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CPAG: Looking back at 2014 and ahead at 2015
TOPICS & CATEGORIES
First article in the series featuring NAWCTSD
By Dolly Rairigh Glass
For the ninth year in a row, the Combined Professionals Associations Group hosted the Defense Forum Breakfast on Jan. 9, inviting senior military leaders to brief industry on their thoughts about 2014 and to provide their unique insights into what was on the horizon for 2015.
This year’s moderator, Michael J. Motko, president of Central Florida Council for the Navy League of the United States, welcomed each of the speakers and thanked them for taking the time to be a part of the annual gathering. “These guys have been an integral part of who we are and what we do,” explained Motko, “and today they are here to give us their best predictions for 2015, even with the unknowns that still sit before us.”
This year’s speakers included Rob Reyenga, Deputy Program Executive Officer for Simulation, Training and Instrumentation; Capt. Wes Naylor, Commander Officer for Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division; Dr. Ed Degnan, Chief for LVC Foundations Support Division, Air Force Agency for Modeling and Simulation; and Lt. Col. Walt Yates, Program Manager Training Systems.
From the Navy’s Perspective
Capt. Wes Naylor told CPAG attendees that it’s “been a great year,” and as much as he enjoyed working with Steve “Snak” Nakagawa, he admitted that “it is more fun being CO!”
Naylor was very positive as he looked back at 2014 and the accomplishments achieved by the NAWCTSD team, and stated they’ve had no real changes in regard to their structure with the exception of the arrival of their new boss, Rear Admiral G. Dean Peters, commander, Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division and the assistant commander for Research and Engineering, Naval Air Systems Command.
Moving on to talk about 2015, Naylor said that he wouldn’t necessarily categorize his priority topics as things that keep him up at night, however they do initiate phone calls on Saturday mornings from people “who ask me what I’m doing about them.” He shared those topics with the audience: cyber security, Live Virtual and Constructive (LVC) training, intelligent tutoring, the Navy N1 effort, MRTS and E-Sailor.
With regard to cyber security, Naylor said, “we are in the infant stages of where we need to be on it” but that NAWCTSD has a couple interesting efforts going on internally. “I see a lot more interest coming our way from big Navy on this,” he said.
When it comes to LVC, Naylor said that depending on which office you ask, you get a different definition for LVC, a different vision, and even a different budgetary structure. “If we don’t pull it together here, no one else is going to do it,” Naylor said. “We have not done a great job on it, and while we’ve all been working our own areas, I’m pretty sure at some point in time, Mr. Kendall
[Frank Kendall, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics (AT&L)] will ask us why we need to buy four LVC solutions, not to mention how to integrate jointly.”
“If we don’t figure that out among ourselves, among the Services, and with industry’s help, nobody else is going to do it for us,” he said.
Naylor noted that one of the tasks that he and his team are already contemplating is how to bring the focal point to LVC at the next I/ITSEC (Navy is the lead Service for 2015). “How can we plan an event with our partner Services, maybe like a ‘war on the floor,’ and how can industry play in that?”
In the area of intelligent tutoring, Naylor said they were working two major contracts and that this is a personal interest for him, the CNO, as well as has a lot of interest from Chief of Naval Personnel, Vice Adm. Bill Moran. “This rolls right into the next effort which is the Navy N-1 effort,” he said. Naylor said they saw a couple of Adm. Moran’s projects they could help out with, and that turned into helping out with revision training for the Navy.
“We put together a vision with him and his staff, and presented it to the group of 32 Flag Officers that showed up at I/ITSEC and it was fairly well received,” Naylor said. “That plan went back up north with Adm. Moran to include not only training, education or learning effort, but it brings in talent management, recruiting, retention and a whole list of areas. With an impending list of changes for how we do Navy training, that could mean a significant amount of new work to NAWCTSD. We expect these possible changes will be getting a lot of press in the next few months.”
As a subset of the N-1 effort is Multiple Reconfigurable Training Systems (MRTS), which received a lot of attention this year at I/ITSEC, Naylor said. “We’re probably going to have more customers for MRTS this year than we ever anticipated. Interesting enough we haven’t had any aviation customers, but I’m pretty sure that Adm. Dunaway and N-98 are going to make a rapid change to that in their future. As a matter of fact, we ‘ve already been engaged by N-98 to revise and come up with a MRTS solution for the AS (Aviation Support Equipment Technician) training track.”
In discussing an e-Sailor initiative, Naylor said, “If all we’re going to do is take the Blue Jacket manual, put it on a tablet and put it in Sailor’s hands so all they have is an ‘kindle’ version, that’s a waste. We need a holistic solution.”
The NAWCTSD Commanding Officer was very positive about his organization’s growth and their potential in 2015. “We grew this year – almost a $300 million increase in 2014,” Naylor told the attendees. “We see our business base growing, and that’s not including the N-1 initiative.”
Naylor said that in the area of communication, they are really working to get it right from the inside out, and that they’ve been working to increase their participation and getting out their information through things like PALT, TSIS, I/ITSEC and even one-on-one meetings. “We are trying to push ourselves as a front office,” Naylor said. “Call us, we’ll come out to see you. You might get one of us, you might get four us, depending on the schedules, but we want to come out and we want to see you.”
Lastly, Naylor said they need to decrease the acquisition cycle. “We are unacceptably slow in our processes and that will change this year. We need to reduce the cycle time, and enable you all to succeed, and truly partner with you.”
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