Bruce Jette, assistant secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology (ASA(ALT)) and 2020 Wash100 Award recipient, delivered his keynote speech during Potomac Officers Club’s 5th Annual Army Forum on Thursday August 6th.
If you missed the event, you can still register to watch the footage in Potomac Officers Club’s Event Archive.
In his role, Jette is responsible for providing oversight of the lifecycle management of Army weapon systems and equipment, from research and development, through test and evaluation, acquisition, logistics, fielding and sustainment.
Kevin Leonard, senior vice president for Army and Expeditionary Programs at Vectrus, moderated the event and introduced Jette prior to his keynote address.
Leonard said, “As I said last year, when I had the honor to introduce Bruce Jette, he’s a soldier, he’s a scholar, he’s a scientist and he’s a servant. This year I will add that he is a visionary: a person with original ideas about what the future could or will be like, and Jette is doing a magnificent job of doing that.”
Jette began his address by discussing how the COVID-19 pandemic has shifted the workforce and capabilities, as the nation began to adopt teleworking. Within his office, he stated that the agency is reexamining its processes in a more critical way.
“We’re using the challenges from COVID-19 to analyze how we do business and using it as a forcing function to make changes in what we’re doing and how we’re doing it. COVID-19 has also changed the way we interact with industry,” Jette said.
Jette added that the Pentagon is working heavily on the acquisition process and lifecycle management of new applications. He noted that the agency has to leverage talent to ensure that new capabilities are provided to the force and the field.
Jette noted that the agency has progressed with new contract awards, including the new Infantry Squad Vehicle, which will make the light infantry much more agile and logistically supported. He also highlighted the Army’s Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System, a program that presented challenges two years ago, but with needed fixes has been successful in several field tests and is on track to be fielded by Dec. 2020.
Jette added that another crucial component to modernization is the defense industrial base (DIB). He stated that people are our most valuable asset. In order to support the workforce, Jette has continued to develop a plan to enable essential workers, and he noted that all workers are essential, to do their jobs while being safe and protected.
The Pentagon worked with industry to develop new work efforts. Jette said that the agency has leveraged forward funds, shortened payment times and ensured flowdown. He added that his office worked to help provide funds for industry and manage money flow within the industrial base.
“We have requirements, Jette said. “We need to create a subsystem architecture and a supersystem architecture that supports the requirements generation process, not so much the generation process itself, but what is generated by that process so we can maximize cross boundaries,” Jette said.
He added that the subsystem architecture will develop a common platform for vehicles, which will enable systems to be easily adapted to expedite upgrades. Jette stated that he has worked with the industry to create a “truly open architecture” to enable partners to compete for work more often than the traditional system architecture.
“I especially like your thinking with system architecture and open systems,” Leonard said, closing Jette’s address and opening the floor for questions. “We have to understand how to prepare for what comes next. There are things we all need to be focused on if we’re going to be competitive within the future of the battlefield.”
In case you missed the event, click here to replay Potomac Officers Club’s 5th Annual Army Virtual Forum.
Mark your calendars for Potomac Officers Club’s 2020 Navy Forum on September 30th, 2020.
Potomac Officers Club will host its 2020 Navy Forum on September 30th. Click here to register for the event. James Geurts, Assistant Secretary for Research, Development, and Acquisition with the U.S. Navy and 2020 Wash100 Award recipient will serve as a keynote speaker during the event.
Geurts will discuss how the U.S. Navy has continually worked to decentralize, differentialize and digitize the service branch’s work as well as develop its talent in the field.
The Navy has also accelerated acquisition channels, modernized emerging technologies and increased research and development to become more effective in warfare. As the Navy continues to evolve to meet the growing demands, challenges still remain.
Join Potomac Officers Club’s 2020 Navy Forum to hear notable industry and federal leaders discuss the initiatives, efficiencies and challenges the service branch faces as well as how to join together to improve the future of warfare.
Click here to register for the 2020 Navy Forum.