Marine

 

Marine

Weekly Roundup: March 26 -March 30, 2018

Friday, March 30th, 2018 - 9:26
Michael J. Keegan

Rear Admiral James J. Shannon interview

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010 - 20:00
Phrase: 
He assumed command of Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) in October 2008.
Radio show date: 
Thu, 01/07/2010
Intro text: 
In this interview, Shannon discusses: his role as the U.S. Navy's major program manager for Future Combat Systems Open Architecture; Open Architecture defined; The Navy and Marine Corps' move toward Open Architecture; Technical and engineering aspects...
In this interview, Shannon discusses: his role as the U.S. Navy's major program manager for Future Combat Systems Open Architecture; Open Architecture defined; The Navy and Marine Corps' move toward Open Architecture; Technical and engineering aspects of Open Architecture; Business aspects of Open Architecture; and the Benefits and key accomplishments of Naval Open Architecture. Missions and Programs; Leadership; Strategic Thinking; Technology and E-Government; Collaboration: Networks and Partnerships
Magazine profile: 
Complete transcript: 

 

 

Mr. Keegan: Welcome to another edition of the business of government hour.  I'm your host Michael Keegan and managing editor of the business of government magazine.  Combat differs significantly from just a decade ago.  Anticipating the future is key and the US armed forces continue to prepare for future conflicts evolving to meet emerging challenges.  It does this by engaging in rigorous science and technology research.  With us to discuss his efforts in this area is our very special guest Rear Admiral James Shannon, commander of the naval surface warfare center.  Admiral, welcome back to the show.

 

Adm. Shannon: Michael, it's great to be here.

 

Mr. Keegan: Also joining us is Kevin Green, IBM's defense industry leader.  Welcome, Kevin.

 

Mr. Green: Thank you, Michael.  Good to be here.

 

Mr. Keegan: Admiral, for those unfamiliar with the naval sea system command, would you briefly describe the mission and the evolution of the surface warfare center?

 

Adm. Shannon: Well, the surface warfare center first is not just one place.  It comprises 10 major commands geographically situated across the United States, and the warfare center does the full spectrum of research, development, test evaluation, engineering, whatever the fleet needs and also supports the Marine Corps.

 

Mr. Keegan: What can you tell us about your role as the commander?

 

Adm. Shannon: Well, my job is traditionally, I'm a echelon three commander, report to commander of naval sea systems command, vice admiral Kevin McCoy.  And, my job is to lead people.  I lead 14,000 people.  I'm responsible for the infrastructure for all these warfare centers.  And, I provide a supporting cast role, if you will, to the other admirals in the Navy that are responsible for product.

 

Mr. Keegan: I was wondering, could you give us a sense of the scale of the operation?  What does the command look like?  Where is it located?  What is the geographical footprint?

 

Adm. Shannon: Okay.  We are located principally very close here to Washington, DC.  We have five commands within this region.  And, that's right here in Carderock right off the beltway, Dahlgren, Virginia, which many people are familiar with, Indian Head, which was really one of the first proving grounds for the Navy.  There is a explosive warness disposal technology activity in Stump Neck, Maryland, very close Indian Head, and then up the road we go to Philadelphia for ship systems, all mechanical and electrical systems.  We go down the road to Dam Neck, Virginia, for combat direction support activity.  And, then we have a coastal warfare systems site in Panama City.  We do a lot of work in Crane, Indiana.  And, then,  out in California we have Port Hueneme where we do a lot of missile and radar testing.  And, then, also Corona, California, which is in Riverside County, we do a lot of operational analysis on the systems that we have.

 

Mr. Green: Admiral, that's a wide array of responsibilities.  With that in mind, what have been the top three challenges you face in your position and how have you begun to address those challenges?

 

Adm. Shannon: Well, I would say the top three really starts first with having a diverse workforce.  That's not just my priority but you hear the CNO talk about that, Admiral McCoy has made that clear that's a top priority in the naval sea systems command.  And, I'll get to back to diversity in a moment.  But, we are also very interested in maximizing total ownership cost.  That, again, is something that's being discussed a lot within the Navy to understand really what our costs are for our ships and to get the most return on investment in whatever we're doing.  And, then, the third thing that I'm certainly a large advocate for is transparency in our product and what we do and open architecture and things like that. 

 

With diversity really is the priority and  something that were building on right now.  There's a lot of congressional interest in what we're doing to hire our workforce to make sure that our acquisition workforce is robust.  And, that starts with making sure that we have a workforce that represents the people of the United States.  We have a very diverse young workforce, but we don't have a very diverse older workforce.  And, that's because of just the way we hired people over the years.  We really want to bring in more diversity, more cultures, and more innovation.

 

Mr. Green:.  Well, you have a wide array of responsibilities.  One of your roles is as the surface warfare chief technology officer.  What does that role entail?

 

Adm. Shannon: That's a great question.  Because, I'll tell you, a year ago, when something called me up and said, surprise, you're now the chief technology officer for the surface warfare enterprise, I had to Google chief technology officer and find out what it is.  Because, it's really nothing that, it's not a term that we typically use within the uniformed force in the military.  And, when I looked up what a CTO was, a chief technology officer, I was happy to learn that there is many different definitions. 

 

So, that gave me the ability to come up with my own definition of a chief technology officer.  And, what I'm primary responsible is to be the advocate for the surface warfare enterprises, surface warfare community, and work with the chief in naval research who has a large responsibility for science and technology across the entire Navy, not just the surface Navy.  Today, Rear Admiral Nevin Carr is the chief of naval research.  He is a surface warfare officer but he has to look at aviation, he has to look at sub-surface satellite communications - everything. 

 

So, I'm a fellow flag officer who advocates for the surface Navy, and my role is really to look out way into the future to see that the technologies that are there and try to be a bridge between the operators and the research analysts, the scientists, the technologists, and help a dialog happen about where do we want to take the Navy in the future.

 

Mr. Green: Sure.  Now, in that role, do you also work closely with folks in industry who might have the same title or have responsibilities in research?

 

Adm. Shannon: Well, we're not as far along as we should be, is the short answer to that question.  And, one of the things that I found out when I took this job is we did not have that kind of dialogue happening.  A year ago, I spent the first six months probably trying to understand what my role was going to be and making sure the senior leadership in the surface Navy agreed with that.  But, what I've been working on for the past several months is trying to understand where is the Navy putting their money internal to the Navy.  And, then, my plan is in a few months to have an industry day to really be transparent with industry and let industry know, hey, this is where the Navy's putting their money inside the Navy.  It would be a good idea if you were researching things in the same area.  And, then, sharing ideas and sharing technology to really be able to come up with the best solutions.

 

Mr. Keegan: Could you give us some background about yourself and how your career path led you to become the first chief technology officer for the surface warfare enterprise?

 

Adm. Shannon: Well, throughout my early career, I was a  below deck engineer who served primarily on destroyers.  Then, as I grew up in the surface warfare community, I got into anti-submarine warfare systems, missile defense systems.  I had the great opportunity to command a couple ships.  Following my command tours, I got into program management where I managed the evolved sea sparrow missile project and took it through its tests and evaluations.  I got involved into the naval integrated FiRe control project and then was lucky enough to be selected to be the program manager for future combat systems open architecture.  And, that all came together to the position I'm in today.

 

Mr. Keegan: Admiral, you have a robust portfolio, an  import mission.  Could you tell us what makes an effective leader?  And, how has your previous experience formed your leadership style and your management approach?

 

Adm. Shannon: The biggest thing that you have to do, I think, to lead is to listen.  You have to listen, not just to your people, your subordinates, but you have to listen to your superiors.  And, so, my job is to understand where, what our superiors want.  And, in the position I'm in today that's  primarily listens to the chief of naval operations, and to the secretary of the Navy, and to the Secretary of Defense, and, of course, my own immediate superior, Vice Admiral McCoy.  And, then, I have to go out and listen to the subordinates and understand what their knowledge is and to help focus them and  focus their energy and get them to move in the direction that the superiors told me to move. 

 

So, as a leader, your job is to lead somebody in a certain direction.  You have to understand the requirement, what is needed, listen to what that need is, and take all those good ideas and point them all in the same direction and get on a path to success.

 

Mr. Keegan: Is there any particular leaders out there that have informed you?

 

Adm. Shannon: Well, Vice Admiral McCoy is doing a great job right now of keeping me informed.  But, I would tell you, in this business, probably the person that we often refer back to is Admiral Wayne Meyer, who recently passed away.  He's often referred to as the father of Aegis.  And, it was his idea to build a little, test a little.  And, to really embrace system engineering and to discuss the different trades that you can make to get the best product.  And, to really integrate all your systems so that, that when one system trade is made, that you understood the repercussions to all the following systems.  Admiral Meyer is credited with making the Navy understand that concept, and we still try to build off of that.

 

Mr. Keegan: Terrific.  What about the Navy's approach to science and technology?  We will ask Rear Admiral James Shannon, commander of the naval surface warfare center, to share with us when our conversation continues on the business of government hour.

 

 

Part 2

 

 

Mr. Keegan: Welcome back to the business of government hour.  I'm your host Michael Keegan, and our conversation continues with Rear Admiral James Shannon, commander of the naval surface warfare center.  Also joining our conversation from IBM is Kevin Green.  Admiral, could you describe the Navy's approach to science and technology?

 

Adm. Shannon: Investments in science and technologies are wide ranging, but highly focused on ensuring that the people out there in the fight have the advantage over our enemies in any battle space against all threats.  You'll hear people talking about finding sometimes and saying the term we have to have a fair fight.  When you're really involved with fighting, you don't want a fair fight.  You want that asymmetrical advantage.  And our Navy's comparative advantage to any potential adversary  is our competitive will and our innovative drive.  And, that's where it comes in the science and technology piece.  We continuously operate.  We continuously listen to our operators,  and we try to apply the science and technology that we know well and apply it to whatever systems that we need to improve.

 

Mr. Keegan: Given the rapidly changing threat our nation faces today in conjunction with the pace of global technological innovation, what are some of the challenges the Navy faces in getting the right technology to our war fighters?

 

Adm. Shannon: The absolutely biggest challenge is affordability, and I'm sure that's not going to surprise any of the listeners out there.  We are constantly combating the affordability challenge.  And, affordability, though, gets often misunderstood, because sometimes the affordability is driven because the requirement is too great, and the engineers and scientists out there are always going to default to giving you the absolute best solution they can give.  It's not in their intellectual makeup to give you a system that isn't the absolute best.  So, it's imperative that the people that write the requirements and oversee the requirements manage that, such that we can expect exactly what we want.  And, then, at the same time make sure the affordability or the prices come down.  It's, it's a really tough calculus.

 

Mr. Keegan: Kevin mentioned, in your role as the CTO, collaborating with maybe somebody from industry.  What about collaborating with the other armed services in this regard?  In your approach to science and technology, could you tell us a little bit about that?

 

Adm. Shannon: We do collaborate with the other services.  And, I would tell you at the working level, it's done much better than at the more senior levels across the warfare centers.  At the deck plate level, as we say in the Navy, we do a very good job collaborating with other services, with academia, with industry.  The tough part gets when you get up to the more senior ranks when money gets involved and people are trying to determine who pays for what.  And, that's been something that I've often try to work on very closely in terms of architecture, and making sure that you have an open architecture and not to worry so much about the cost of it but just to come to agreement on what that architecture is. 

 

So, in my own role right now, I do a lot with the Kenner IED systems to build, that's to defend against the improvised explosive device threat that is in the current wars that we face today.  I work very closely with all the services, with the Department of Homeland Services, with the FBI, trying to collaborate on the best ideas to meet that threat.

 

Mr. Green: It's quite clear that the Navy is engaged and deployed globally in pursuit of missions in support of global  stability and the New World order.  What lessons have we learned from the multitude of missions the Navy is supporting today in Iraq, Afghanistan, and even off the coast of Somalia?

 

Adm. Shannon: Well, we've learned a lot, especially in this era of what we call irregular warfare with this IED threat, the improvised explosive device threat.  You know, that was a threat that was really based off of commercial technology.  And, it's a threat that, it was always out there.  It was right in front of us.  We recently, I think a year ago, celebrated 25 of the cell phone industry.  And, so, it wasn't anything new.  And, I'm sure many of our great scientists and engineers in our  warfare centers knew how that threat could be used against us.  But there was no forum, there was no way to bring that potential threat to our attention until it happened.  So, we were sort of surprised by that.  And, I think in the future, what we have to really learn from the Afghanistan war and from the Iraq war is that we have to understand the commercial technology is out there and how it can be applied. 

