The biggest “inhibitor” to an agile system of technology development is “mindset,” Air Force Research Lab chief Maj. Gen. Thomas Masiello said at ASC15. The service and the Congress need to treat technology development on an even footing with readiness, for example. “We can and we must get more agile,” he said, and “the environment is definitely right to approach [Capitol] … Hill to see if we can get some relief to become more agile.” That relief would come in the form of reduced oversight to speed the progress of programs and experimentation. On a panel discussing “Innovation in a Time of Austerity,” Masiello also said there will be a bigger push to get operators talking to scientists and engineers more frequently so that the former can better express what they need and the latter can better tailor their work to meet that need. Masiello said Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh called this getting people “with uncommon knowledge talking to people with common sense.”
These are the complete remarks by Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III at the Reagan National Defense Forum, Dec. 3, 2022, in Simi Valley, Calif.