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CHIPS Articles: CNO in San Diego, Meets with Project Overmatch Team on Fleet Modernization

CNO in San Diego, Meets with Project Overmatch Team on Fleet Modernization
By Elisha Gamboa, Naval Information Warfare Systems Command - January-March 2021
The Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) met with Naval Information Warfare Systems Command (NAVWAR) top leaders and engineering experts Feb. 22 at Naval Information Warfare Center (NIWC) Pacific in San Diego, to discuss a project aimed at integrating sensors, platforms and weapons to provide decision superiority over potential adversaries.

NAVWAR Commander Rear Adm. Doug Small welcomed CNO Adm. Mike Gilday and gave him an update on his team’s progress to speed the delivery of advanced capabilities in support of Project Overmatch, an initiative Gilday stood up on Oct. 1, 2020.

“As we adapt to an increasingly complex security environment, it is imperative that the Navy develop a warfighting network of networks to support a future fleet of manned and unmanned vessels,” said Gilday. “Information has become the cornerstone of how we operate, and we need to be able to decide and act faster than anyone else. Simply put, Project Overmatch will provide us a decision advantage over our adversaries and help us deliver a more lethal and better-connected fleet far into the future. This is a top priority - we must deliver it.”

Small echoed similar sentiments.

“CNO gave us a complex set of challenges,” said Small. "This incredible team was able to show him first-hand what we’ve been up to over the last few months to meet them head on at the blistering pace required.”

Project Overmatch is a multi-command effort aimed at enabling a Navy and Marine Corps that swarms the sea, delivering synchronized lethal and non-lethal effects from near-and-far, every axis and every domain. Critical to Project Overmatch is the development of networks, infrastructure, data architecture, tools and analytics that support the operational and developmental environment that will enable sustained maritime dominance using manned and unmanned systems.

Additionally, Project Overmatch will leverage the latest in digital technologies such as state-of-the-art artificial intelligence, machine learning, and information and networking technologies for improved fleet readiness worldwide. This includes the NAVWAR developed Overmatch Software Armory, a cloud-enabled digital environment using industry-standard development, security and operation (DevSecOps) principles that brings the rapid delivery of software capability to the fleet.

“We’re at an exciting crossroads,” said Rebecca Gassler, Project Overmatch chief engineer and Program Executive Office for Integrated Warfare Systems, Command and Control Directorate (PEO IWS 6) technical director. “We have been given the charter to realize a conceptual Naval Operational Architecture through the integration of our legacy systems, new systems, and science and technology, in the most rapid manner possible, to support fleet priorities. We are driving technical and programmatic evolution through extensive use of concepts and techniques. This includes agile management, model-based systems engineering, user centered design and DevSecOps.”

To equip the fleet with these modern capabilities, Small and his team are also engaging with academia and industry, both defense and commercial, using industry days. Small held a Project Overmatch Industry Day, Dec. 15, where over 180 companies had the opportunity to learn about the project's vision, the current technological state, and the challenges and opportunities that would benefit from private sector support. At the event, he emphasized the importance of government-industry partnerships in support of the project and highlighted his plans to hold additional industry days, with the next one planned to be held on the East Coast.

NAVWAR identifies, develops, delivers and sustains information warfighting capabilities and services that enable naval, joint, coalition and other national missions operating in warfighting domains from seabed to space and through cyberspace. NAVWAR consists of more than 11,000 civilian, active duty and reserve professionals located around the world.

SAN DIEGO (Feb. 23, 2021) Andy Houck, Mark 18 Automatic Target Recognition project lead, speaks to Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Mike Gilday about unmanned undersea vehicle capabilities during a tour of Naval Information Warfare Center (NIWC) Pacific. Gilday and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Russ Smith are visiting San Diego to highlight the importance of warfighting and readiness to Sailors in the region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class John B. Hetherington/Released)
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