 

Historically, we've already learned these sorts of lessons many years ago.  I always like to refer back to over a hundred years ago the great white fleet was sailing in 1908.  At the same time, you had a couple brothers out there on this thing called a flying machine.  You know, nobody really thought of how to use that really in warfare.  But, by the end of World War I, ten years later, it was definitely clear that you could use it.  But, we never really even understood the power of airplanes until Pearl Harbor was attacked.  So, today, we have the IED.  Twenty years from now, what's the IED going to look like?  We've got to be ready for that.  And, we have to understand the power of that kind of threat and other technologies that are out there.

 

Mr. Green: Sure enough.  And, you've described the fact that the Navy operates with other services and other partners.  Are there any issues associated with interoperability that your office is engaged with, or your command is working on?

 

Adm. Shannon: Interoperability is always a very big challenge and we certainly are working on it.  In my specific role as the single manager, one of my additional duties is I am the single manager for the counter radio electronic warfare systems that we use to defeat radio-controlled improvised explosive devices.  I am responsible, regardless of the service  feeling the system, to look at the interoperability and compatibility of those systems with other systems that put out radio waves such as radios, and to make sure that they're compatible and interoperable.  So, we have a process in place to look at that.  And there's a lot of processes in government to make sure we have that sort of thing. 

 

Recently, the Navy has also reorganized the organization to bring a lot of our electronic systems all underneath one resource sponsor with the new N2N6 organization, which is going to be responsible largely to make sure that the interoperability challenges will be vetted very early in the process and resourced appropriately.

 

Mr. Green: That sounds like an awfully large endeavor to undertake.  You're describing very significant change across the Navy and, in fact, across the joint technical community.  Are they any other Navy organizations that will be standing up or taking a larger role going forward?

 

Adm. Shannon: We're still trying to understand what other organizations' responsibilities are going to be in terms of acquisition and requirements.  But, certainly in the new organizational setup, the CNO created something called the Tenth  Fleet.  And, they're going to play a large role in understanding this interoperability challenge.  The reason the Tenth Fleet was chosen, by the way, was back in World War II, we had the submarine threat out there that we were really not very familiar with in how to defeat that challenge.  So, the leadership in the Navy in those days created the Tenth Fleet just to focus on that one threat, and we obviously did well and were able to mature our anti-submarine capability through the decades.  Admiral Ruffet  is doing the same thing in the cyber world and creating the Tenth Fleet to help shape the discussion, shape the requirements, and make sure we require the right things with the new Tenth Fleet he's standing up.

 

Mr. Keegan: Admiral, you mentioned earlier one of your challenges is the cost calculus.  You also referenced the fact that, you know, anticipating the future.  I was wondering what changes in the acquisition process may be required to facilitate the deployment of advanced technologies in accelerated manner?

 

Adm. Shannon: Well, that's a really good question.  And, it's... I think this one is right down my alley to answer.  First, really need to cultivate a culture of innovation that's built on collaboration.  That was what the whole open architecture initiative was about.  It wasn't plug and play or getting the standards right, it's like getting people to talk with each other and collaborate on the best ideas.  And, the way we need to do that is to increase transparency in our science and technology investments.  A large portion of our fielded systems have traditionally come from the same DOD laboratories or the same large Department of Defense companies or universities. 

 

We need to broaden that to bring in many different industries together to make sure we get the right ideas.  We have to protect our investment in basic research.  The numbers I've been looking at show that in terms of research and development investments, basic research has actually gone down where some of our advanced research has gone well.  But, you need to get the basic research and the understanding of the science down for people to be able to mature it to the next level.  And, finally, we really need to develop a more efficient path for technology transition to the fleet.  Some of this acquisition takes way too long, and we don't have the stomach to be able to do that. 

 

One of the things that we did well, I would say heroically in this current war, is the way we rebounded from the IED threat.  We were able to recognize the threat and then form up very large, both operational communities as well as technical communities, and to be able to come up with systems and field those systems, put the logistics behind them, and really be able to take on that threat.  And, the results were just magnificent, and lots of lives were saved.  So, we were able to do it but it took a lot of commitment and it took some money and it took resources and talent to make that happen.

 

Mr. Keegan: Speaking of talent, the federal civilian sector of the government is also looking at this acquisition contracting, getting the right people in there, the actual human resources to do this is an issue.  Do you foresee that as a part of the problem in your area?  Do you have a plan to maybe bolster the acquisition workforce?

 

Adm. Shannon: I don't have a personal plan.  The Navy has a plan to build up that capability.  There's been a tremendous amount of hiring going on to bring in more people as contract specialists.  But, the one thing in contracting.  It takes time and experience, and you just can't come out of school and expect to be a great expert negotiator in contracts.  So, we have to build that force.  We have to maintain that force and not lose these people.  So, we have to make sure we keep them in the Navy and educate them along the way.

 

Mr. Keegan: How is the Navy fostering a culture of innovation?  We will ask Rear Admiral James Shannon, commander of the naval surface warfare center, to share with us when our conversation continues on the business of government hour.

 

 

Part 3

 

 

Mr. Keegan: Welcome back to the business of government hour.  I'm your host Michael Keegan, and our conversation continues with Rear Admiral James Shannon, commander of the naval surface warfare center.  Also joining our conversation from IBM is Kevin Green. 

 

Admiral, you mentioned one of the changes needed in the Navy's approach to science and technology is to build a culture of innovation based on collaboration.  What does the Navy need to do in order to forge this culture of innovation?

 

Adm. Shannon: Well, first, you know, I think what we always need to remember and remind ourselves every day that the Navy needs to remain flexible and adaptable to change.  Whenever you look at history and you look at navies that didn't succeed and are no longer maybe with us today, it's because they did not remain flexible and adaptable to change.  That's, the good news is that's part of our Navy.  We tend to always come up with innovative ways that are not written in the book, and I think we need to maintain that sort of thing.  But, yesterday's requirements were fairly stable and understood.  We understood the threat.  We knew how to deal with it.  It was a single threat, in many cases monolithic.  There was clear lines of control and accountability.  But, today, those kind of options are relatively few. 

 

And, I think what really need to understand is watch what's going on with the rest of society.  Because the Navy is a microcosm of society, and we need to, not be so rigid or shouldn't be rigid with our military view of things and really see how the society is working.  And, you see that with social networking.  You know, things like Facebook and blogs, and that type of communication is starting to creep into our workplace.  And, I think it's a very good thing because it's  sharing ideas.  It's a good opportunity to be innovative and to figure out things before you actually have to bring them up for a decision.

 

One of our commands out in Port Hueneme is actually creating their own internal Facebook kind of page just building off of a good idea.  But, I would tell you all of our warfare centers are trying to figure out the best ways to do that.

 

Mr. Keegan: If you don't mind me asking, we have  interviewed Admiral Allen, Thad Allen, of the Coast Guard, and he is really a champion of social networking and has the iCommandant blog.  Do you have anything similar to that?

 

Adm. Shannon: I'll tell you, I am sort of concerned about some of the things that I do, just like any parent that I see on Facebook.  And, before I start applying myself to that technology, I want to make sure I understand it fully.  What I do like, though, is the energy that I see on it.  And, I like the fact that it's fairly open and there's a way that you can control the information.  I would say that Admiral Allen is, you know, he is a great leader and he is leading the way, and guys like me need to follow him.  And I need to figure out how to do it better.

 

Mr. Keegan: Well, you mentioned earlier that sort of visionary role of a chief technology officer.  Would you tell us what role that part of your responsibility plays in building the  culture of innovation?

 

Adm. Shannon: As far as the chief technology officer, I think what my main role is to get people out of their comfort zone.  That has been one of the ways I've approached it recently.  We have some great scientists, some great engineers in the warfare center family of commands.  But, they've been fairly comfortable in how they've tried to solve problems.  And, they've always talked to the same people. 

 

What I'm trying to do is to stretch that a little bit, to get beyond their comfort zone, and to challenge them to share their ideas with other people than they may have, because, when they do that, their ideas are going to be challenged.  And, maybe the things that they think are a great idea are maybe not so great.  But, when you bring all the ideas together and you listen to what people have to say, I really think we will get a better product in the end.  So, I'm pushing that.  I'm pushing people beyond their comfort zone.

 

Mr. Green: Well, you're clearly very close to your customers who encompass the entire Navy and other partners within the Department of Defense as well.  So, how do you get an organization the size of the Navy, I mean, well beyond the technical community, to change the way that it thinks and behaves to forward or to improve innovation and innovative processes and approaches?

 

Adm. Shannon: One of the best ways we've been doing, and we've been doing this for a while, is education.  Is, get out there and make sure that we get the information out there that we want people to behave the way we want them to behave.  We have to reward people for doing a good job.  We have to reward  people when they are paving new ways of doing business.  And, those are the ways I think we need to get there. 

 

Mr. Green: It's often been said that innovation and technology need to move away from the silo model and toward a more collaborative and multiplatform model.  What forms of collaboration need to happen to drive this kind of innovation?

 

Adm. Shannon: Well, the silo model is a traditional top-down approach.  And, if you want innovation to work, I think  the way you need to do it is you need to work from the bottom up.  Diversity in our workforce is the way we need to do it.  Open architectural implementation is a big part of that.  And, all open architecture means is not being a closed architecture.  It means sharing ideas.  It means allowing people to see what's going on. 

 

One of the things that we have not done well in the Navy or in government is control the data, though.  We have to make sure that the data that we buy, we share throughout industry, throughout academia, with other services.  And, controlling that data is something we haven't done well.  So, we have to understand the data we have and figure out a way to make sure it's available to everybody out there.  We have to improve the government contractor relationship by making people be more accountable to each other.  So, it's not just a one-way street here.  The government has to be accountable to the industry as much as industry has to be accountable to government. 

 

When I speak to people in industry, they sometimes feel like it's only the government firing the questions at them and blaming them for whatever product is.  The government has to stand up and be accounted for as well.  I think we just need to share ideas and technologies that in the past were held as proprietary, because it was easy to say they were proprietary.  You know, some things we need to challenge as being whether really proprietary or not. 

 

Mr. Green: Well, as a defense technology leader, I think it's fair to say that you're one of our leading subject matter experts on open architecture.  In your view, how well has industry responded to your call for more of a technical approach that folds more into the open architecture model?

 

Adm. Shannon: I think that's a really great question.  And, how you answer it depends on where you sit in this play we call open architecture.  Small businesses have aggressively come out and addressed open architecture, because they are looking at this as an opportunity for them to be able to play without having a larger company suck them in and tell them how to do the business.  Small businesses, by their nature, really want to be independent.  Then, there's also companies that have not traditionally played in defense industry are looking at opportunities to compete and they're looking for fair competition.  The only way that can happen is if they can have the same access to that information that, in the past, may have been shut out to them.  And, then, there's the traditional partners that we have within industry.  I think, to a large measure, I give them credit for listening to us and trying to figure out really how to address this openness.  At the same time, they don't want to lose their proprietary goods because they have a lot of investment in those sorts of things. 

 

So, we're working really closely with them to try to understand, you know, how we can branch out, how  we can be more collaborative.  At the same time, it's very important, in my point of view, that everybody that's a player   has the ability to make a profit, to be able to stay in the game as long as they want to stay in the game. 

 

So, not everybody is equally addressing the open architecture initiative.  It depends on the business model for each industry that's involved.  The old way of, if you've got a niche product keep everybody out, still applies if that's your business model.  What we're most interested in in the Navy is getting the best ideas, getting the collaborative approach.  And, the other thing you've got to recognize the billions of dollars of taxpayers have invested in in the products that we buy.  We ought to own some of it.  We ought to be able to claim that we own those, that data because we're the ones putting the money behind it. 

 

So, that's one of the challenges I have in some of my conversations that I have with industry members.  That's one of the things I like to bring up is we ought to get something out of it.  Now, on the other hand, government has not done a good job controlling that data and controlling that information and making sure that we share it with all vendors who are qualified to do that kind of work.  There's a lot of responsibility to be shared but it takes a lot of energy and it takes everybody participating and not trying to go back to the old way of doing business.

 

Mr. Green: That's a very powerful statement, and you really seem to believe that collaboration is an important element of innovation.  Within the surface Navy, how is that community moving to address collaboration and innovation as a cultural issue?

 

Adm. Shannon: Well, we regularly meet on the issue and what my role as a chief technology officer in the surface warfare enterprise is, I'm really working with the resource sponsors, in this case Rear Admiral Frank Pandoff, who is responsible for resources in the surface Navy.  And, he leads what's called a future capabilities team.  And, we meet regularly to talk about the different things that we want to invest in and understand how we can link those investments to the strategy that he's trying to follow that the CNO is putting out.  So, facilitating discussion is really the main thing that we're looking at.  We're really trying to understand the total ownership cost; what's difference between readiness and the actual cost of the systems that were buying.  So, it just is a lot of discussion.

