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CHIPS Articles: Q&A with Rear Adm. Patrick H. Brady

Q&A with Rear Adm. Patrick H. Brady
Commander, Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command
By CHIPS Magazine - October-December 2011
Since the Chief of Naval operations combined the Office of the Director of Naval Intelligence (N2) and the Office of the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Communication Networks (N6), as well as other information-related elements from the N3 and N8 staffs, to form the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Information (N2/N6) in 2009, the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command has been in lockstep with N2/N6 to elevate cyber into a Navy warfighting domain, much like the land, sea, air and space domains.

To this end, SPAWAR Commander Rear Adm. Patrick H. Brady leads a total force of approximately 8,000 engineering and acquisition professionals across the headquarters, System Centers Atlantic and Pacific and Program Executive Offices (PEO) for C4I, Enterprise Information Systems and Space Systems.

Through its engineering and acquisition excellence, SPAWAR delivers a portfolio of command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) capabilities to fleet customers. The command is also a key player in the Department of the Navy's Information Technology/ Cyberspace Efficiency Initiatives and Realignment Tasking mandate for the department to reduce its IT budget by 25 percent.

CHIPS asked Rear Adm. Brady to discuss SPAWAR's contributions to information dominance and enterprise IT efficiencies, and he responded in writing in late September — just before the stand-up of the Fleet Readiness Directorate Oct. 1.

CHIPS: Can you discuss the Fleet Readiness Directorate, an initiative for SPAWAR to provide the fleet with a flag focal point for fleet issues? I read on your blog that Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition Sean J. Stackley is pleased with the structure and capability SPAWAR will be able to provide in response to his tasking for "Information Dominance In-Service Sustainment/Coordination."

Brady: SPAWAR's Fleet Readiness Directorate (FRD) will be established Oct. 1 in response to Secretary Stackley's task to develop an in-service support organization within SPAWAR modeled after those in our partner systems commands. Our goal was to develop an organization that was solely focused on installation and sustainment support for our fleet's information dominance systems. To develop the FRD structure, we relied on several teams to analyze all the details of organization, personnel and mission requirements. As no new personnel or resources would be available to stand-up the FRD, we had to pay particular attention to how we could best arrange existing resources and expertise.

One of our major preparatory tasks was to evaluate all the systems that were being managed within the PEOs and to identify those systems that were at a sufficient maturity to be candidates for transition to the FRD. In the end, we identified 31 programs for transition Oct. 1 concurrent with the stand-up. In the future, additional programs will be evaluated for transition as they reach the appropriate stage of development within the product life cycle.

With the stand-up of the FRD, we are structured to provide that single focal point for installation and sustainment across SPAWAR and our intent is to continue to improve support to the fleet in these areas. The FRD will maintain strong coordination and mutual support with the PEOs, but now the program offices can provide increased focus on their acquisition activities. We see the FRD as a great opportunity across SPAWAR and the Navy.

CHIPS: How do you see establishment of the FRD affecting the typical fleet command and Sailor?

Brady: The central benefit to the fleet that flows throughout the FRD concept is consolidated accountability of SPAWAR systems installation and sustainment. The single focus nature of the FRD provides the fleet a common entry point to address SPAWAR system issues. By having in-service support reside under a single flag officer, Rear Adm. Chuck Rainey, it improves our ability to maintain a regular drumbeat with fleet leadership on issues ranging from install planning — to system maintenance processes and CASREP (casualty report) management. Ultimately, these efforts will help us better support fleet readiness.

CHIPS: Assistant Secretary Stackley issued a number of acquisition taskers. The guidance issued July 19, “Increased Use of Small Business Concerns,” provides specific guidance to encourage use of small business in contracting because small businesses can provide the agility, innovation and efficiencies that are a win-win for government and industry. Can you provide an update?

Brady: Secretary Stackley’s memo is focused on increasing the use of small businesses in Navy contracting processes. In my experience, small businesses, not only bring agility and innovation, but also help support more competition in our contracting. At SPAWAR, approximately 81 percent of all our contracts in fiscal year 2010 were competitively awarded, and small business obligations were an important contributor.

For fiscal year 2011, our goal for SPAWAR was 20 percent of eligible obligations for small business, and as of mid-September we exceeded that target. We also made strong progress this year in other small business goals, exceeding three of four socioeconomic specific targets. In his memorandum, Secretary Stackley highlighted a number of specifics areas where we can focus our attention to continue to increase small business opportunities and participation in the acquisition process.

Just one example was a review of the accuracy, currency and completeness of Web access for the future procurements forecast. In parallel with this action, SPAWAR is pursuing an additional, more qualitative and detailed approach to forecast future small business procurement opportunities that should not only identify more opportunities, but also help provide as much lead time as possible for their planning. Active engagement with the small business community continues to be one of our best tools to increase awareness of business opportunities at SPAWAR, which ultimately increases the number of proposals, competition and small business utilization within our contracting.

Matchmaking sessions between program offices and providers promote that awareness of the new capabilities available in the marketplace that can support technology insertions or lead to small business innovation research or related initiatives. Our outreach activities to the small business community connect us to leading-edge technologies and processes that are critical for much of the work we do at SPAWAR.

CHIPS: Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Information Dominance Vice Adm. Kendall Card said that SPAWAR is directly involved in the “Navy IT Way Ahead” strategy. Can you talk about what SPAWAR is doing in support of this effort?

