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Agenda

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

Facing stagnating budgets, the Air Force’s top general has said the service is on the verge of making “the most difficult force structure decisions in generations.” To keep pace with adversaries, the Air Force is expected to reprioritize major programs, slash existing inventories, and eliminate departmental silos. But what will come in its place? How will these decisions impact the service’s major priorities, such as modernizing its nuclear transport, realizing the Advanced Battle Management System, or ensuring that acquisition can match the speed of software? In this panel, we’ll look at how Air Force leadership is preparing for the future.

Facing stagnating budgets, the Air Force’s top general has said the service is on the verge of making “the most difficult force structure decisions in generations.” To keep pace with adversaries, the Air Force is expected to reprioritize major programs, slash existing inventories, and eliminate departmental silos. But what will come in its place? How will these decisions impact the service’s major priorities, such as modernizing its nuclear transport, realizing the Advanced Battle Management System, or ensuring that acquisition can match the speed of software? In this panel, we’ll look at how Air Force leadership is preparing for the future.

  • Gen. CQ Brown, Jr., Chief of Staff, U.S. Air Force
  • Moderator: Valerie Insinna

With China and Russia spending on naval technology, pressure is building for the US Navy to resolve maintenance backlogs and upgrade its fleet architecture to one that is more distributed, agile, and connected for the modern era. From Project Overmatch’s goal of connecting ships across a common network, to pending Congressional support that could decide the future of Navy’s 355-ship force-level goal, to research and development of unmanned subsurface vessels, this panel will explore how the Navy is modernizing its fleet to take on the top maritime challenges of the decade.

  • Adm. Michael Gilday, Chief of Naval Operations, U.S. Navy 
  • Moderator: Megan Eckstein
  • Kathleen Hicks, Deputy Secretary of Defense
  • Moderator: Marjorie Censer
  • Gen. James McConville, Chief of Staff, U.S. Army
  • Hon. Christine Wormuth, Secretary, U.S. Army
  • Moderator: Jen Judson

Research and development of groundbreaking technology is critical to ensuring US military dominance on the battlefield. But history shows that the pathway from idea to reality is not always straightforward; such tools must pass through a gauntlet of security vetting, design iteration, and user feedback before they are finally deemed mature enough to aid soldiers in combat. While most ideas never find their footing, the ones that do can change the battlefield irreparably.

How does the Defense Department identify its R&D priorities? What factors are needed to bring an idea from blueprint to the battlefield? And what are challenges to acquiring and scaling this technology to meet unique needs across the services? Join us as we hear from experts at Defense Innovation Unit and DARPA on how their organizations bring big ideas to life and shape the nature of war for generations.

Industry Fireside Chat:

  • Bo Marr, Chief Technology Officer & Co-Founder, Epirus
  • Moderator: Mike Gruss

Panel Discussion:

  • Mike Brown, Director, Defense Innovation Unit
  • Stefanie Tompkins, Director, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency 
  • Moderator: Joe Gould

The Joint All Domain Command and Control (or JADC2) concept is the grand vision that’s compelling modernization across all the services. This panel will examine the progress the Department is making in connecting every sensor to every shooter, and why it is expected to deliver the battlefield awareness, seamless communication, and synchronized missions that are required to maintain U.S. military superiority. 

Industry Fireside Chat:

  • Michael R. Boera, Vice President, Leidos
  • Moderator: Mike Gruss

Panel Discussion:

  • Dr. Raj Iyer, Chief Information Officer, U.S. Army
  • Brig. Gen. Robert Parker, Deputy Director, JS J6 Chair, JADC2 CFT
  • Moderator: Andrew Eversden

Since its start in 2019, the U.S. Space Force has emphasized the need to use industry innovations better and add commercial service providers to fulfill its missions. To do so, the United States has rolled out new contracting techniques, pushed acquisition authorities lower, and brought nontraditional companies into the fold through pitch days and a new consortium. In this panel, we will discuss how two of the nation’s most secretive space organizations — the Space Rapid Capabilities Office and the National Reconnaissance Office — are pulling in industry’s best ideas to deliver improved capabilities to the war fighter from on orbit. We’ll ask how they work with partners across the enterprise to avoid duplication and ensure complementary capabilities.

  • Peter Muend, Director, Commercial Systems Program Office, National Reconnaissance Office
  • Col. Timothy Sejba, Program Executive Officer for Space Enterprise and Director of the Enterprise Corps, U.S. Space Force
  • Moderator: Nathan Strout

In 2019, the Army set a course for radically modernizing its forces to operate at maximum readiness in Multi-Domain Operations by 2035. Since that plan was released, the Army has moved with warp speed in standing up its Futures Command and unleashing Cross-Functional teams to realize its six pillars of modernization: long range precision fire, future vertical lift platforms, next generation combat vehicles, network modernization, air and missile defense, and improved soldier lethality. This panel will look at modernization and acquisition priorities, the challenges ahead for the Army and how it can sustain this momentum in light of looming post-Covid budget cuts and a growing need for new technologies. 

Industry Fireside Chat:

  • Keith Flail, Executive Vice President for Advanced Vertical Lift Systems, Bell
  • Moderator: Mike Gruss

Panel Discussion:

  • Lt. Gen. D. Scott McKean, Director, Futures and Concepts Center and Deputy Commanding General, Army Futures Command
  • Brig. Gen. Stephanie Ahern, Director of Concepts, Futures and Concepts Center, Army Futures Command
  • Col. Tobin Magsig, Commander, US Army Joint Modernization Command, Army Futures Command
  • Moderator: Jen Judson
  • Mike Gruss, Editor-in-chief, Defense News