, which Rear Admiral Harley feels is important to get moving on now," said Wisecup. "We hope we can make some contribution to help fulfill the mission of the Naval War College. Whatever is accomplished will rely on a high level of collaboration to succeed over time."
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