 

Mr. Keegan: Just stepping back a bit, we talked a lot about technology, science and research, and collaboration, but also innovation.  I was wondering, before you assumed command or as you anticipated assuming command, was there anything you did to kind of look at the idea of innovation and how, are there any lessons learned from different industries, the federal civilian space?  Did anything inform you as you took over your current role?

 

Adm. Shannon: I think we're living in a great age of innovation today just because of what we're all experiencing with the Internet.  You know, just 10 years ago we didn't have the same power of the Internet, and 15 years ago, a lot of people didn't even know what the Internet is.  So, we're still in the discovery phase, I think, in understanding this kind of innovative power that's out there.  And, if our head was in the sand and we didn't take advantage of it, then shame on us. 

 

So, what I've learned is what we have all learned is to be open-minded to different ideas.  Ideas that are not typical within your own organization.  Listen to what people's ideas are, and see that there's something behind there and see if you can use them.  What has changed from days gone past is we are more open-minded today.  We used to only have one way of doing business.  Tradition was one of our major core values.  I would tell you today tradition is not a core value.  Tradition is very important, but it's not a core value of our organization.  So, because we have to be adaptable and flexible to that kind of change.

 

Mr. Keegan: Well, most achievements in government, especially in the armed forces is not a solo act.  Would you elaborate on your approach to empowering your staff, the folks under your command?

 

Adm. Shannon: Yeah, it's again a great question.  My thing is to always delegate down to the lowest level.  And, just a short anecdote on that.  Recently, I had to go away for six weeks of training to what's called capstone training.  It's training required by law for flag officers and general officers to learn more about what's going on in the military organization.  So, for six weeks I was away.  And, when I came back, I realized nobody missed me.  Okay?  So, the fact is we have a very good organization in the warfare center and everybody knows how to do the job for the person one up and one down.  And, we empower people by trusting people.  And, that's the biggest thing you have to do in any organization is build trust.  We build trust internal to the warfare center, we build trust across the whole naval sea systems command.  And, whenever that trust breaks down, that's when you find we have other problems.  So, you have to always build trust.

 

Mr. Keegan: What does the future hold for the U.S. Navy science and technology research?  We will ask rear admiral James Shannon, commander of the naval surface warfare center, to share with us when our conversation continues on the business of government hour.

 

 

Part 4

 

 

Mr. Keegan: Welcome back to the business of government hour.  I'm your host Michael Keegan and our conversation continues with Rear Admiral James Shannon, commander of the naval surface warfare center.  Also joining our conversation from IBM is Kevin Green.

 

Admiral, let's transition to the future.  What new technologies or trends in information technology do you see the Navy adopting in national security systems to benefit the future?

 

Adm. Shannon: The trend in technology has a lot to do with computers and the computing base.  And, in terms of national security and defense, the term you're hearing a lot is called cyber war.  We really need to get our hands around that.  And, that was something I alluded to earlier in the radio show when we were talking about Tenth Fleet and what they're trying to do there.  But, we really know, I think, in the future that personal computers are going to become smaller, more people are going to have access to a computer, and then you hear that term cloud computing going on where computers will be less of a tool and that will be more of a portal to the information that's out there.  And, controlling that information and the volume of data and information is something that really nobody fully has their  hands around and being able to control that value will be really important. 

 

So, what technologies are going to be out there to power those sorts of things and how can we use that technology in warfare systems?  You have to look at power and electricity.  How are you going to make that system work?  Is it going to be used solely with batteries or are we tapped out on batteries and we have to look at other forms of energy, such as the sun, or heat, or just motion?  And, then, when you look at how you can use it to your advantage, how can a potential adversary use that against you?  Such as motion being used to power a system to defeat you.  It's passive all the time and all of a sudden your motion make something happen.  We're going to have to really get our hands around that type of thing. 

 

And, of course, we have to look at energy in the form of conserving energy.  That's a major initiative in today's Navy.  I referred earlier in the show about great white fleet.  I think we're going to hear something about the great green fleet in the future with Secretary Mabus.  He's really challenged us in our community to come up with ways to conserve fuel and energy, because the cost of fuel and energy is so great that it's hurting our ability to get underway and to train.  As anyone who's gone to sea knows, you have to be at sea to really become experienced at that business.  You can't be good at it if you're always tied up.  So, we have to figure out ways to be efficiently get our fleet underway to do the missions that we want to send them on. 

 

There's a lot of challenges there.  Autonomous systems.  You see that in today's fight with what's going on with unmanned aerial vehicles.  Other autonomous vehicles, robotic systems.  We're doing a lot in that now but we had to look at nanotechnology.  And those are all the areas that where I'm trying to shape the discussion.

 

Mr. Keegan: Can I pick up on the green aspect?  Are you folks adding that to your portfolio specifically or is it just something that's understood in the way you operate?  That you're going to go in that direction?

 

Adm. Shannon: On no, it's definitely in our portfolio.  The big thing going on today up in Philadelphia at our warfare center up there is the electric drive.  We're looking at how to apply electric drive on our ships.  We'll be doing that in the not-too-distant future and it's a way to cut down on fuel.

 

Mr. Keegan: The evolution of war fighting has undergone historic shifts within the last decade alone.  What other shifts you anticipate in the military in the next decade?  And how do you envision your role in office shifting to adapt?

 

Adm. Shannon: Well, I think we're in the right place in the warfare centers in adapting to this.  One of the things that we're really looking at is hypersonic technology and directed energy systems such as lasers.  Certainly, there's been a lot in the press over the past 10 years or so with regard to directed  energy and how to use that, but, we need to understand it better.  I think technology has really gone fast and far.  We're seeing where we can actually start applying directed energy in some of our systems.  But, it's all about speed in this business.  One of the acronyms I learned as a young officer was called MATES, and that stood for mission, asset, threat, environment, and speed.  And speed is life in our business.  So, how fast we can come up with this technology, how we can apply to do things faster is really the idea that we need to understand.

 

Mr. Green: With respect to the people in the Navy who conduct research and development, science and technology, the population has been shrinking since mid-1990s.  Do you see the trend reversing, and, if you do, why?  And, to that end, what steps are being taken to attract and maintain a high-quality technical and professional workforce?

 

Adm. Shannon: I don't know if the trend has yet reversed.  I think the trend is stabilized, though, in that perhaps we're at that tipping point.  Not quite tipped over yet.  And, I think a lot of it has changed just due to commercial technology and social networks.  More people seem to want to get into the game.  They want to get into the service.  The current young generation sees value in government service, they want to live a life of consequence, they understand that they have a voice in government, they see equal opportunity in our employment and working with us.  So, right now government we have a very aggressive hiring process going on.  Recently, we went up to Detroit to hire some of the engineers out there that were looking at losing work.  We're bringing in a lot of talent from Detroit and at the mid-level because you just can't bring everybody in at the younger level.  You've got to bring some people in at mid level who have experience in other areas that can be applied to our systems. 

 

We had a major hiring event out in Corona, California, where we brought in lots of people there, over 1000 people attended, and the talent is just simply amazing.  So, I think we're starting to see that tipping point and we're going, the trend's going to reverse itself.

 

Mr. Keegan: Admiral, for those young system engineers and architects just completing their education who have an interest in the military or in public service in general, what advice would you give them in pursuing a career in public service or the military in science and technology, or, ideally, all three?

 

Adm. Shannon: Well, first of all, service doesn't apply to the military, and I always like to remind people that you can serve in many different ways.  I've said this before publicly, but I do even tell my own kids this.  It's important to serve because you're giving back.  But, the great thing about government service is when you are in government service, you are living a life of consequence.  The decisions you make will not just only impact the organization that you're in, it will impact everybody in the nation and possibly the world.  And,  even the young people that are making decisions can make decisions that are very consequential and very important to what this nation has to offer. 

 

So, I always like to tell people that service is not about them.  It's about giving back, and it's being a part of something bigger and feeling or being on a winning team.  And, that's purely an American viewpoint.  But, that's one of the things I feel in the United States of America that we are a winning team and everybody wants to be a part of that.  When you serve in government, you're guaranteed some sense of purpose, some sense of duty, a real sense of honor.  And, you get to follow the path of other great Americans that we've studied in history.  It's a very much exhilarating and it's what Teddy Roosevelt spoke about when he spoke about the man in the arena.  You're in there, you're doing something, you win some battles, you lose some battles, but you're in there  doing the battle, you're not sitting on the sidelines watching what's going on.  So, that's what this kind of service offers you.

 

Mr. Keegan: That's wonderful advice.  I want to thank you for your time today, but, more importantly,  Kevin and I would like to thank you for your dedicated service to our country.

 

Adm. Shannon: Thank you very much.  You know, it's really a great opportunity for me to be able to speak to your listening audience and explain what the naval surface warfare center is all about.  We go back a long time.  A lot of people think the warfare center is just one location in Dahlgren, but, as I  mentioned in the earlier part of the broadcast, we're all over the country.  And, we are a legacy of the Navy from back in the 1850s and 1860s when we first created some of our proving grounds in Annapolis and Indian Head and Dahlgren, and then through the two great wars in the last century it kind of got a lot larger and created these laboratories to the early 1990s.  We actually created the warfare centers in 1992. 

 

And, we've created them to become more efficient and to reduce costs, to get our control around the total ownership cost.  Even back in 1992, that was talked about.  And, when you look at the indicators of what we've accomplished between 1992 and today, our overhead costs in the warfare centers have gone down by 30 percent.  Our productivity has increased by 30 percent.  We have close to 20 percent more scientists and engineers per capita in our work force.  The cost, the hourly cost of labor is less today than it was just a few years ago, because there's so many efficiencies in what we're doing.  We're getting more bang for the buck, or return on investment, less direct labor hours spent on overhead, more spent on actual labor.  And, that's because of the great ideas.

 

Whoever was leading the Navy in 1982 when they said let's create this warfare center enterprise, it was a good decision.  Because, the total ownership costs have come down as a result of them.  So, I like to be able to tell that story.  We've got a lot more work to do.  We have a lot more efficiencies to find, but we have a very spirited and innovative workforce who are really the intellectual capital of the Navy.  And, they're out there doing their best every day, not just for the Navy today, but building the Navy of tomorrow.

 

Mr. Keegan: An important mission.  This has been the business of government hour featuring a conversation with Rear Admiral James Shannon, commander of the naval surface warfare center.  My co-host has been Kevin Green, IBM's defense industry leader.  Be sure to join us next week for another informative, insightful, and in-depth conversation on improving government effectiveness.  For the business of government hour, I am Michael Keegan.  Thanks for joining us.

 

Vice Admiral John Harvey, Jr interview

Friday, March 30th, 2007 - 20:00
Phrase: 
"I [the Navy] can offer an incredible array of training that prepares young men and women for a future that's theirs to make."
Radio show date: 
Sat, 03/31/2007
Intro text: 
Human Capital Management; Strategic Thinking...
Human Capital Management; Strategic Thinking
Complete transcript: 

Originally Broadcast Saturday, December 16, 2006

Washington, D.C.

Mr. Morales: Good morning and welcome to The Business of Government Hour. I'm Albert Morales, your host and managing partner of The IBM Center for The Business of Government. We created the Center in 1998 to encourage discussion and research into new approaches to improving government effectiveness. You can find out more about the Center by visiting us on the web at businessofgovernment.org.

The Business of Government Radio Hour features a conversation about management with a government executive who is changing the way government does business. Our special guest this morning is Vice Admiral John Harvey Jr., Chief of Naval Personnel and Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Manpower, Personnel, Training, & Education.

Good morning, Admiral.

VADM Harvey: Good morning.

Mr. Morales: And joining us in our conversation is Bob Bleimeister, partner in IBM's human capital practice.

Good morning, Bob.

Mr. Bleimeister: Good morning. Glad to be here.

Mr. Morales: Admiral, can you tell us about the mission of your office and how it supports the mission of the department, and the Navy specifically?

VADM Harvey: Certainly. I think the best way to think of it is I am the Navy's people-guy. I represent every aspect of the people part of our Navy, the best talent that our nation has to offer, and how we bring them into the Navy, how we take them through the Navy -- their training, their education, their assignments -- and then how we either retain them up to the point where it's time to retire or they separate and go on to another career. So it's a pretty all-consuming version or view of the people in the Navy and everything about their lives with us in uniform.

Mr. Morales: Admiral, I probably should have asked you this to start with, but perhaps you can give us a sense of the scale here. When you say Navy, how big is the Navy -- the military, the reserves, civilians -- and can you relate this size to the scope of your efforts and how your office is organized? And perhaps you can tell us a little bit about the budget that you manage.

