In Joint Vision 2010, General Shalikashvili embraced new operational concepts to enable a future precision force. The key element of these concepts is Information Superiority. Information based processes are the value adding processes in commercial industry today and in the Chairman's thoughtful Joint Vision. All services have vision statements, and all depend on Information Superiority. Navy is no exception. Our principal product is forward deployed combat power on a 365 day basis where our dependence on information is absolute. So the issue is not only how we get it, but how we protect it.
The most important facet of Information Superiority, whether in business or in combat is time. It's all about "time." The Navy and Marine Corps in their traditional forward presence role are best positioned to take advantage of the time factor. Forward presence allows us to close timelines, change critical initial conditions, foreclose enemy options and stop something before it starts. In the briefest terms, that is why information systems and processes are so important to us as a nation. Properly used, Information Superiority enables a phenomenon called "speed of command" which I will discuss below. Speed of command involves a well conceived and precisely placed early effort producing extraordinarily high rates of change, locking out enemy options and locking in our success. That's the American way of business, and that will be the American way of war.
This amounts to a revolutionary change. Looking from a historical perspective, we see that prior to 1900 only one major naval engagement was fought beyond sight of land. The available technology did not provide conditions for engagement. Navies simply could not find each other and engage on the high seas. Additionally, logistical constraints required men o'war to remain close to shore.
By 1900 we had the technology, but more importantly the commitment to assimilate that technology to new tactics, new forces, and new organizations. This led to the emergence of blue water warfare, new classes of ships, and new operating concepts. Today, new technologies are enabling another revolution. The paradox is the revolutionaries are often the last to realize it?because they are in it! A revolution is often seen only retrospectively. The antecedent of the current revolution can be seen in society and was foreshadowed when Navy began to digitize the battlefield 30 years ago with high speed data links. Much has happened since.
Competition and the development of new operational concepts are not limited to the military. Corporations must adapt to survive in the ever changing global market. Comparing traditional industries to the software industry illustrates a dichotomy in the market place. Traditional industries' make large capital investments to produce a stable and predictable, if modest, return on investment. Conversely, the software industry's investments in intellectual capital with lower overhead, produce sharply increasing rates of return. This sector of industry has evolved from the selling of material goods to the selling of knowledge and ideas. Reflecting society, the fraction of the military's combat power derived from intellectual capital is soaring, while we continue to search for methods to lower overhead and capital expense.
Sensing their operating environment as an ever adapting ecology, business has shifted from being company-centric to a dynamic network-centric marketplace. This change has a warfare analogue in the shift from platform centric warfare to network centric warfare. The focus of platform centric warfare is mass-on-mass requiring extensive physical infrastructure, large overhead and capital investment. Conversely, networks leverage intellectual capital, focus information and increase combat power. Network centric warfare uses streamlined infrastructure and overhead, and a non-traditional shift in capital expenditures. The result is a shift from attrition based warfare to speed of command.
Speed of command flattens the hierarchy, puts decision makers in parallel with shooters, and transforms warfare from a step function to a continuous process. This reduces the operational pause associated with decision making and limits an enemy's opportunity to regain initiative. Speed of command applies effect on a high-speed continuum vice an incremental step function, developing powerful self-fulfilling expectations for victory which demoralize the enemy while increasing coalition and domestic support. But notice, this is not about technology. It's about how you use it!
Recent Navy experience responding to the Taiwan Straits crisis exemplifies the concept of speed of command and the fundamental organizational and doctrinal changes they portend. We saw a change in Admiralship as a result of increased battlespace awareness. The planning timeline dramatically compressed with the use of e-mail, video teleconferencing, and an intuitive graphics-rich medium instead of traditional message text. The result was an ability to plan collaboratively and execute in a dynamic environment. Higher sustained situational awareness resulted in fewer questions, clarity of mission and commander's intent, and no ambiguity. Lower echelon, on-scene operational commanders, empowered with the ability to simultaneously plan and execute, assured a high speed response which influenced world events.
At the tactical level, the same phenomenon appears with the actual use of ordnance against targets. Let me now describe analysis that we started on the Joint Staff, and which is currently being addressed in the Decision Support Center.
