Agenda | September 7, 2022

8:00AM EST

Welcome Remarks

  • Mike Gruss, Editor-in-chief, Defense News

8:05AM EST

The Air Force in 2022

The Air Force has focused on modernizing and ridding itself of legacy systems that won’t be prepared for great-power competition. To that end, the service plans to divest more than 200 airplanes in 2022. But it’s not just planes. The Air Force is focused on maintaining and developing nuclear forces and hypersonics as well as growing the Space Force. The service is also continuing to invest in its F-22 and F-35 fighters. All of these changes are meant to help the Air Force be ready for conflicts with near-peer competitors.

Fireside Chat:

  • Hon. Frank Kendall, Secretary of the Air Force, U.S. Air Force
  • Moderator: Stephen Losey, Air Warfare Reporter, Defense News


Sen. Jack Reed, Chairman, Senate Armed Services Committee

  • Moderator: Bryant Harris, Congress Reporter, Defense News


William LaPlante, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment

  • Moderator: Joe Gould, Pentagon Reporter, Defense News

10:15AM EST

The state of the Navy

The Navy’s top priority for 2022 has been readiness and sustainment, while also preparing for the future through its Project Overmatch initiative. The main piece of the readiness and sustainment puzzle is the Shipyard Infrastructure Optimization Program, a 20-year effort to modernize the Navy’s four public naval repair yards. Project Overmatch is the Navy’s foundation for the Joint All-Domain Command and Control concept. Where do those projects stand, and what does the Navy see as the next steps?

Fireside Chat:

  • Hon. Erik Raven, Under Secretary of the Navy, U.S. Navy
  • Moderator: Megan Eckstein, Naval Warfare Reporter, Defense News

11:00AM EST

The Army’s top priorities

As the nature of modern warfare changes, the US Army has had to adapt, altering everything from its battlefield tactics to how it recruits and retains soldiers. To address those challenges, the service has focused on innovation, digital initiatives and data-driven strategies and operating methods. Top modernization priorities include the Future Vertical Lift initiative, electrification of the ground vehicle fleet and a new night-vision goggle with thermal, navigation, augmented reality, marksmanship and other features embedded.

Fireside Chat:

  • Hon. Gabe Camarillo, Under Secretary of the Army, U.S. Army
  • Moderator: Jen Judson, Land Warfare Reporter, Defense News


Gen. Eric Smith, Assistant Commandant, U.S. Marine Corps

  • Moderator: Megan Eckstein, Naval Warfare Reporter, Defense News

12:30PM EST

Lunch Break

1:15PM EST

European defense and NATO’s next test

Europe faces its greatest crisis since World War II as Russia continues its invasion of Ukraine, a move that has generated repercussions for many neighboring countries. What are the implications of this new environment, not just for the United States but its European partners? And what are the expectations for NATO members as they fortify commitments and delineate new responsibilities and counter-measures?

Fireside Chat:

  • Jed Royal, Deputy Director of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, U.S. Department of Defense
  • Mark Newton, Minister Counsellor Defence, British Embassy
  • Kristjan Prikk, Ambassador to the United States, Estonia
  • Rear Adm. Axel Ristau, Defense Attaché, German Embassy
  • Moderator: Sebastian Sprenger, Europe Editor, Defense News

2:00PM EST

Energy and environment security

Adversaries launch a cyberattack against an aging utility infrastructure, already struggling to handle demand during weather extremes. A hurricane supercharged by a warming ocean devastates a military base on the East Coast, while an uncontrolled wildfire forces evacuation of military bases on the West Coast. In the heartland, widespread flooding cripples military infrastructure and pulls in National Guardsmen from several states to respond. It’s not a disaster movie—it’s the new reality of energy and environment security, demanding targeted responses to multiple threats that are far more evasive and harder to defeat than an enemy on a battlefield. How can the services defend against such threats, and what steps can be taken to ensure energy resiliency and defend against the destabilizing effects of climate change?

Panel Discussion:

  • Meredith Berger, Assistant Secretary of the Navy Energy, Installations and Environment
  • Joseph Bryan, Chief Sustainability Officer & Senior Advisor for Climate, U.S. Department of Defense
  • Richard Kidd, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Environment & Energy Resilience
  • Moderator: Colin Demarest, Reporter, C4ISRNET

2:45PM EST

Short Afternoon Break

3:00PM EST

Colin H. Kahl, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, U.S. Department of Defense

  • Moderator: Joe Gould, Pentagon Reporter, Defense News


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