The INSIDER daily digest -- Dec. 9, 2021

By John Liang / December 9, 2021 at 1:17 PM

This Thursday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on the Pentagon's establishment of a chief digital and artificial intelligence officer and more.

A new chief digital and artificial intelligence officer, who will serve under the deputy defense secretary, will aim to meet the pacing threat of China in areas like AI “in a way that drives capabilities to the warfighters as fast as we can,” according to a senior defense official:

Pentagon stands up new chief data and AI officer

The Pentagon is creating a new centralized office responsible for accelerating and strengthening the integration of artificial intelligence and data functions, a senior defense official told reporters today.

Document: DOD memo on CDAO establishment

The compromise defense policy bill requires the Army secretary to report on "system reliability, network adequacy, power duration, terrain data sufficiency, and plans for iterative improvements" related to the service's new virtual-reality system:

Congress will withhold IVAS funding until Army submits report on functionality

Congress will seek to withhold 25% of funds for the Army's virtual reality headsets until the service secretary submits to the congressional defense committees a report on the program after operational testing, according to the compromise fiscal year 2022 defense policy bill.

The bill does, however, include approval for Army multiyear procurement contracts for certain helicopter programs:

Compromise policy bill includes Army legislative proposals on helicopters, IFPC

Army proposals to award multiyear helicopter procurement contracts and delay a cruise missile defense system were included in a compromise fiscal year 2022 defense authorization bill, which the House approved Tuesday night.

The Senate Armed Services Committee this week held a hearing on the nomination of Adm. Christopher Grady to be the next vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff:

Grady pledges JROC 'discipline' to counter military 'parochialism'

Adm. Christopher Grady, nominated to be the next vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told senators today that, if confirmed, he intends to insert speed wherever he can in the Pentagon's labyrinthine acquisition process, while also guarding against military "parochialism."

Document: Grady answers to advance policy questions

Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David Berger spoke this past weekend about his service's need for new amphibious warships:

New amphibs face budget shortfall; big decks now eyed as unmanned 'motherships'

SIMI VALLEY, CA -- The Marine Corps needs more money in fiscal years 2023 and 2024 to buy Light Amphibious Warships, critical to service plans to establish new littoral units that can nimbly move shore-to-shore inside China's striking range, while contemplating a radical new use for its big-deck combatants: "Motherships" to unleash unmanned air and undersea systems.