VADM Harvey: Sure. The numbers will I think make clear that we stay pretty busy. On active duty today, in the active duty force, we have about 350,000 sailors -- that's officers and enlisted. About 50,000 officers and about 293,000 enlisted, with 4,400 midshipmen at the Naval Academy on our books. For the reserve component of the Navy, for the ready reserve, it's a total of about another 130,000, with 70,000 in our selective reserve who we have in a drilling status, who we still see in Iraq, in Afghanistan, and around the world in various places, and then in our individual ready reserve who are on standby working through their lives but on our books as potential to serve, that's about 60,000. When you look at the civilian component, which I am not strictly responsible for, that's another 175,000 individuals. So when you total it all up, we've got close to 900,000 folks in the Department of the Navy doing the nation's business every day. Now in terms of my budget, I spend about $30 billion a year in terms of direct costs in our military personnel accounts -- that's paid allowances, training costs, et cetera. So it's a pretty hefty sum to take care of all those folks.

Mr. Morales: So just to clarify in terms of the scope, it is the men and women in uniform, both active and in reserves, but not the civilians.

VADM Harvey: Correct. That is correct.

Mr. Bleimeister: Admiral, you've got a dual title: Chief of Naval Personnel, and Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Manpower, Personnel, Training, & Education. Could you describe in a little more detail your personal role and responsibilities?

VADM Harvey: Absolutely. When you look at the title "Chief of Naval Personnel," that's rooted in law and deeply rooted in our history. The first chief of the Bureau was put in office in 1862, and that was in result to the growing demands of a rapidly expanding navy in the Civil War, when you used to just bring in and pay off the crew members on the ship and never worried about anything beyond that immediate tour of duty. When they expanded the Navy to fight the war, they realized that model was not going to be a model for success.

So today, the Chief of Naval Personnel is responsible for the recruiting function of all our officers enlisted, the training function across the board, getting them ready for what we want them to do, distributing them throughout the Navy to where we need them to be, and then again retaining those that we want to keep in for their career, who want to stay with us who we want to stay, up to the point where it's time to either retire or separate. So that's kind of the today job.

There's a future look to it, which is the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations, where I look ahead and say, "Okay, here's what the Navy's structure is going to be 5, 10, 15 years from now. What do we have to lay in in terms of our plans and policies to ensure we have the right kind of people to match that kind of structure for the global environment we expect to face out at that time frame." So that's the future look, if you will. And making sure we have those roadmaps in place to get us from today to what we believe will be our future that will match up with what we think the Navy's going to look like at that time as well.

Mr. Bleimeister: Admiral, you've had a very interesting career up until you took over this job about a little over a year ago. Could you talk about how your career in the Navy started, and leading up a bit to before you took this role?

VADM Harvey: Certainly. Like so many others, it started at the Naval Academy, and I graduated from there in 1973 with a degree in political science, but I don't want to go into too much detail. It's important because one of the really big things I learned there set me on the path that has carried me through for 33 years. I was a political science major and I loved it, and the math and science and technology, the physics, electrical engineering, didn't come that easily to me, and because it didn't I sort of avoided it and didn't perhaps make the level of effort I needed to along the way. But I went on a summer cruise and realized that at its heart, this was a technologically-oriented Navy, and that to make the most of the ships, the aircraft, and the systems that we operate, you really do have to have a deep understanding of what it is -- the fundamentals of what you're doing.

And so I looked around and said getting into the nuclear propulsion program would be a way of helping to really upgrade the technical side of my education, and that was putting it mildly. I was lucky enough that I had a good enough foundation to go and be interviewed by Admiral Rickover, be accepted into the nuclear propulsion program, and since that time, I've been able to blend together my desire to command a ship with a career of working my way through the surface side of the nuclear propulsion program, where I ended up as a reactor officer on board an aircraft carrier, as well as being able to go on to command a destroyer and a cruiser. So I blended the nuclear side -- the nuclear propulsion side -- of our Navy with the surface side and that sort of defined my at-sea career.

And then on the shore side of the house, when you weren't at sea, just by accident I developed a sub-specialty in the people business, and it was purely just a random assignment when I was younger, but I really loved it. I really enjoyed every aspect of dealing with the individuals and finding out what makes them tick and how do we find the best fit for their knowledge, skills, abilities, and talents in our great Navy. And so I stayed with that on the shore side and worked the personnel piece and then the manpower policy piece, and so it just so happened I ended up ready to be given the job that I have today. So a combination of good fortune, good experiences, and great teachers made this all happen.

Mr. Morales: For someone who admitted that he didn't care for math or physics too much, that leap into the nuclear program must have taken a lot of courage.

VADM Harvey: It was a non-trivial event, let me tell you.

Mr. Morales: It's one of those life-defining moments.

VADM Harvey: Right, it really was. It was a very challenging program, and I just can't overemphasize what it meant, the sense of accomplishment that it gave me when I came through the program. And I didn't just sort of reach the finish line and collapse, I went through well and it really gave me a lot of confidence for the future. I have always felt one of the best decisions I ever made was one of the first ones I ever made.

Mr. Morales: Admiral, you have served in a variety of roles, and you've just described some of them, but can you tell us, based on some of these experiences, how have they prepared you for your current leadership role and have informed your management approach and your current leadership style?

VADM Harvey: Well, I think one of the very important things I do today is to convey to our Chief of Naval Operations, to our senior leadership, the Secretary of the Navy, a sense of the force, a sense of the people -- how do they view themselves and their Navy, their place in the Navy, their future, their opportunities, are their capabilities being exploited to the maximum that there is? And so that's a very important thing for me to understand and be able to pick up on what that is, and then turn that into something coherent for our CNO -- here's what we need to be worried about, here are things we need to be focused on, and here's where we need to be headed for the future. So my experiences in command of a battle group, of a cruiser, of a destroyer, and then my experiences ashore in the people business I think have really helped me be able to develop that sense for where the force is, and what we need to be worried about, thinking about, and doing. And that's the first big thing.

The second big thing is really getting a bead on the future, having a good understanding of where the rest of the Navy is headed so we can integrate the human capability with the technological capability we're building, understanding the global environment we're going to be in, and then pushing that forward. And so I've been very fortunate to have some tours, whether it's my postgraduate education, my experiences when I worked in the office of the Secretary of Defense for Policy, getting a global view of that, and then some other jobs I've had on the Navy staff, where I've understood what the future is in our ships, our airplanes, and our weapons systems. So to blend that together to help give that good, coherent picture that the people need to fit into.

Mr. Morales: Excellent. How is the Navy transforming, maintaining, and shaping its force structure?

We will ask Vice Admiral John Harvey Jr., Chief of Naval Personnel and Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Manpower, Personnel, Training, & Education, to discuss this with us when the conversation about management continues on The Business of Government Hour.

(Intermission)

Mr. Morales: Welcome back to The Business of Government Hour. I'm your host, Albert Morales, and this morning's conversation is with Vice Admiral John Harvey, Chief of Naval Personnel and Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Manpower, Personnel, Training, & Education.

Also joining us in our conversation is Bob Bleimeister, partner in IBM's human capital practice.

Admiral, would you tell us about the Navy's strategy for our people? How does this enable the Navy to assess, train, distribute, and develop its manpower to become a mission-focused force that meets the warfighting requirements of the Navy?

VADM Harvey: Sure. There are two very distinct but interrelated components on the strategy for our people. The first part, the people side, starts with understanding and defining the workforce of the future -- what is the work that our sailors will have to do, what are the knowledge, skills, and abilities that they're going to need, and then how will these knowledge, skills, and abilities be utilized on our ships and aircraft and systems? So that's the people side, and understanding the work that those people will have to do.

Then there's the business side, which is how will we transform our existing processes that govern all those activities I just described to ensure that we deliver the skilled sailors we need to have who can do the work we believe we're going to have to do? Now the goal of the people side, or the strategy for our people is to define the future Navy workforce, and then what is that human capital strategy that will govern how we recruit, train and manage them for mission accomplishment? And the business side is taking a look at my domain, if you will, the manpower, personnel, training, and education, bringing those together into a single value chain, and focusing that value chain on getting the best value from the people we bring in. So it's two pieces put together, and that would comprise the total strategy for our people.

Mr. Morales: Along this same theme, Admiral, could you elaborate on the Navy's new Sea Warrior program? How does this enable a more flexible and responsive development and deployment of the total Navy workforce and provide sailors with more control over their careers?

VADM Harvey: Sea Warrior is how we brought together the training, education, and career management systems that provide and govern the growth and development of our people. Sea Warrior is how we look at this in a holistic fashion. At the heart of it is giving the individual a real input into their own career development, their buy-in, if you will, to the Navy. For 200 years, we sort of told people where to go, what to study, and what to do. What we need to do for the future is bring these individuals in and make them part of that process -- put them at the heart of it -- because it's their future that we're trying to bring together with the Navy's future. And if we get that kind of buy-in in terms of career management development, then I think we really unlock the full potential of these folks when they commit to us for a career. And so that's the growth and development of our people.

Then there's that piece I talked about -- better understanding the work and what it is that the future's going to demand of us, and then relating that work to the mission and to the capability that our ships and aircraft have to provide. So at the end of the day, I don't want to just say that a sailor delivers on a particular job, I want to be able to say that this sailor delivers this capability to the Navy and to the nation.

Mr. Bleimeister: Admiral, you've talked a bit about this -- it's really a newer focus on skills, capabilities, competencies, as some people call them -- can you elaborate a little more on how you think that's going to impact the future force, and what are some of those skills and capabilities you think are going to be more in need?

VADM Harvey: Oh, sure, and this is really exciting stuff, and I mean that in the fullest sense of the word. Since 9/11, we have been coming to grips with the rapidly changing global security environment that we're going to have to deal with today, three years from now, ten years from now. And so you have these kinds of rapid changes, and these very new demands on our sailors of what they're going to have to be able to do and where they're going to have to be able to do it. And we look at where we've been traditionally -- we've sailed to the Pacific, to the Atlantic, we've sailed in what I think people have as this vision of the victory-at-sea Navy, their view of what we did in World War II -- and now we have to expand that so dramatically in places we haven't gone before, in mission sets we haven't done before, and that type of thing.

And so as we bring that together, how do we look at the capabilities that have changed that are going to be demanded of our sailors? And within those different capabilities, what are the bundles of competencies -- those knowledge, skills, and abilities -- that we have to bring together? Because we're getting beyond "single sailor, single job" -- this is the real breakthrough concept, I think. We're looking at single sailor brings a competency, a group of competencies, that enable that individual to go in many different directions for us. Because that's the kind of flexibility and agility that our force is going to have to have, so therefore, it must be the flexibility and agility that our people are going to have to have as well.

Mr. Bleimeister: Great, and if we take that down to a specific ship, there's a relatively new ship coming to the Navy, the littoral combat ship, and a program called Train to Qualify that will help enable those sailors that man those ships to be fully ready when they arrive. Can you talk about that?

VADM Harvey: Well, absolutely, because this is a dramatic change that is driving a lot of what we've just been talking about. The littoral combat ship is our newest ship. We've just launched the first one, the Freedom. We expect to commission it and place it in service in July of next year. That ship will have a basic crew of about 40 sailors doing what used to take a ship of that size between 180 and 220 sailors to do. Obviously, when you change the math like that, you have to change some other things very dramatically as well. One of the things that we no longer have the luxury of doing is putting a sailor on board that ship and then taking the four to six months to qualify on all the various jobs that that sailor may have to do. Because there are only 40, and because they operate as such a coherent and cohesive team, that sailor must show up ready to go in all respects, with the knowledge and the ability to deal with all different watch stations, to do the specific functions and skills that we require. A very different concept, and so we call it "Train to Qualify" -- train before you get there, be qualified when you get there. So we get the maximum out of that sailor right from the minute he or she shows up to the ship.

Mr. Morales: So there's really no more on the job training with this new model.

VADM Harvey: Well, there's always on the job training, no matter where you are and what you do, but it's going to start from an incredibly high level of proficiency, and so I would call it not so much on the job training, but really the enhancement of the team that would start when you get there. The training, we're going to have to provide before that individual shows up.

Mr. Bleimeister: Great. There's another dimension to development: the Navy's professional military education continuum. Could you talk a little bit about that, what that consists of?

VADM Harvey: One of the things that we've talked about so far in this show is the rapid pace of change across the board that we're having to deal with. And so one of the ways we deal with that is recognizing that at every step in a career, we want to be sure we're investing in the individual -- officer or enlisted -- and that investment is in education. How do we keep that individual current? How do we help enable the critical thinking for that sailor that enables her to do what we need them to do in a very uncertain world? And so it starts with a required reading list that we now have. Wherever you are in the food chain -- at the lowest level of our enlisted ranks or the most senior officers -- we have a required reading list we think you need to execute and absorb in order to be proficient in what we expect you to do.

