BGI recently had the distinct honor of hosting The Patuxent Partnership / Association of Naval Aviation Panel entitled “Distributed Maritime Operations (DMO): Who You Gonna Call? The Carrier Air Wing”. OPNAV N7, VADM Jeffrey Hughes, was the keynote speaker. Referencing the December 2020 “Tri-Service Maritime Strategy”, VADM Hughes provided an update of the global environment in which our Navy operates and how that environment drives the Navy’s strategy for Distributed Maritime Operations. Joining VADM Hughes on the panel were RADM John Meier, Commander, Naval Air Forces; RDML Shane Gahagan, Program Executive Officer (PEO) Tactical Aircraft; RDML Carl Chebi, Deputy PEO F-35 Lightning II; and RDML Eric Ruttenberg, Vice Chief Engineer, Naval Information Warfare Systems Command. Each panel member conveyed how their individual portfolio of products and services contributes to DMO.
The panel was a great opportunity to raise awareness on the strategic thinking of our navy leadership as it pertains to the emerging challenges associated with our Navy’s role in ensuring our national security and economic prosperity in the ever changing global environment; witnessed by the change in tone of our evolving Naval Strategies. The referenced “Tri-Service Maritime Strategy” shares many of the themes from the Navy’s January 2016/updated in December 2018 “A Design for Maintaining Maritime Superiority”. One standout difference though is the new strategy is much more demonstrative about China and Russia quest to be the eminent global power and are this nation’s greatest threat. It also instills a greater sense of urgency in preparing the United States Navy, the United States Marine Corp, and the United States Coast Guard to defend against those threats. The panel emphasized that key to that readiness and effectiveness is a total force alignment and focus on DMO.
With the understanding that for any strategy to be effective, it must be properly resourced, the panel briefly discussed the impact that the “Tri-Service Maritime Strategy” would have on the budget. It was stated that though there’s firm alignment between The White House, Congress and The Pentagon on who the threat is, what continues to be debated is the scale and intentions of the threat. Furthermore, budgets will always be challenging. As such, all the services will need to continue to balance current readiness vs capacity vs technology/force development.
Adding context to BGI’s Aviation Data Science efforts, was the emphasis by all panel members of the importance of Data Analytics. Also highlighted in the ‘Tri-Service Maritime Strategy’, the consistent message was naval leadership’s understanding that there is a lot more to learn through data and the Navy needs to be poised for that learning.
Hosting this esteemed panel was a significant opportunity for BGI. It reinforced the importance and added context to BGI’s mission while allowing our BGI family a better understanding of our role in providing the right products and services to one of our most valued customer.