In its fifth year at WEST, the IW pavilion showcased the Navy’s commitment to warfighting and the warfighter, now and in the future. During the event, NAVWAR highlighted their role in the information domain, identifying opportunities and addressing challenges associated with the Navy’s digital transformation, featuring speakers, panels, subject matter experts and capability displays.
At the start of the event, NAVWAR Executive Director Pat Sullivan took to the floor to connect with government, military, industry and academia discussing the importance of gaining and maintaining a digital advantage to ensure we can compete and win now and in the coming decades.
“Today we are operating in a digital environment that is faster paced, more complex, and increasingly competitive,” said Sullivan. “To gain and maintain a competitive advantage in the modern battlespace, it is critical that we collaborate with our industry and academic partners to digitize our Navy. This will ensure our ability to deliver the most advanced warfighting capabilities so that we can fight and win the conflicts of the future.”
As part of the speaker series, NAWAR Commander Rear Adm. Christian Becker continued the conversation, highlighting NAVWAR developed technologies that are improving our military advantage in an era of great power competition.
“Innovation is essential to preserving and expanding our military advantage in this information-centric operating environment,” said Becker. “NAVWAR is currently exploring a number of digital initiatives that will provide increased effectiveness, efficiency and security, some of which are being demonstrated here today at the IW pavilion including, digital engineering, artificial intelligence, data science, DevSecOps, 5G and more.”
To provide attendees with a comprehensive understanding of the Navy’s IW community, the IW pavilion featured three ways for industry to engage– a theater speaking series, engagement zones and technology demonstrations.
The speaker series included a panel on Navy’s digital transformation efforts, highlighting NAVWAR’s initiative to develop the first-of-its-kind digital twin of the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group.
The creation of the carrier strike group digital twin, which encompasses approximately 25 ships and shore sites, demonstrates how NAVWAR enterprise is using modern software and digital engineering practices to shift from a design-build-test methodology to a model-analyze-build methodology. This enables the ability to test and evaluate solutions in a virtual environment before delivery. As a key initiative in the Navy’s digital transformation efforts, this will increase system reliability and cybersecurity while decreasing risk for the warfighter.
During a separate panel at WEST, NAVWAR announced the winners of its first prize challenge, the Artificial Intelligence Applications to Autonomous Cybersecurity Challenge (AI ATAC). The winner of the $100,000 first place prize went to FireEye, an intelligence-led security company, who submitted an endpoint security solution that incorporated machine learning and artificial intelligence to detect and defeat indicators of compromise from various advanced malware strains. The next prize challenge in the AI ATAC series will focus on adversarial campaign detection through network observable behavior analysis, with a $500,000 prize for the winner.
To promote collaboration and innovation the IW engagement zone provided a platform for attendees to connect with more than two dozen program managers, business portfolio managers and subject matter experts from multiple IW commands.
“Each of our program managers participated in the engagement zone here at west 2020,” said John Pope, PEO C4I executive director. “It is exciting to see the collaborative potential this forum enables and we look forward to new partnerships and ideas because of it in the future.”
The IW pavilion also hosted 12 technology demonstrations spotlighting various systems and capabilities that support and facilitate information warfare, from seabed to space and in cyberspace.
Highlighting the latest in virtual reality was NIWC Pacific’s Virtual Command Center. By using virtual reality headsets, commanders, senior staff and other personnel have the ability to remotely view information on command center displays and collaborate as if they were standing in the room.
Also of high interest to attendees was NIWC Atlantic’s Automated Dive Profile Transmission and Synchronization prototype exhibit, demonstrating a prototype of a portable dive computer system that assists with capturing and logging Navy diver information in an automated manner allowing for faster and more accurate dive analysis and reporting.
To encourage and facilitate industry connections and partnerships, NAVWAR also had representatives from the command’s Office of Small Business Programs (OSBP) on hand to provide information on how to do business with NAVWAR.
“WEST provides an incredible platform for us to connect face-to-face with current and future small business industry partners on high priority needs and requirements for the fleet,” said Dan Deconzo, NAVWAR director of OSBP. “We highly value the creativity and innovation that small business brings to the rapid development and delivery of information warfare capabilities. We will continue to use opportunities like WEST to capitalize on the intellectual wealth and perspective provided by the small business industry.”
Other displays ranged from unmanned under water vehicles used for operational decision-making, upcoming 5G capabilities, innovative cybersecurity applications, rapid prototyping technologies, and more.
About WEST: The premier sea service conference and exposition on the West Coast, WEST is now in its 30th year of bringing military and industry leaders together to explore current and future naval platforms and technologies. Co-sponsored by the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association International and the U.S. Naval Institute, WEST is the only event in which the makers of platforms and the designers of technologies can network, discuss and demonstrate their solutions in a single location.