And then at every step in the career, we feel there's going to be some points for professional military education, for particular graduate education, and then for joint military education, because now we fight as a joint force. There are no Navy-only or Army-only battles anymore. So we try to blend this in across a career, both for our officers and enlisted, so that we're always bringing them more new topical knowledge to help them develop and be more effective in the jobs we expect them to do.

Mr. Morales: Admiral, you referenced the dramatic changes in the landscape that occurred since 9/11, and I would imagine that the Navy is seeking to develop and enhance its foreign language skills, its regional expertise, and its awareness of foreign cultures. Could you tell us about some of the key initiatives that fall under this effort, specifically your language, regional expertise, and cultural strategy?

VADM Harvey: Yeah, this has been a very significant line of effort for us since 9/11. It was really in the most recent quadrennial defense review, and this is the big review that went through in the last year within the Department of Defense saying, "okay, what does our future look like and how do we as a Defense Department respond to that?" Obviously we were part of all that, and the big piece of this was understanding what our language requirements are to be effective in the future. We don't just go to Europe anymore, or we don't go to Hong Kong where they speak English. We're now going throughout Indonesia, we're going into Africa, we're going all around the globe in places we never really used to engage that much before. So how do we do that? It's not just language, it's the expertise, the cultural awareness, those things you've just mentioned.

So we've stood up a new foreign area officer program, where we will educate specialists in each one of these areas that we have strategic interests in for the nation and the Navy. And we'll build around them. They will serve as naval attach´┐Żs; they will serve in key policy positions to be sure they bring that detailed area knowledge into our policies, our programs, and the decisions about what we do and where we do it.

We're realigning our personnel exchange program. If you looked at where we sent our officers and enlisted on the exchange programs that do so much to develop a really good mutual understanding with other navies and other nations, you would see we were perfectly aligned to the foreign policy of 1806. So we need to get that up to 2006, and that's what we're doing right now in terms of our exchange programs. We're heading south and east; we're not so much focused on north central Europe any longer. Languages: we just finished about 138,000 individual assessments of our sailors in 274 different languages. I was stunned at what I learned about what our sailors already know.

And now we're taking that baseline and saying, okay, where are these strategic areas that we have to have a far better linguist capability, which is really native-speaker type capability, and then just awareness where you can engage with someone but not necessarily in a perfectly-translated way? What are those requirements, where are they, and how do we fill them? And so we're very focused now on developing that program to be sure we cover all those areas. We've stood up down in Pensacola in our training command a center for language, regional expertise, and cultural awareness to help centralize how we train throughout the Navy on just those very particular areas.

The first test case of that is we're sending a riverine squadron over to Iraq, so they're getting language, they're getting the cultural piece, the tribal culture that exists over there, the obviously different ethnic backgrounds that we're reading about so much every day today. Making sure that they go in understanding the fundamentals of language and the fundamentals of culture within which they'll be expected to operate.

Mr. Morales: How is the Navy transforming its personnel function?

We will ask Vice Admiral John Harvey, Chief of Naval Personnel and Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Manpower, Personnel, Training, & Education, to discuss this with us when the conversation about management continues on The Business of Government Hour.

(Intermission)

Mr. Morales: Welcome back to The Business of Government Hour. I am your host, Albert Morales, and this morning's conversation is with Vice Admiral John Harvey, Chief of Naval Personnel and Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Manpower, Personnel, Training, & Education.

Also joining us in our conversation is Bob Bleimeister, partner in IBM's human capital practice.

Admiral, can you elaborate on how the Navy is transforming from the largely blue water force from the Cold War to a much more broadly and joined, engaged force to meet the challenge of an ever-changing world? And specifically, what are some of the key components in terms of infrastructure and force capability associated with this transformation?

VADM Harvey: Sure. The first and most important piece of that is that we stood up a naval expeditionary combat command that took all these types of forces that we found being used over the last four years to support our efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq, that aren't those mainline blue water forces that we all kind of grew up with and understand so well. So it's the CBs, or the construction battalions, civil affairs, the intelligence specialists or master at arms, the riverine force I talked about, maritime security, small boat detachments, and all these types of forces that we brought together in one command so that we can focus their efforts, their training, their development, and their deployment in the right way and what's demanded by our support of the joint fight.

When I took the job, if someone had told me three years ago that I'd have 10,000 sailors on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan today doing all kinds of missions that they're uniquely qualified to do in support of our fight there, I would have looked at you and said, "c'mon, go back where you came from." But it's true. We have 10,000 sailors on the ground doing all types of things, leading the electronic warfare battle against the IEDs, providing security at prisons, all the things that we're so talented in, that we have so much talent and so much ability to do, and providing that to the joint force in those areas. So a huge investment in our people, in our effort, and our resources to make that happen.

We have 180 sailors on provisional reconstruction teams high in the Hindu Kush in Afghanistan working to bring that country back into the 19th and 20th centuries from where the Taliban took them. So it's just amazing stuff that's going on and we have reorganized and reshaped and recruited and changed who we bring in and how we bring them in in order to be able to be relevant and ready and responsive to these demands that we're seeing now.

Mr. Morales: Admiral, could you describe for us some of the key retention and recruitment efforts being pursued by the U.S. Navy as it transforms itself to a leaner, more agile force?

VADM Harvey: One of the very big things to understand is that we were about 382,000 strong in November of 2002. Today, as I said at the outset of the show, we're about 350,000, and we're going to head down to about 340,000 at the end of this next fiscal year. So as you lean that force, you have to be far more precise in who you bring in and ensure you have the right skill sets available to you at the right time, because you won't have the luxury of just throwing numbers at a particular situation anymore. So we're very, very focused now on the right sailor coming in with that right skills set and qualifications, so that we can train them up and get them out and into the field or into the fleet where we need them right away.

The biggest challenge I have -- this is really with our special warfare communities, our SEALs -- the War on Terror, this long war that we're in now, has demanded a significant growth in our special warfare and special operations skills sets. You don't just go out and find a SEAL on the street here in Washington or anywhere else. We have to go out and find them. It takes a lot of effort, and then it takes a lot of effort for them to get through our training, as you might expect. So that's a very, very tough nut to crack for us -- increasing those numbers from where we are today to about twice the size of the force we have right now, and making that a reality that we sustain over the long haul. Our explosive ordnance disposal specialists, our special operations folks, again very, very unique skills sets, unique individuals, incredibly valued, so big changes for us in the skills sets that we're looking for, in addition to sustaining the ships and the aircraft that we've been doing for so long.

Mr. Morales: Admiral, if I may, on this topic of recruitment, what role do things like bonuses or other incentives, as well as the sailors' quality of life issues, enhance your ability to successfully recruit and retain these types of individuals?

VADM Harvey: Well, I think they're incredibly important. You can image that we have a sustained unemployment rate in this country now of about 4.75 percent, and that defines our recruiting battle space. The job creation market is very strong, and businesses are going for the same very talented young men and women that we are. So one thing that I can offer, though, is an incredible array of training that prepares these young men and women for a future that's theirs to make. And so to help focus that possibility for them, I have a very good array of bonuses that I can pay for enlistment, if you are the type of person we need in our nuclear propulsion plants, or for the SEALs, or for a wide variety of other skills sets, I can put a bonus out there, get their attention, talk to them about the training they're going to receive, the education, and what it means for their future, and generally when we get their attention, when we have this conversation, I can get a pretty good result out of that.

So the bonus structure enables, really helps us get the attention and get the conversation started. I don't think anybody truly just comes in for the money. They come in for the opportunity. That join the Navy, see the world, learn a skill, get educated, build for the future whether in the Navy or outside of it -- that's been true since John Paul Jones took the Bonhomme Richard to sea back in 1775, so it's true today.

Mr. Bleimeister: Admiral, I imagine there's a linkage between sailor and family-readiness and combat-readiness in the Navy as a whole. But with ongoing deployments, how is the Navy helping sailors and families maintain a balance?

VADM Harvey: Well, this is one of the great a-ha moments that we've had over the last couple years. With the increased pace of operations and the lack of predictability of operations in our post-9/11 world, we've recognized that the old paradigm that you took a set amount of time to get the ship ready, to get the sailor ready, and the family ready for deployment no longer meets the mark. What we have to do is get the sailors ready sooner individually, and keep them ready longer, and so that means that families need to be prepared as well sooner and maintained at a higher level of preparedness for short-notice deployments, or deployments that were thought to be going this long in this place and now they're going a different length of time in a different place.

So the family preparedness becomes equal to sailor readiness, which then becomes obviously equal to our unit readiness. So that's that whole paradigm we have to shift to, and we have to solve that equation together. You can't just focus on the sailor, you can't just focus on the ship, you need to focus on the family, the sailor, and the ship at the same time, get them all ready together, keep them ready longer, and make sure that we're paying equal attention to all component parts of our overall fleet readiness.

Mr. Bleimeister: And one of the components of readiness for the sailor, I imagine, is fitness. Can you talk a bit more about the Navy's culture of fitness initiative?

VADM Harvey: Absolutely. We talked about the lack of predictability in our lives right now, whether you're in the Navy or outside of it. And so one of the things we found was that in terms of being ready, we used to be on this long stair-step approach -- take a fitness test twice a year, check the block, and then go back to whatever your lifestyle was until a couple of weeks before the next fitness test. That doesn't meet it for our demands these days. So we have really refocused our commanding officers on saying, "you are responsible to have a program where your sailors are maintaining a much higher level of fitness across the board," and that means they have a better level of wellness across the board, because there's a direct correlation between your physical fitness and your ability to sustain it and your overall health, which has obvious impacts on your overall job performance over a career. So we want to be ready in a physically fit type of way. It's the foundation for getting back into this idea. Think about it -- I've got 10,000 sailors on the ground carrying 60-pound packs in 120 degree weather out there in the desert. You have to be fit to be able to do that. And you may not get a whole lot of notice that you're going to have to go do that. So we've refocused our efforts to say we want to be at a higher level of fitness across the board all the time than what we sustained in the past.

Mr. Morales: Admiral, the Navy has a commitment to maintaining personal links with its seriously injured sailors. To this end, would you tell us a little bit about the recently established Navy's Safe Harbor program?

VADM Harvey: Yes, as you could imagine, when you have some of our sailors -- and there are equivalent programs for all the services, and it's really the right thing to do -- you have some of these sailors who have been very severely injured in the events in Iraq and Afghanistan, and how do you bring them back? Not only just sustain them medically but help them rebuild their lives, rebuild their abilities to function in our society, and then fulfill our moral obligation to help them make whatever transitions they're going to have to make to get on with their future and keep their families in the equation as well? There's a wide array of things that these sailors and their families have to deal with. There are our own fleet and family service centers, there's the Department of Veterans Administration and the wide array of services that they offer, there's the Department of Defense, their pay, Department of Labor programs -- it's really a dizzying array of initiatives, policies and programs that you just can't dump somebody into and say, "Good luck and figure it all out."

So Safe Harbor keeps them within the family, and keeps us engaged with these sailors and their families, help them navigate this very, very difficult process they're going to have to follow, where either they're able to return to duty at the end of a long recovery/recuperation period or transition to another aspect in the civilian world and help them get off to a good start there. It's not simple, it's very challenging, it's demanding physically and emotionally. We owe them this, it's a Navy family thing, and we're going to stay with them right through 'til when they can take care of themselves on their own.

Mr. Morales: That's fantastic.

What does the future hold for the Navy? We will ask Vice Admiral John Harvey, Chief of Naval Personnel and Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Manpower, Personnel, Training, & Education, to discuss this with us when the conversation about management continues on The Business of Government Hour.

(Intermission)

Mr. Morales: Welcome back to The Business of Government Hour. I am your host, Albert Morales, and this morning's conversation is with Vice Admiral John Harvey, Chief of Naval Personnel and Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Manpower, Personnel, Training, & Education.

Also joining us in our conversation is Bob Bleimeister, partner in IBM's human capital practice.

Admiral, as you take a look over the next ten years, what type of personnel concerns do you think the U.S. Navy will face?

VADM Harvey: There are three big things that I focus on when we take our long look and try to match our people to the demands that the nation's going to place on our Navy. The first one is the changing nature of warfighting. Now, I'm not saying "the changing nature of warfare" -- that I think will stay pretty stable, but the characteristics of warfare obviously are changing -- have changed dramatically. And I think they will continue to do so. We face far more diverse, globally networked adversaries and families of adversaries -- state, non-state, loosely-allied, loosely-allianced actors -- it's a very dynamic situation. And so you're going to have to have a force that can deal with that. Not necessarily the set piece -- there's the Soviet navy, that's what we focus on, that's what we study, and you spend years and years studying that and focusing on that. We really have to widen our aperture and be far more flexible in our ability to understand the threats we face. And so we need people with different skills and knowledge and abilities to do that for us. So that's very important to me.