The graph represents High Speed Anti-Radiation Missile (HARM) Block 6 employment using three different concepts of operations. Using the current architecture, the employment of HARM yields good surface to air missile suppression but limited kills in the course of the campaign. If we change our architecture, inserting modern digital technology, we see a significant improvement, but even at this rate results have only limited impact at the onset of the campaign. However, in the third case, using network centric warfare linking HARM with other joint munitions, we now see a dramatic impact in two ways. First, the cumulative effect produced gives the greatest number of kills against enemy targets, but more importantly it produces dramatic early results. In the initial phases of the campaign where the battle can be influenced the most, we are now able to produce the greatest rates of change, dramatically shortening timelines and inflicting maximum losses against the enemy. These rates of change stop wars.
The power of network centric warfare requires that we change the way we do business. Today, organization and doctrine are decoupled from and lag progress in systems and technology. The answer is coevolution, the simultaneous integrated evolution of systems, organization and doctrine. Coevolution requires service experiments that will lead to a climate of joint experimentation.
Navy is establishing a netted Maritime Battle Center (MBC). The MBC provides top-down experiments that deal with large issues, creating an environment that fosters innovation, inquisitiveness and a willingness to risk. The focus is on new operational concepts, systems, tactics and organization. This is not a place; it is a process. It includes Navy labs and ships that can net to other fleet units and service labs. Laboratories provide the technology. MBC translates it into combat power.
Network centric warfare requires the rapid assimilation of technology and seizes the opportunities that are already available for new approaches to acquisition. Our goal is commercial state-of-the shelf, not state-of-the-art. Information technology acquisition is on a new and faster timeline with near continuous technology refresh rates. Outsourcing and new partnerships with industry are initiatives we are pursuing to improve technology refresh rates in the Navy. The advantages of state-of-the shelf over state-of-the-art are: reduced cost and technical risk; improved compatibility and maintainability; and reduced training requirements. This is best exemplified by what is happening in the fleet today.
Information Technology for the 21st century (IT-21) is a Commander in Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet and Chief of Naval Operations initiative to fundamentally transform the way we plan, budget and implement information technology acquisition. It is a shift from acquiring Information Technology (IT) as a centralized, large-scale system to considering IT as a consumable commodity. The IT-21 strategy is to optimize IT acquisition across the Department of the Navy based on a two step process: a networking architecture to ensure interoperability; and IT acquisition solutions based on best business practices. This is fully compliant with and linked to the Defense Information Systems Agency's (DISA) Defense Information System Network.
IT-21's key enabler is "smart-sourcing" or the selective outsourcing of the underlying IT infrastructure -- the IT infrastructure being viewed as an electronic commodity merging warfare and warfare-support. For example, information technology enables enhanced performance in core mission areas. Smart-sourcing examines functional areas and harnesses industry to work with us in areas where they have world-class core competencies. Smart-sourcing makes best use of scarce dollars to enhance mission performance by focusing on what we do best and teaming with those who are best in their areas of expertise.
But, dependence on information technology is precarious if we do not consider Information Security. This is a national problem with no quick fix. Our reliance on information systems is increasing; therefore, our defense against this enduring foe cannot be static. Action must be taken across a broad front. We must train our operators as our first line of defense. Because the network is intolerant of weak links, protecting the network requires a robust, joint, mobile defense in depth (see graphic below). Information Security must be imbedded in the architecture and imbued in our doctrine, as we provide a unified front with other uniformed services and Department of Defense agencies.
The Navy is committed to joint warfighting. Navy's core information programs are joint programs. We are intolerant of systems that are not joint. Network centric warfare requires that information systems be intrinsically joint. While much of the hard work is behind us in ensuring interoperability, we must continue to pursue it vigorously.
The Naval Services have much to be proud of, as we have in the past we will continue to play a leading role in promoting and defending the Nation's interests as we move into the 21st century. Retaining this preeminent position will depend not only upon the quality of our personnel and equipment, but also upon foresighted application of innovative concepts and the doctrine for their employment.
Thank you very much.