Military Embedded Systems

Navy chief stresses AI, uncrewed, personnel focus for service going forward


February 14, 2024

Lisa Daigle

Assistant Managing Editor

Military Embedded Systems

U.S. Navy photo/Chief Mass Communication Specialist Michael B. Zingaro

WEST 2024 CONFERENCE & EXPOSITION -- SAN DIEGO. The U.S. Navy must integrate disruptive and emerging technologies and unleash the creative power of the American sailor and of American industry in order to counter its adversaries now and in the future, stated Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Lisa Franchetti in her keynote address at WEST 2024, underway this week in San Diego. 

Adm. Franchetti noted that as the military works to adapt to the changing character of war, the Navy is focusing on four key areas: First, the Navy is using artificial intelligence AI)/machine learning (ML) and new technologies to maintain, repair, and deliver platforms on time and at a lower cost.

The second area of focus, she said, is in the area of uncrewed systems, which she believes " ... have an enormous potential to multiply our combat power by complementing our existing fleet of ships, submarines and aircraft, through manned-unmanned teaming, especially in areas like maritime surveillance and reconnaissance, mine countermeasures operations, seabed exploration, and carrier airwing support."

The Navy chief also cited ongoing work on Project Overmatch, the Navy's contribution to the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) multibillion-dollar Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) effort, under which the Navy is building a software-defined network solution and modern software pipelines to provide as many pathways as possible to connect and share information.

Franchetti said that the final area of focus is people, quoting  Admiral Arleigh Burke: "The strength of any military organization lies in its combat power, which is in turn is the sum of two basic elements; its equipment, and its people. And so it goes for the Navy.” In that vein, Franchetti said, the Navy is ensuring that its sailors are prepared via Live Virtual Constructive training, Ready Relevant Learning, and the Fleet Learning Continuum; she also said that the service is "expanding its human force structure to adapt the prolific increase of these disruptive and emerging technologies."

The Navy chief concluded her keynote address -- before taking several questions -- by saying: "I'll conclude this morning by leaving you all with six words … Warfighting, Warfighters, Foundation, All Ahead Flank."

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