The second thing that's really important is the changing nature of the society that we serve, and the society from whom we draw our sailors. The demographics of this country are changing dramatically. It's not just a guess; the science of demographics really gives you some very good, hard results that are going to unfold -- a rapidly growing Hispanic population, the shrinking of our Caucasian young males in the age group between 18 and 25. So our methods of recruiting are going to have to change. We have a generational shift going on -- the millenials are coming in and the aging baby-boomers are on their way out, and Gen-X, and so we have to look at this new labor market, if you will, understand where our sailors are coming from, where the talent is, and how we reach that talent and not only bring it in to our Navy, but then make sure that they understand, these wonderful young men and women, that they have a future with us, with the kind of a Navy that we're going to be. So it's that whole nature of the people that's changing, and how we have to change as an organization to get the most out of them.

And then the third thing -- this is Washington so we're going to talk about money -- and what are the fiscal constraints that I'm going to be under. People are more expensive -- it's true in the Navy, it's true at IBM. Anywhere you look, people costs have just exploded over the last 10 to 15 years. I grew up in Baltimore, Maryland and I can remember this big huge industrial complex called the Sparrow's Point, Bethlehem Steel. It doesn't exist any longer, and it was done in partly because of extraordinary labor costs that were locked into the people and the way that their workforce was shaped. We can't afford to have something like that happen. We can't be a dinosaur and have a dinosaur approach to this, so we're going to have to find some pretty innovative ways of dealing with the fiscal constraints, the cost of people, the capabilities we have to deliver, and how we bring those together in a sustainable way for the future. So those are the three big ones that I spend a lot of time worrying about right now.

Mr. Morales: Let's talk a little bit about the base realignment and closure recommendations and the quadrennial defense review decisions. How is personnel and manpower involved in helping to ensure a seamless transition to new structures and missions while preserving its uniquely vital capabilities?

VADM Harvey: Well, this is really a pretty challenging process. One thing, I'm very glad that we had this base realignment closure. I fully understand a lot of the pain it can bring to individual regions, but if we haven't had this to rationalize our support structure, then I am using a lot of people doing things that don't return as much to the Navy in terms of capability as they should. So it's very, very important to us to get the most out of our people, to have the most efficient structure we have from all our supporting bases and installations. The QDR helped to clarify our future and what it is I need to focus on and what my priorities are. So it's given me that impetus to say, "okay, here's what we have to do more of; here's what I have to do less of," and then how we apportion our resources accordingly.

The one thing is that -- I'll take one exception to the wording -- is no transition to anything is ever seamless. If you talk about one of my lessons learned from 33 years, there are seams but how do you recognize them and how do you mitigate them? I think that's the key, and so it's how we work the people piece, how we work this process piece to be sure we're driven by the capabilities we must provide, and taking advantage of the technology, and then putting those together and saying, "okay, what is the infrastructure we require to deliver on these capabilities?" That's what the BRAC has given me, that's what the QDR has helped do for me, and then we're putting that together to make sure that we have that right balance between our capabilities, our force structure, our people structure, if you will, and the fiscal resources I have to sustain them.

Mr. Bleimeister: Admiral, with all this change going on, the Navy's civilian workforce is also going to undertake some transformation with DoD's National Security Personnel System. Could you tell us how NSPS will affect the Navy's civilian workforce?

VADM Harvey: Yes. You heard me use the words through the course of this interview "changing," "agile," "flexible," "adaptable," and "uncertain environment." Well, that applies to our civilian workforce as well. They face the same environment that the uniformed sailors do. So how do we best prepare them -- how do we help shape them to deal with that same type of uncertain world, with that same level of response that we require out of our sailors?

And I think this is what the national security personnel system, which is NSPS for short, does for us. It focuses on individual performance goals that are aligned with the organization's goals. Tell them why we need them to be performing at certain levels in certain areas. And so you keep the people aligned with the mission and aligned with the organization. I think that's a huge step forward. And then it gives me the ability to be far more agile in how I move this workforce around and put the capabilities that these wonderful people have against the problems we need to address. And so it gives you that kind of flexibility that's so important to us in the future. So I think this is tough, it's big change -- it is real deep change, but it is right change and it's the right thing to do.

Mr. Morales: Admiral, you've given us just a wonderful window into the exciting personnel transformations going on within the U.S. Navy. I'm going to give you an opportunity here to put on your recruiting hat and tell us, what advice would you give to a person who's interested in a career, say, in public service, especially in the military? And finally, what do you say to that young sailor out there about the career opportunities and climate of the future Navy?

VADM Harvey: Well, that's a terrific segue and I really appreciate this, because I do have some very deeply-held feelings about both those issues. Number 1, this is a democracy; it is a participatory democracy, and our armed forces across the board and our Navy will only be as strong as the investment that our people make in them. And the most crucial investment the people of the United States are going to make in their Navy is who they send to be in that Navy. And so recruiting is at the heart of everything we do. We need the best young men and women this country has to offer to defend this nation 365 days a year, around the globe, against a dazzling array of very, very deep and dangerous threats. So public service for me is service to your nation. I hope that people think about this and look at the enduring contribution that this Navy has made to this nation for the last 231 years. We are a maritime nation. Our commerce, our economy depends upon the free flow of goods and services and resources across the seas. It did in 1776 and it does today. So we need to make that investment, sustain that investment in our people, in our Navy. I think that's of paramount importance.

To the sailors today, they know and I want them to have confidence in our ability and our commitment to their future with us. They have extraordinary opportunities. We will invest in their training, we will invest in their education, and we will invest in their future. And we are committed to them being able to unlock all the opportunities and potential they have within them, to be the kind of person they want to be, to be the kind of sailor we need them to be, and to recognize that a future in the Navy is a bright one, it is a promising one, and one that offers them tremendous returns individually as well as the ability to say at the end of the day, "I served my nation, I served my Navy, I wore the uniform, and I did it proudly."

Mr. Morales: Admiral, thank you very much. Your passion is very exhilarating. Unfortunately, we have reached the end of our time, but I do want to thank you for fitting us into your busy schedule. But more importantly, Bob and I would like to thank you for your dedicated service to our country in all the roles you've held within the United States Navy.

VADM Harvey: Well, thanks very much. It was great pleasure to be here today, and I look forward to continuing this dialogue any time in the future.

Mr. Morales: Fantastic. This has been The Business of Government Hour, featuring a conversation with Vice Admiral John Harvey, Chief of Naval Personnel and Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Manpower, Personnel, Training, & Education.

Be sure and visit us on the web at businessofgovernment.org. There, you can learn more about our programs and get a transcript of today's conversation. Once again, that's businessofgovernment.org. As you enjoy the rest of your day, please take time to remember the men and women of our armed and civil services abroad who can't hear this morning's show on how we're improving our government but who deserve our unconditional respect and support.

For The Business of Government Hour, I'm Albert Morales. Thank you for listening.

Rear Admiral James J. Shannon interview

Friday, December 22nd, 2006 - 20:00
Phrase: 
The Navy and Marine Corps' move toward Open Architecture; Technical and engineering aspects...
Radio show date: 
Sat, 12/23/2006
Intro text: 
In this interview, Shannon discusses: his role as the U.S. Navy's major program manager for Future Combat Systems Open Architecture; Open Architecture defined; The Navy and Marine Corps' move toward Open Architecture; Technical and engineering aspects...
In this interview, Shannon discusses: his role as the U.S. Navy's major program manager for Future Combat Systems Open Architecture; Open Architecture defined; The Navy and Marine Corps' move toward Open Architecture; Technical and engineering aspects of Open Architecture; Business aspects of Open Architecture; and the Benefits and key accomplishments of Naval Open Architecture. Missions and Programs; Leadership; Strategic Thinking; Technology and E-Government; Collaboration: Networks and Partnerships
Complete transcript: 

Originally Broadcast Saturday, September 9, 2006

Arlington, Virginia

Mr. Morales: Good morning, and welcome to The Business of Government Hour. I'm Albert Morales, your host and managing partner of The IBM Center for The Business of Government. We created the Center in 1998 to encourage discussion and research into new approaches to improving government effectiveness. You can find out more about the Center by visiting us on the web at businessofgovernment.org.

The Business of Government Radio Hour features a conversation about management with a government executive who is changing the way government does business. Our special guest this morning is Captain James Shannon, Major Program Manager for Future Combat Systems Open Architecture of the United States Navy. Good morning, Captain.

Captain Shannon: Good morning. How are you doing?

Mr. Morales: And joining us in our conversation, is Bob Reeve, partner in IBM's DoD practice, and a retired officer of the Naval Supply Corps. Good morning, Bob.

Mr. Reeve: Good morning. Good morning, Captain.

Mr. Morales: Captain Shannon, for those who are unfamiliar with the Navy and Marine Corps acquisition community, can you briefly discuss the mission of the Program Executive Office Integrated Warfare Systems, otherwise known as PEO IWS?

Captain Shannon: Sure. PEO IWS, still fairly new PEO, and it's not necessarily a traditional PEO because in the past all of our programs were aligned to platforms. And in 2002, the Navy decided that they had to figure out a better way to integrate across ship platforms, aircraft, and even submarines, and PEO IWS was stood up. Then the leadership was Mr. John Young, who was the Service Acquisition Executive. And the focus for IWS is to ensure that there is commonality among systems in what we invest in across platforms, primarily on ships and submarines.

Mr. Morales: Great. Can you tell us about your role specifically as the Major Program Manger for Future Combat Systems Open Architecture?

Captain Shannon: Yes, again, because we're still a fairly young PEO, I was in the summer of 2004 the Deputy Program Manager for Integrated Combat Systems, which was the program that brought together all of our AEGIS combat system, every combat system we have on all of our ships and also other various and sundry associated programs. When Mr. Young, in that summer, came out with a new policy that required that all Navy programs had to become open, in the sense of adopting Open Architecture principles, we were not necessarily aligned or to do that we had to reorganize the PEO.

So, PEO IWS 7, Future Combat Systems Open Architecture, was created. And I had been the initial Major Program Manager for that. My role is to look across the family of systems in the Navy and not just a specific system. And by a family of systems, my responsibility is to see how aircraft work with ships, how any elevated sensor may pass information to other elevated sensors. So I tried to work those kind of integration challenges. I also look at future in missile defense threats, and make sure we have the right resources towards building programs towards those things. And what's taking up most of my time is what we're here to discuss today, is this open architecture policy.

Mr. Reeve: Captain, can you give us some background about yourself, and how your career path led you to become the program manager for OA?

Captain Shannon: Sure. I'm a surface warfare officer by profession, and spent most of my career going to sea, primarily in cruiser or destroyer platforms. Early in my career, I was an engineer, below-deck engineer. And as I became more senior and served in different ship platforms, different types of combat systems, my training kind of led to combat system development and training. Eventually I commanded two guided missile frigates, and in between my executive officer tour and my command tour, I became very interested in the acquisition of systems. I felt that I could contribute in that way. After my command, I led a project, the evolved Sea Sparrow missile, and I've had a couple of other projects since then, and it's led to this program manager job.

Mr. Reeve: Excellent. You talked a little bit about your role as the program manager, but can you expand on that and tell us what it's like to be the Navy OA Program Manger?

Captain Shannon: Well, I'm defining it day by day. In my role as the program manager for Open Architecture, I'm trying to help establish policy and processes that other program managers can use and adapt to use Open Architecture to help them move forward and follow through RDA's policy, RDA being the Service Acquisition Executive for Research Development and Acquisition. My role as a program manager is to be a leader, to understand the vision of the Navy leadership, and make sure the people on the deck plates can go out and execute the things that we're told to do. We're treading new ground here. We're blazing a new trail. We're learning everyday on how to do it, but my role is to try to manage people in processes and new developments, new systems, new hardware even, and see how we can share that information across programs.

Mr. Morales: Captain, I realize that we've now been talking a lot about your role in the program that you manage. But we haven't specifically addressed what is Open Architecture. When we use that term, exactly what does that mean and what are the business drivers behind Open Architecture?

Captain Shannon: Right. I love that question, by the way, because I think the best way to describe Open Architecture is first to ask what is a closed architecture. And by closed, it's an architecture that only the developer will share within its own specific community or within its own specific company. And it won't be shared outside of that company or outside of that program. When you start talking about opening things, you're letting non-traditional partners develop, and you're allowing some sort of collaboration to happen. So, there is no single architecture in the Navy. There are many architectures to do the various things that the Navy has to do. How we share these architectures, how we understand the interfaces between them is only going to happen as we open them up, and let people look in and see those interfaces. And so the role in Open Architecture is to make that happen.