Brady: Consolidating IT procurement under a single authority is a very important step toward maximizing efficient and effective delivery of the volume of information systems the Navy needs to conduct its missions. The DON Information Technology Expenditure Approval Authorities memorandum [issued by the DON Chief Information Officer July 19, 2011; available on the DON CIO website:] highlighted this need for IT purchases greater than $1 million. There are also opportunities to make improvements to our IT procurements that are less than this amount. SPAWAR is supporting the evaluation of all these opportunities.

Moving IT procurement under the cognizance of a single authority can ease oversight and generally support better programming, planning and budgeting. A single purchasing authority will also achieve greater economies of scale for IT pur-chases and yield cost savings and operational efficiencies while limiting impact on staff and resources. These are great opportunities for the Navy, and SPAWAR looks forward to continuing our support to their development.

CHIPS: SPAWAR is also playing a pivotal role in the DON’s Data Center Consolidation Policy, issued by the DON Chief Information Officer July 20. How is SPAWAR providing assistance in this regard? What other enterprise information technology efficiencies is SPAWAR executing?

Brady: SPAWAR was tasked by Secretary Stackley to take the lead and coordinate closely with PEO Enterprise Information Systems, the resource sponsors and DON CIO to build a plan that addresses architecture, resources, schedule, basis of estimates, technical feasibility, risks/opportunities, contract strategy and governance/responsibilities for data center consolidation. This effort will look at the “gold standard” data centers we have in place today.

In other words, those centers that meet or exceed all security and operational continuity requirements, and that reduce our cost footprint through consolidation into such facilities. Today, we have over 100 data centers serving the Navy, each with their own management structure, monitoring tools, facility costs and disaster response plan. As a Navy, we can do this more efficiently. SPAWAR engineers have done this sort of work before.

In the last five years we’ve transitioned a number of applications out of existing data centers and into SPAWAR hosting facilities. In work for the Commander of the Navy Reserve Force, we realized over $31 million of life cycle savings, and a savings to the Reserve force of over $6 million that would have been spent on contractor services and license fees. We’ll work with the other Echelon 2 commands in the Navy to help them choose the best alternatives for data centers and conduct the transitions identified that make sense and support an overall goal to reduce costs to the Navy. We’re standing up a task force headed by Rob Wolborsky, our science and technology national competency lead, along with an engineering team, to work this important initiative.

CHIPS: The Consolidated Afloat Networks and Enterprise Services (CANES) program achieved a significant engineering milestone in July with the completion of critical design reviews (CDR) for the two competing CANES systems in development by Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Sensors and Northrop Grumman Information Systems. CANES is a significant part of the Navy’s enterprise network strategy. Can you discuss the strategy for implementing CANES?

Brady: CANES is a high visibility program that is of keen interest because of how it will modernize and standardize the tactical afloat system across the Navy. CANES is the Navy response for providing operationally effective and cost-efficient networks for ships, submarines and maritime operations centers. CANES core tenets are to reduce network total ownership costs and increase operational relevance by employing constant competition, open architecture, government-owned data rights and an executable technology refresh framework that targets affordability.

The completion of [the] CDR marks a significant milestone in this phase of the program. At this point, we validated the design baseline for both developers, which was the last primary gating function leading to down-select. At down-select, the government will choose the winning design of the two developers and proceed to limited deployment with that design only. It is also important to note that at down-select the government will have no less than government purpose rights to the winning design.

I mentioned previously the importance of maximizing competition within our programs, and CANES is a solid example of this approach. There is competitive procurement for both the current EMD (engineering and manufacturing development) phase and the LD (limited deployment) phase. There will also be full and open competition for full deployment of the production units and engineering support services contracts. The current schedule has the program down-selecting to a single CANES design in 2012. It is important for the CANES program to achieve its first installation due to the increasing costs of sustaining our existing systems.

CHIPS: Is there anything else you would like to tell CHIPS readers?

Brady: Our overarching objectives are to build an affordable information dominance capability for the fleet: maintain, modernize and integrate the existing fleet; and develop the premier information dominance acquisition workforce. All the initiatives we discussed — especially the establishment of the Fleet Readiness Directorate and systems and acquisition process improvements — are key to accomplishing these objectives and will help us make the Navy’s information dominance vision a reality.

The Chief of Naval Operations issued OPNAVNOTE 5400 May 31, 2011, which designates SPAWAR as the Navy’s “Information Dominance Systems Command.” SPAWAR will provide dominance in the fields of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; cyber warfare; command and control; information and knowledge management; and meteorology and oceanography (METOC).

SPAWAR projects and programs will align with Office of the Chief of Naval Operations requirements and the operational needs of U.S. Fleet Cyber Command and l0th Fleet and Commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command. The fleet is the end user of SPAWAR products. SPAWAR will work closely with the fleet, systems commands, and Navy partners to seamlessly and effectively deliver capability by acquiring and/or integrating sensors, communications, weapons, information and control systems for existing and future ships, aircraft, submarines, and unmanned systems.

To achieve this mission, SPAWAR will:

  1. Support Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Research, Development and Acquisition) as the Navy Service acquisition executive;
  2. Ensure the success of assigned Navy and Marine Corps programs of record;
  3. Support affiliated program executive offices (PEOs) management of life cycle cost, performance, and schedule for assigned programs;
  4. Balance current and future fleet readiness in the most efficient and effective manner to align with Chief of Naval Operations objectives;
  5. Provide service within resource boundaries to Department of Defense; Department of Homeland Security; Joint and Coalition Command; control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance projects; and METOC projects in support of affiliated PEOs and those other agencies;
  6. Serve as the technical authority and operational safety and assurance certification authority for assigned areas of responsibility; and
  7. Provide in-service support for affiliated PEO programs as necessary.

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Rear Adm. Patrick H. Brady
Rear Adm. Patrick H. Brady
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