Navy's unmanned campaign plan to be 'matured' in fall

By Justin Katz / September 11, 2020 at 10:03 AM

The Navy's top requirements officer expects the service's unmanned campaign plan to be "matured" sometime this fall but also said the document would not remain stagnant even after its initial endorsement.

"I don't have a specific date, but I would also say that I don't view this as stone tablets. I think we're going to come up with an initial draft, we're going to iterate on it . . . and learn from experimentation," Vice Adm. Jim Kilby, deputy chief of naval operations for warfighting requirements, told reporters yesterday during a telephone roundtable.

The unmanned campaign plan, which Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michael Gilday charged Kilby's staff with developing, is envisioned as a unifying document that ties the Navy's hundreds of unmanned aerial, surface and subsurface vehicles together.

"It's really tough to write requirements documents in a vacuum or without being able to test things or try things or think through new concepts," Navy acquisition chief Hondo Geurts previously told reporters. "Think of this as an alignment document so that we can align all the different activities going on."

Kilby said yesterday developing the document initiated a shift in the Navy's mindset about requirements. He said as N9I -- the two-star admiral in charge of requirements integration -- his office did not view the Navy's platforms "holistically."

"Are these plans all in alignment with each other or are they just being individually developed by the resource sponsor and that program manager* I would say they were not being developed in a vacuum, but I don't know that we had this umbrella aspect to it," he said.

Kilby used as an example the idea of not requiring a program office to develop a capability's network but rather require that all programs use a common network.

"That's the efficiency I think Secretary Geurts is talking about and to me it is driving a change of behavior because I have got to work closer with [the DCNO for information warfare] to make sure we are communicating coherently and specifically about the requirements," he said.

"So yes, you are seeing a change of behavior and you are seeing a change of focus," he continued.