Mr. Morales: So it sounds like this is really a fundamental shift in the thinking of the way systems are built.

Captain Shannon: It's a big change in the business model, not just for the Navy, but also for industry, and that's what makes it really hard because it requires a cultural change. First thing that people respond with is, what's wrong with the way we're doing it now? Because, don't we have a great Navy? Don't we have great programs in place? Why do you want to break something that's good? And that's tough to answer because the fact is we do have very good ships, we have very good systems and very good programs. But the challenge is not in terms of performance. The challenge is in terms of cost. We simply cannot afford the fleet that we want, and to do that, to get that fleet, we need to change the way we do business.

We have to change it in-house in the Navy, and we have to ask industry to follow us along the way. And that's tough for industry. You know, we're not trying to dismiss this as something that's not important, because industry relies on stockholder investment, it relies on them being able to prove that they're making a profit that they have the right revenue, and for us to simply say, "Change your business," is really not that easy to do. So we're trying to work with industry to do it, but I always try to describe things as either an issue or a problem, or a fact of life. And when you have a problem, that implies a solution. If there is no solution, you have a fact of life, and the way we are doing business today, it's a fact of life we have to change.

Mr. Morales: Great. How is the Navy moving toward Open Architecture across systems? We will ask Captain James Shannon to share with us when the conversation about management continues on The Business of Government Hour.

(Intermission)

Mr. Morales: Welcome back to The Business of Government Hour. I am your host, Albert Morales, and this morning's conversation is with Captain Jim Shannon, Major Program Manager for Future Combat Systems Open Architecture of the U.S. Navy. Also joining us in our conversation is Bob Reeve, partner in IBM's DoD practice. Captain Shannon, why did the Navy decide it needed to move towards Open System Architecture and when was that determined?

Captain Shannon: Well, first there has been, I think, a movement at first in the technical community for several years about moving towards Open Architecture. But nothing in government really moves until there is an instruction or a policy that comes out, and first it came from OSD. The Department of Defense came out with a policy towards Modular Open System Architecture, and some of the listeners may have heard of MOSA, which is the acronym for that. And that requires some sort of test or evaluation of a program before any one of its milestones, and they run through a tool to do that. And the group under acquisition technology, ATNL, OCATNL, they have a program called the Open System Joint Task Force, and they lead this MOSA strategy. So that's how we've been ongoing, but the Navy particularly started looking heavily at Open Architecture in the '90s.

First, it happened in the submarine community.There is a program called ARCI, Acoustic Rapid COTS Insertion, and the Navy had a challenge in that we had an increasing threat to be concerned about, and at the same time an affordability problem on our submarine systems. And the investment in submarine systems is, first always in safety and in the hull and mechanical and electrical part of it. And we had to do some trades, system trades, in the combat system piece of submarines. So they looked at the acoustic processing, and wanted to figure out how we can improve performance there. And so they tested Open Architecture in that program and it was successful over a period of time.

As we learned from that program, the surface Navy then realized that they needed to be able to take advantage of COTS processors. COTS is Commercial Off The Shelf processor, computing technology. And they had to get away from the monolithic legacy development that we have done so well, and is to perform well for us in many of our ships.

And through a series of meetings in the 2002-2003 time frame, the Navy realized that we shouldn't just focus on the surface Navy community of interest, but we had to approach this as an enterprise, really looking at the Navy as a business, and across the whole Navy. And so that's when PEO IWS got the role in 2004 officially to do that, and we set up this enterprise and broke it down across five different communities of interest.

We call them domains, but a community of interest is probably a better way to term it.

One community of interest is the surface. PEO IWS is the lead for that, and we work with the other PEOs, and PEO Ships, PEO Carriers, and PEO Littoral Mine Warfare. Then on the air community of interest, that's the other domain, and that's led by PEOT, and they work with the other PEOs in NAVAIR, the Naval Air community. And then it's a little bit easier to break up the domains for the next three. One is submarine or undersea warfare, and that's PEO Subs. Then there is communications, what we call, C4I & Space and that's the PEO out in San Diego. And finally, PEO Space. So those five communities of interest were set up, and that's when we kicked off the effort that I laid down.

Mr. Morales: Captain Shannon, by any measure, we've established our Navy as the most technologically advanced in the world. And you referenced the AEGIS combat system earlier, and you did talk about some of these points. But why do we need to change the way we're doing things today?

Captain Shannon: You've probably heard the term "stove-pipes" before. The computing infrastructure we have today in the fleet is performance-limited, and it's very expensive to upgrade. And by a stove-pipe system, it's built from the ground up, and it doesn't take into consideration like systems on other types of platforms. The reason we had to change is because that's just too expensive, and we had to figure out a way to take advantage of what's going on in the computing industry. Instead of relying on building our own computers, the question is why can't we take advantage of what we're witnessing out in industry? The demand for computers is so great, that the speed of computers, the processing capability of computers, is better than many of the computers that we had onboard ships to do some of our most difficult combat system problems. So it didn't make sense to continue down that path. It only made sense to take advantage of COTS processors.

Mr. Reeve: This sounds like an awfully large endeavor for one program manager to be responsible for, and I understand you've recently picked some additional duties as well. And your office is setting up the infrastructure that will help change the way the entire Navy enterprise does business. What other organizations are a part of the transformation effort, and how do you manage all of this?

Captain Shannon: You're right. You know, a captain, by himself or herself, cannot do this alone. It requires everybody in the Navy, especially from leadership, making sure that everybody at my level and below are working together. You mentioned that I have a new responsibility. The program manager in Integrated Combat Systems, Mr. Reuben Pitts, was detailed down to the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren Division, to work some organizational challenges down there. And my PEO, Admiral Frick moved me over to fill that gap. So my responsibility in that role is I'm responsible now for the computing infrastructure onboard all of our ships, and also the integration effort of our sensors and our weapons through that computing infrastructure.

Again, one person alone can't do this sort of thing. One of the things that we set up in the OA side of the house was something called the OA Enterprise Team. And it's among the five different communities of interest that I already said. We have representatives at the captain or senior government level, GS-15 level. And we meet regularly and discuss things often because each community of interest has their own path forward, and it's too hard and too unwieldy to make everybody travel down the same path together. Somehow, we have to share information where we can build synergy. At the same time, we need to be able to go off and do what we're chartered to do, whatever that may be.

So we set up this organization, the OA Enterprise Team, and from that enterprise team, we've been able to work out issues. And it has required a lot of the typical new organizational challenges, the storm and form and norm kind of thing. But after two years a lot of same people are still around. We're working very well together. We've built a trust. It's, you know, like any family, sometimes there are problems, and sometimes we have to work out those problems. But the thing is we are all headed down the path together, and so that's the good news.

Mr. Reeve: What are the technical and engineering aspects of developing an open system architecture?

Captain Shannon: Well, I kind of described the legacy systems that you had, and when you have a closed architecture, typically the applications, the algorithms, the codes, the source code that's tied to that closed system are unique to that system alone. It might be a specific language. It may be some nuance just associated to that specific system. When you say, "Okay, we want to introduce COTS into the combat systems onboard our airplanes, and submarines, and ships," the companies out there, they're building computers today like Dell or IBM, or any other company like that, you know, they're not building military applications and selling them out to the general consumer.

So we have legacy applications which are unique military applications that we have to then write onboard these COTS processors. So the challenge there is how you make that happen, how do you translate the languages of something very unique and military-specific to write on something that's designed to be used maybe even in the workplace with a commercial technology. The way we do it today is first by breaking apart the operating system code from the unique military code, and we're using Middleware to do that. And we've been fairly successful in doing that. Even in the AEGIS Combat System today, the most recent baseline, they've been able to test that and out in the fleet today actually have systems that are open in the sense of modular openness. Not total business openness, but certainly in the technical side.

Mr. Reeve: And is OA just technical, or are there business aspects or business architecture that goes along with that?

Captain Shannon: No, again, I probably didn't say that well enough in earlier questions, but that was probably the biggest thing that we learned when we set up this OA process. When I took on the job and talked to many industry leaders and people within the Navy, and various engineers, they said, "Hey Jim, all you have to do is get the standards down. Just get the standards straight, and everything will solve itself." They made it sound very easy to me and actually very attractive. Unfortunately, nothing is that easy. And I found soon enough that that technical solution is exactly the way people have tried to approach it for several years, and they were failing because that's all they were trying to do.

Business in industry does exactly what we tell them to do, and they do it well. And that happens only by getting your contract language correct, your business models correct, and setting it up in the way that makes the ultimate product successful. The industry has always done exactly what we've asked them to do. But we have not asked them contractually to open up their business lines, and they're not going to do that until we get that business part set up. There is no forcing function. There is no incentive. There is no way to award them for that type of behavior that we want. So we have to change the business model as well. And it turns out, that's probably one of the key things in this whole policy as we move forward.

Mr. Morales: Typically, we also hear the words "Net-centricity" and "Interoperability." And it sounds like optimally that this effort around Open Architecture would extend beyond just the Navy and Marine Corps. And that the Army, Air Force, and other national defense and intelligence agencies should be doing projects like these as well. Are they, and do you work with them regularly?

Captain Shannon: Yes, and yes. Let me describe it this way. A few years back you may have heard the term Sea Power 21 when Admiral Clark came out for the future of the Navy, and kind of gave us a strategy to focus on the Navy of the future. And one of the elements in that was something called FORCEnet. And people at times have a very difficult time describing what FORCEnet is, but there's really a simple definition for it. FORCEnet is the integration of people and systems, and systems of systems, and family of systems to give some sort of distributive capability by the latter half of next decade.

So when this policy came out or when this strategy came out, there was time to figure what this all meant because we weren't even working the Palm processes or the budgeting process for the latter half of next decade, but we are doing that now. And the budget cycle that starts in 2008, it ends in 2013. And what you build in 2013 gets fielded in 2015, latter half of next decade. So with FORCEnet, the focus there is on this distributive capability which requires some level of interoperability. But you cannot engineer FORCEnet. It's too futuristic. It's something that we still truly do not understand. So you need some sort of tool. You need some sort of enablers to make FORCEnet happen, and Open Architecture is certainly one of those enablers, maybe not the only one, but we're out front on Open Architecture, and it's going to help us along the way.

Mr. Morales: Great. How is the current budget environment impacting the Navy system development efforts? We will ask Captain Jim Shannon, Major Program Manager for Future Combat Systems Open Architecture of the U.S. Navy, to explain this to us when the conversation about management continues on The Business of Government Hour.

(Intermission)

Mr. Morales: Welcome back to The Business of Government Hour. I am your host Albert Morales, and this morning's conversation is with Captain Jim Shannon, Major Program Manager for Future Combat Systems Open Architecture in the U.S. Navy. Also joining us in our conversation is Bob Reeve, partner in IBM's DoD practice. Captain, what is the Navy's current budget, and how much do you expect the Navy to save through Open Architecture?

Captain Shannon: Navy's budget, what's appropriated, and really anyone of your listeners can get this information off the Internet I'm sure, is about $30 billion per year. That's in the fiscal year 2006 National Defense Authorization Act, and I think in 2007 it's going to be roughly the same amount. There is no single dollar amount in savings to the Navy that we'll be able to directly attribute to the implementation of Open Architecture. In fact, when you talk about Open Architecture and return on investment, sometimes people are overly sensitive. They're looking for cost savings to move money around and spend it on other things, but there are other ways to measure return on investment that Open Architecture can help.

And we've already talked about one of them, which is interoperability. Certainly greater interoperability is a return on investment. Cost avoidance is a return on investment. There's different ways to measure it, and one of my challenges is to come up with those metrics, which we're trying to develop now.

Mr. Morales: Are you beginning to see, in fact, some of these benefits as you deploy this program? And if not, what are some of the key accomplishments and specific efforts of the OA approach?

Captain Shannon: There are pockets of goodness throughout the Navy in Open Architecture, and I don't want to come off sounding like I'm the first one to be really leading the way in Open Architecture. There have been program managers before me who already understood the benefits of it and have preceded down a path to make Open Architecture work for them.

I already talked about the program ARCI, or A-R-C-I, the Acoustic Rapid COTS Insertion program. It's already there. They're leading the path, and actually they've evolved that into the Virginia class submarine combat system processes. So we're seeing that happen. We're seeing great return on investment in those areas. And in other programs, we're coming along the way. The Advanced Hawkeye Program, the E2Delta -- that's its designation. They've made some tremendous strides in mission computer development using the tenets of Open Architecture. And I would say, in most things involving the anti-submarine warfare communities of interest, they tend to be blazing the trail there because of what they learned from ARCI. And that is now crossing into the surface ship Navy because of sharing of information, being more open, and making our overall performance in synergy and undersea warfare across any kind of platform, because of this openness, improved.

