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5 GovCon Executives Share Top Priorities in Near-Peer Competition Era

The peer and near-peer threat is top of mind for Pentagon officials and top decision makers. As global powers and major competitors continue to make technological advancements and jeopardize the United States’ dominance in key areas, defense leaders are honing in on a few elements that are proving to be critical for achieving and maintaining superiority.

Check out what five powerful government and industry executives and Wash100 Award winners had to say about what the U.S. needs to focus on in the near-term in order to strengthen the country’s advantage on the global stage — click here to watch Executive Mosaic’s latest video.

Cloud computing, proliferated low Earth orbit satellite communications, new types of fiber transport and cybersecurity capabilities are all high-priority technology areas of focus for Department of Defense CIO John Sherman. Sherman cited these as “technologies we can bring to the fight” with competitors like China and Russia. Watch the Honorable John Sherman’s full video here.

Meanwhile, Mike Madsen, former acting director of the Defense Innovation Unit, urged better communication and collaboration between government and industry.

“We need to continue to get better transmitting our needs to industry and be able to tell them the problems we’re trying to solve,” Madsen said in a video interview with Executive Mosaic’s video reporter Summer Myatt. Sharing an example, Madsen explained that it took the DOD six years and 60 pages to describe what they needed in an unmanned aerial system, but a UAS was something industry already understood how to build and deploy.

“The commercial sector had solved that, and so instead of giving them a 60-page document overly describing it, let’s just tell them what we want and what we need and let those masterminds do it,” he said.

From the industry side of the government contracting ecosystem, Bob Genter, president of SAIC’s defense and civilian sector business, said, “the biggest issue we face right now is around tech superiority. Autonomy, next-generation weapons and data are the areas Genter says we should be focusing on. Watch his video interview here.

Amentum CEO John Heller warned that we need to protect our critical infrastructure against the rising threat of cyber attacks. “We’re being attacked constantly. We need investment, we need attention to these, we need new technologies to counter the cyber threats in these areas,” Heller said in a video interview.

John Heneghan, president of ECS, said computer vision, satellite imagery and unmanned drone imagery are coming together to “change the game” in the ongoing Ukraine conflict, and they hold great potential for shaping future conflicts as well. Watch Heneghan’s insights here.

Learn more about how defense leaders are thinking about fighting and winning the peer competition. Join the Potomac Officers Club on Sept. 14 for the Preparing for the Contested Logistics Era Forum. Register here for this can’t-miss in-person event.

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