Senior defense officials set to discuss NDS, global security at DBB closed meetings

By Georgina DiNardo / April 23, 2024 at 10:09 AM

Senior defense officials will speak at two closed meetings of the Defense Business Board on May 7 and 8, leading discussions on a variety of Defense Department challenges like adapting technology in line with the National Defense Strategy, global security issues and ways to become a better industry partner.

After welcome remarks from Board Chair Deborah James, the first meeting on May 7 will kick off with a discussion led by Jay Dryer, director of the Strategic Capabilities Office, focused on creating operational strategic effects through implementing emerging technologies, according to a Federal Register notice.

“This discussion will focus on using existing DOD tools and processes to adapt developing technology to key operational challenges in the National Defense Strategy (NDS),” the notice said.

Then, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will lead a discussion on DOD current affairs.

“This session is expected to focus on the state of the current global security environment and its implications for current and future business operations,” the notice said.

Additionally, the board will hear a briefing on Naval Research Lab operations, followed by a tour. The briefing and tour will cover management constructs, workforce development and talent management.

“This portion of the meeting will cover how NRL partners with industry to fulfill their mandate and demonstrates capabilities made possible by NRL's organizational constructs and authorities,” the notice said.

James and Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks will then provide remarks, although it’s unspecified what they will discuss.

Next, Lt. Gen. Robert Skinner, director of the Defense Information Systems Agency and commander of the joint force headquarters-DOD information network, will update the board on industry partnerships with DISA and explain specific challenges that come with managing a DOD agency.

“The director will offer an overview of DISA's partnerships with various stakeholders to bolster warfighter capabilities, including how DISA is developing global situational awareness and assessing the threat against DISA operations and assets,” the notice said.

Finally, Skinner will also supply recommendations found in the DBB IT User Experience Study conducted in February.

To start the second meeting on May 8, Erin Simpson, director of the joint production accelerator cell in the office of the Pentagon acquisition chief, will lead a discussion on growing production capacity during crises and hurdles impeding DOD’s creation of resilient supply chains.

“The conversation is expected to delve into actions the DOD is taking to prioritize resources and to create a modern, resilient defense industrial ecosystem designed to deter United States adversaries and meet the production demands posed by evolving threats,” the notice said.

Then, Maj. Gen. Joseph McGee, Army director for strategy, plans and policy, J5, will lead a discussion on emerging global threats facing supply chains and the possible outcomes these threats could have.

“This discussion will focus on strategic proactiveness to ensure adaptability, resilience, and continued effectiveness in an ever-evolving security landscape and on how the DOD can partner with industry before and during crises,” the notice said.

Hicks will lead the final discussion on transforming DOD into a more attractive partner for non-traditional companies.

“The Deputy Secretary will share successes the DOD has realized in becoming a better partner for non-traditional defense companies, along with how combinations of traditional and non-traditional companies are working together to accelerate capability development and delivery,” the notice said.