So I'm seeing that. As far as key accomplishments go, I kind of just hit on a couple, but we've recently come out with a program manager's guide. In fact, it's on our website. But through this program manager's guide, which we just released, we had our legal and contract community to help us develop these guidelines, so that everybody has an equal understanding of what kind of things the Navy is looking for in terms of Open Architecture.

From that, and from all the efforts that led to that program manager's guide, we've seen improved coordination with and across domains to better aligned programs, and develop their domain-specific Open Architecture roadmaps. For example, the C4I domain is synchronizing requirements with resources and mapping programs to joint capability areas to better support Open Architecture. The air and surface domains are undertaking similar efforts. We are really working to build an enterprise view of Open Architecture. So we're learning as we go. And like I said, today there are many pockets of goodness. What we need is an enterprise view, and we're still not there yet.

Mr. Reeve: Navy and Marine Corps ships, planes, ground vehicles, and the accompanying combat systems last a long time. You mentioned the ARCI program. Is this the approach about how you integrate those platforms that are already in service as opposed to just working on the new systems in the future?

Captain Shannon: Yes, that technology insertion is really one of the fruits of our labor. We have to figure out a way to not just focus on new development, but also the legacy systems that we have. I actually don't like the word legacy. It implies old and used. Many of our ships and platforms are going to be around for many years. And we have to make sure that we have the tactical edge with these systems. We have to make sure that our sailors are on ships that are safe and can perform, whatever the threat may be. So we are trying to determine where are the opportunities to open up these systems.

In the surface Navy, we're looking at the AEGIS computing plan. We're focusing first on just breaking apart the hardware from the legacy applications. I mentioned that earlier. And we're finding success in that. But we're maybe not moving as fast as we would like to, and we have to, as we understand the technical openness and we are learning more about the business openness, we're moving out even faster. We're at a time now where we have to step on the accelerator in this process, and really take advantage of the opportunity. There are great challenges in budgeting. The whole nation is feeling these challenges and the Navy owes it to the nation to figure out the best and most efficient way to invest in our ships and airplanes and submarines.

Mr. Reeve: How does the Navy then evaluate which programs can cost-effectively be migrated over to open systems? You know, which programs are these that you're working on today?

Captain Shannon: Super question. One of the ways we are addressing that is we came up with something called the Open Architecture Assessment Model. This model was agreed upon throughout the Navy in the winter of 2005. And to make this model easier and user-friendly for program managers, we came up with a tool, the open architecture assessment tool, which helps baseline any discussion in terms of openness. So every program in the Navy has to run through this tool and from this tool you get a sense of how open you are on both the business and technical side. Any of our listeners will be able to have access to this tool through our website and I'll even say the website right now, just it's acc.dau.mil/oa and that anybody could get into that website and you can look at this tool and it walks you through, it's user friendly, and it gives you a sense of the questions that we're asking.

From that, a program manager then has to make a business case if he or she finds out that, "Hey, I'm not as open as I thought I was," or, "I may be less relevant if I don't open up more." They have to make a business case to move forward and that's the traditional way that program managers compete among themselves on where should the investment be. But in Open Architecture, as you open up and share information, the idea is to do your system engineering and make your trades in a more global manner.

To be able to make them so that everyone understands why this trade is better than that trade instead fighting each other to get the resources you need, making the best decision based on sharing of information and good collaboration, making the right investment decision. And that's going to be a great benefit and a change in the business model that the Navy should see.

Mr. Morales: Captain Shannon, we've talked a lot about the technical aspects of OA. We've even touched upon some of the business aspects. However, I would imagine that it takes significant amount of organizational and cultural change throughout an organization like the Navy and the Marine Corps to really bring this to life. What are you doing to help change behavior within the Navy? And I don't mean you specifically.

Captain Shannon: Yes. Well, it's very hard. Cultural change is always difficult. You see it your whole life, you see it as you grow up, you see how some people are left behind just because they won't make a change. We're working through a variety of outreach programs. Coming here today and talking to you is one way. Going to conferences is another way. Putting out the program manager's guide.

We've also developed a continuous learning module that Defense Acquisition University has helped us develop. That all of our workforce could get actual two hours of credit because we have the counseling due training and they could do that at home on a web-based tool. We have worked with the Naval Post Graduate School and one of their system engineering curriculums has adopted a lot of the things that we are advocating and actually getting some of our young officers to understand Open Architecture and how they can apply it.

So, you have to start at a young level. You have to get your current work force to change. And you have to go out and talk and help people understand what you're doing. It's not easy. But education training and a lot of outreach to our industry partners is important. And hearing good news and good stories from industry partners who have been successful by opening up their systems.

You know, that's always fun when I can sit in a room with a specific company who says, "I don't understand I could do it." I can say, "Hey, company X, you need to talk to company Y because they did it and if they could do it, why can't you do it?" And there's no one way to skin this cat. It's just a matter of trust, it's a matter of understanding that we have to get a little greater balance between intellectual property and intellectual capital.

Mr. Morales: It's interesting you bring that up, because based on what you've told us so far, it sounds like it's not just the Navy personnel that need to change, but really the entire defense industry that develops and builds these security systems as well. What has been the reaction so far of industry as you move down this path?

Captain Shannon: To answer that question, depends on which industry member you're talking about. All of them are listening. Some are more cautious. Some are very excited. Small business today is very excited at the opportunities to get into system designs or system work that they before felt that they were not allowed to get into. We are working this together. We're trying to understand the challenges that industry is facing. But they're listening to us and they're trying to answer our needs.

Mr. Morales: As you mentioned earlier, it's certainly a partnership, right?

Captain Shannon: It is definitely a partnership. We can't be successful without industry being successful. That's important. And everybody understands that in the Navy. You know, we don't want to see businesses suffer. We don't want to see companies suffer. But this is also a national problem. It's bigger than any individual company. It's bigger than the Navy. We have to change the way we do that for us to remain the edge that this nation is used to.

Mr. Morales: What does the future hold for Navy systems? We will ask Captain Jim Shannon, major program manager for Future Combat Systems Open Architecture in the U.S. Navy to discuss this with us when the conversation about management continues on The Business of Government Hour.

(Intermission)

Mr. Morales: Welcome back to The Business of Government Hour. I'm your host, Albert Morales, and this morning's conversation is with Captain Jim Shannon, major program manager for Future Combat Systems Open Architecture of the U.S. Navy. Also joining us on our conversation is Bob Reeve, partner in IBM's DoD practice. Captain Shannon, what are the major challenges that you see our Navy and military in general facing over the next ten years?

Captain Shannon: The biggest thing, and you read this in the paper, it's weapons proliferation. Proliferation of rapidly advanced weapons systems based on low cost, ubiquitous technologies in the hands of unstable entities. I mean, we read about it in the paper every day. Potential enemies that are flexible and dynamic. That's what we're dealing with in the improvised explosive device challenge that we have in Iraq. Rising cost of our weapons systems to counter those threats. I think that in a nutshell is what the public reads about every day.

Mr. Morales: So this really is a lot of the impetus behind OA. So what are some of the biggest obstacles that you've encountered in your efforts to implement OA and can you share some of the lessons learned?

Captain Shannon: The most significant obstacle is frankly the fear of change, of the unknown. Naval Open Architecture and the things that we've been talking about today is disruptive. It represents a new business model for how our Navy acquires complicated systems. It requires a new way of designing these systems and demands new skills and processes from a wide variety of stakeholders. Communication is a critical element of change. Communication and documentation, I guess, for that matter.

Today, we've conducted a couple Open Architecture industry days. We've spoken to numerous conferences. We've held and attended symposia, and we've created and maintained a public Open Architecture website that had seen over 13,000 hits. And that's only 11 months since when we started it. So that's how we're learning from it, that's how we're implementing it.

Mr. Reeve: How does OA fit in with all the changes to, and modernization of the military that the Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, is interested in implementing?

Captain Shannon: Open Architecture directly supports defense modernization and simply put, we cannot continue to do the business the way it's done today. That's the message I'm giving you. Open Architecture breeds innovation. It breeds competition. It ensures that we get the best product out there at the right time. Beyond the considerations of affordability, the traditional way of doing business simply cannot react fast enough to get the new capability in the hands of our war fighters as quickly as it is needed in the world environment we have today.

Today's environment is different than the environment that I came in. When I was a young officer, I came in and there was a single threat. It was the Cold War. And what we face today is much more complex. The integration of all these challenges and all these threats and trying to solve these problems, I refer to as the mother of all calculus problems. It's incredible and it's hard and we need Open Architecture to enable us to solve these problems.

Mr. Reeve: Captain, you talked about innovation and competitiveness, and there is a lot of talk nowadays about how important that is to business and to American global competitiveness. That sounds like it fits very well with what you're trying to do in the OA movement. Does OA enable or inhibit that innovation and how can smaller firms -- as you mentioned, they're excited about this -- how do they participate in this movement?

Captain Shannon: Well, by adopting Open Architecture, the Navy and Marine Corps will be able to take advantage of the substantial ongoing investments by commercial industry that's driving advances in many areas in the computing technology. And I kind of hit on that earlier. Open standards and open business practices will lead to better compatibility between the Navy systems and the available COTS technology, the commercial, off the shelf products I mentioned earlier.

And improving compatibility will result in opening competition up to many new providers. Our efforts are focused at opening up opportunities for any qualified vendor to participate. Now the term, when I say "qualified," it's just not anybody coming off the street. There are certain qualifications that are listed in our federal acquisition regulations. But any qualified vendor, and any-sized company should be able to play.

Sometimes I hear people say, "We need small business," and I actually say, "any business." I like competition. David-and-Goliath-type competition is okay. The point is to get the best product out there. It's important that modular software components with fully disclosed interfaces give us the agility and ability for us to get the product that we need. When we talk about Open Architecture, I'm not talking about getting the source code or the niche product or that thing that's truly intellectual property out there.

I don't think that's fair to any company. But the interfaces to those modular systems we need to understand. The government should own the data to do that. We should be able to just provide that information to anybody we want to and we are walking down that path. We're trying to understand how to build our repository or our library, if you will. And this library will require people to have a library card. Some kind of qualification just like when you get a book out, you have to be a citizen of that town where you are.

Well, we need some sort of qualification and somebody comes in and we'll sign out a license and share this information with them, and the government ought to be able to that. And it shouldn't be by program. It should be across all programs. And we don't have that today. And that's one of the challenges in the requirement that I'm trying to define for leaderships, so that we understand how to do that.

Mr. Morales: Captain Shannon, you've enjoyed a very distinguished career in the U.S. Navy and in public service. And I understand that your son is embarking on an equally distinguished career. What advice could you give to any individual out there who is perhaps interested in a career in public service?

Captain Shannon: You mentioned my son. He's a midshipman at the Naval Academy. I'm really proud of where he is going and he joined the Navy in spite of anything I've done wrong in the past. So I'm really happy with that. But my advice to anybody who wants to embark on public service is public service is not just the military service. There are many ways to serve the public and it doesn't always have to be in a government position. You could serve the public by coaching a little league team or a soccer team.

I have three children, actually, and I tell all of them that they need to serve in some way and they need to dedicate their life with some level of service. Because that is the only way that we can work together, that we can survive as a community. So my advice is figure out what your talents are and figure out how to share those talents, and if government service is the way to do it, I encourage you to do it. And there is civilian government service as well. And in the business I'm in, there is more civilian government servants that there are military government servants.

Mr. Morales: Great. That's an excellent perspective. Unfortunately, we have reached the end of our time and so I do want to thank you for joining us this morning. But more importantly, Bob and I would to thank you for your dedicated service to the public and our country in the various roles you've held in the U.S. Navy.

Captain Shannon: Thank you very much for having me. This was a great opportunity for me to help get the message out. I'm proud to be in the Navy and I'm proud to continue to serve and help the Navy get on this path. I'd like the listeners just to write down this website if you didn't have an opportunity to do that already. The website is acc.dau.mil/oa. And thank you again.

Mr. Morales: This has been The Business of Government Hour featuring a conversation with Captain Jim Shannon, Major Program Manager for Future Combat Systems Open Architecture in the U.S. Navy. Be sure to visit us on the web at businessofgovernment.org. There you can learn more about our programs and get a transcript of today's conversation. Once again, that's businessofgovernment.org.

As you enjoy the rest of your day, please take time to remember the men and women of our armed and civil services abroad who can't hear this morning's show on how we're improving their government, but who deserve our unconditional respect and support. For The Business of Government Hour, I'm Albert Morales. Thank you for listening.