April 10, 2019

Navy, Marine Corps explore emerging technologies to create new capabilities

In a concerted push to advance and accelerate America’s warfighting advantage, nearly 40 different research and engineering organizations from across the Naval Research and Development Establishment, industry, academia and military test facilities participated in a multi-domain, multi-site, multi-dimensional, multi-spectrum West Coast military exercise March 31-April 9.

“A strength of our Navy and Marine Corps is our ability to bring all of our talents together to solve hard problems for the nation,” said James Geurts, assistant secretary of the Navy for acquisition, research and development. “These exercises provide a unique and powerful venue to rapidly experiment technologies and concepts of operation and enable us to greatly speed the fielding of new capabilities to our Sailors and Marines operating around the globe. Leveraging the incredible talents in academia, industry, and in our formations is most important element of our strategy to deliver on the National Defense Strategy.”

Dubbed as the 21st Century Combined Arms Advanced Naval Technology Exercise (ANTX WEST 2019) officially, the exercise was conducted both at Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific (NIWC Pacific) — formerly SPAWAR System Center Pacific — and on San Clemente Island, off the coast of San Diego.

Overall, ANTX WEST 2019 evaluated more than 80 emerging technologies with a specific focus on command and control (C2), communications (COMMS), kinetic and non-kinetic fires (FIRES), unmanned systems (UxS), counter intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and targeting (C-ISRT).

The ANTX is the demonstration phase for technology proposals received in response to a collaborative set of Commercial Solutions Offerings released by NIWC Pacific and Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division last fall.

ANTX assessors conduct evaluations of technologies using the Tactics and Technology Exploration and Experimentation (TnTE2) method first developed in the 2017 Ship-to-Shore Maneuver, and 2018 Urban 5th Generation Marine exercises. This methodology pairs technologists with operators to identify capability gaps, and rate new technology proposed to fill them.

“The Tactics and Technology Exploration and Experimentation method has been operationalized in direct response to the urgent calls from our fleet and force leaders, and our acquisition executives, to break down barriers, and to retool our methods and approaches into a deliberate accelerator to speed the rate of adoption of mature, field-able technologies,” said Carly Jackson, NIWC Pacific’s lead for Advance Prototyping. “This method is in direct response to the Department of the Navy-wide strategic initiative to accelerate acquisition through rapid prototyping.”

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