Greetings fellow innovators!
In case you haven’t guessed, innovation is the April-June 2017 edition theme. The Department of the Navy launched its vision for innovation in 2015 and since then many ideas have resulted in successes.
One clear success is the growing use of 3-D printing across the department. The CHIPS cover for this edition depicts Machinery Repairman 2nd Class Lisa Petyak working on a project with a 3-dimensional printer inside the Southeast Regional Maintenance Center's Fabrication Laboratory in Mayport, Florida.
Sailors use the Fab Lab's state-of-the-art tools and equipment, including laser cutters, routers, and 3D printers, to manufacture high-demand parts and unique components much faster and at a lower cost than purchasing through the supply system. This is just one example of developing technologies that Sailors and Marines have embraced across the department.
Indeed, the DON has a long, distinguished history of adopting new technologies, from the Super-Frigate of the 1790s, to anti-submarine warfare, refueling, carriers, dirigibles and seaplanes of the 1920s and nuclear power in the 1950s.
To meet growing national security challenges, the Navy’s warfighting success depends on our “creativity, our entrepreneurism, and our ingenuity,” according to naval leaders, such as Acting Secretary of the Navy the Honorable Sean Stackley.
Stackley noted “the constrained budget and the highly complex and competitive security environment today, and said that the Navy must meet these challenges by continuing to rebuild the fleet and reform the Department of the Navy's business model to be more effective, capable, and cost-efficient,” reported Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Danian Douglas in an article for Navy News Service.
While there are many opportunities to innovate across the government and Defense Department, including the DON Innovation Vision, Mr. Stackley cautioned that innovation may not be moving rapidly enough to outpace near-peer competitors.
At the same time, Stackley lauded the initiative shown daily by Marines and Sailors. “Our men and women in uniform regularly and routinely demonstrate the innovation and initiative to execute missions that just months ago were drawn up,” he said.
It’s been said that one good idea can change everything; the DON is encouraging all naval personnel, defense industry partners and academia to step up with your suggestions.
Join DON Innovation and Defense Department efforts with your ideas:
DON Innovation – https://www.facebook.com/NavalInnovation or @DON_Innovation or visit the DON Innovation website at http://www.secnav.navy.mil/innovation/Pages/Home.aspx. Email DON Innovation: DON_Innovation@navy.mil.
Marine Corps Innovation Challenge – http://www.mcwl.marines.mil/Innovation/innovation.aspx. The Marine Corps announces specific challenges periodically. If you have an innovation idea for submission outside of the timeframe of the current innovation challenge, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Defense Innovation Unit Experimental – http://www.diux.mil/.
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Sharon Anderson is the CHIPS senior editor. She can be reached at