There is a “critical need” for DOD to establish a national security industrial vision to support the needs of warfighters for world-class weapon systems and services in the 21st century, a Defense Science Board task force chaired by former Pentagon acquisition czar Jacques Gansler reported July 31. “The nation currently has a consolidated 20th century defense industry, not the required and transformed 21st century national security industrial base it needs for the future,” reads the task force’s report (caution: somewhat large file). The four-pronged vision that the task force recommends should focus on: maintaining competition among industry; searching ceaselessly for superior technology, manufacturing, and logistics; applying increased attention to C4ISR, information technology, and services; and building a true partnership with industry. Without such a vision, DOD likely will not be able to deliver new capability on time or within budget, the task force warns. The panel also highlights familiar themes that DOD should address: do more to facilitate the rapid and affordable acquisition of world-class weapon systems and services; drive business practice transformation within the department; and strengthen the acquisition workforce. Specific recommendations by the panel include focusing on interoperable, network-centric systems, training as one fights, adequately funding “engines of innovation” to stay ahead of potential adversaries technologically, and understanding the dynamics of globalization and realize its benefits.
The 14th Weather Squadron is taking on a new mission performed by no other unit in the military: predicting what the climate might look like 10 years from now, with calculations that include the effect of greenhouse gasses.