Ignoring budget caps, Navy issues new call for larger fleet By Jared Serbu | @jserbuWFED December 19, 2016 5:30 am


Almost exactly one year ago, Defense Secretary Ash Carter rebuked his Navy secretary, Ray Mabus, for submitting budget plans that Carter believed put too much emphasis on quantity over quality. Mabus evidently hasn’t been persuaded: the final force structure assessment prepared under his watch calls for a significantly bigger fleet than the Navy’s own growth plans called for two years ago.

The 2016 update to the Navy Force Structure Assessment, sent to Congress last week, asserts the service needs a fleet of 355 ships in order to adequately perform its missions. That’s a big change from the 2014 plan of 308 ships the Navy has been building toward.

Importantly though, officials fully acknowledge that the bigger Navy would be too expensive to fit within the governmentwide budget caps that have been in place since 2012 and will remain through 2021 unless Congress eliminates or raises them.

3-day work week for DC area feds due to inauguration.

The Navy said in a statement that the new force structure assessment “was not constrained by Budget Control Act funding levels” but insisted that “if funded, this plan is executable, as each ship class called for in the FSA has an active shipbuilding line already up and running.”

warships instead of 88 and 66 attack submarines instead of 48.

“To continue to protect America and defend our strategic interests around the world, all while continuing the counter-terrorism fight and appropriately competing with a growing China and resurgent Russia, our Navy must continue to grow,” Mabus said in a statement. “All of the analysis done to date, inside and outside of the Navy, recognizes, as we have for nearly the last eight years, the need for a larger fleet. That is why, working with Congress and our partners in industry, we have successfully reversed the decline in shipbuilding that occurred from 2001-2009, putting 86 ships under contract over the last seven years. Maintaining this momentum, and the cost-saving business practices we have established, will be critical to ensuring the Navy is able to achieve the FSA-recommended fleet size.”

During public speeches and interviews, Mabus often touts his success in increasing Navy shipbuilding during his unusually long tenure.

But he may have felt more free to recommend a larger fleet not only because this is the last assessment of his career as secretary, but also because it aligns closely with what little President-elect Donald Trump has said about his plans for Defense. Trump called for a 350-ship Navy during the presidential campaign, along with a larger Navy and Marine Corps.

Assuming lawmakers find a way to manage around or completely ignore the deficit reduction imperatives that prompted the Budget Control Act in the first place, the plan is also likely to get support in the upcoming Republican-controlled Congress.

“This force structure assessment is long overdue, but welcome news for America’s national security,” said Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), the chairman of the Armed Services Committee. “At a time when our adversaries are investing in weapons systems and engaging in aggressive behavior, this strategy, if implemented, will help boost our fleet, support our security, and send a strong signal to allies and enemies alike that American naval power remains a key element of our defense.”

Defense Bill Includes Biggest Military Pay Raise in 5 Years

Stars and Stripes | Nov 29, 2016 |

WASHINGTON — Troops would get their biggest pay raise in years under the final version of Congress’ annual defense policy bill unveiled Tuesday.

The 2.1 percent increase included in the National Defense Authorization Act would break a five-year trend of raises that have fallen below the private sector. The higher pay would go into effect Jan. 1 if the bill is passed by Congress, and it could receive an initial vote in the House on Friday.

The massive $618.7 billion policy bill also includes $3.2 billion to boost troop numbers and bolster Marine Corps and Air Force aviation, a military health care overhaul and a requirement to study whether women should be included in the military draft.

The NDAA was hashed out during months of negotiations between the House and Senate, which had disagreed about an $18 billion spending hike for the military. The proposal was pared down in the final bill, but the $3.2 billion increase could run into opposition from Democrats, who have demanded any additional defense spending be matched with dollars for domestic programs.

Military pay raises have been kept below 2 percent since 2011. Meanwhile, troops and families have been stressed by deployments, aging equipment and shrinking overall defense spending.

The National Military Family Association has said troops are being “nickel-and-dimed” and that a higher pay raise is among its top priorities.

The language in the NDAA overrides President Barack Obama’s order to set pay raises at 1.6 percent in 2017, which was a slight increase over the president’s decision to keep raises at 1.3 percent this year.

The bill also freezes a drawdown in the Army, keeping its end strength at 476,000, and boosts Reserve forces by 4,000. The Marine Corps would get 3,000 more troops, according to a briefing on the bill by senior aides with the House Armed Services Committee.

The House aides said the additional $3.2 billion will also help fill gaps in military readiness especially for the Air Force and Marine Corps, which have maintenance and training problems with F-18 fighter jets and CH-53 helicopters.

Tricare, the military’s health care program, would be overhauled to shore up its financial future and expand some access to health care facilities, according to the House briefing.

“We do raise the co-pays and fees on the next generation of military,” a senior aide said.

Active-duty troops and current retirees would not be affected by the fee increases. But service members who join the military beginning in 2017 will face higher costs for themselves and their beneficiaries when they retire.

The House and Senate conference committee rejected a proposal to require women between 18-25 years old to register with the Selective Service, as men are now required to do. The Selective Service could be used if the United States reinstitutes the military draft, which for now remains an unlikely scenario.

The proposal raised the ire of some conservative lawmakers, and the NDAA instead calls for a study of the issue, which was a proposal favored by the House.

Link to Full Article: http://www.military.com/daily-news/2016/11/29/defense-bill-includes-biggest-military-pay-raise-in-5-years.html

U.S. Navy Gives Look Inside $4.4B Futuristic ZUMWALT Desroyer



Navy Adjusts LCS Class Crewing, Readiness and Employment

From Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet

SAN DIEGO (NNS) — The Navy announced Sept. 8 it will implement several key changes to the projected 28-ship littoral combat ship (LCS) Flight 0/0+ class over the next five years that will simplify crewing, stabilize testing and increase overseas deployment presence availability.

The projected 12 Frigates will be the next increment of LCS and will use the same manning, training, maintenance and operating concepts as those that have been approved as part of the LCS review. The decision to make these changes resulted from a comprehensive review of LCS crewing, training, maintenance and operations commissioned in March. While a total of 40 ships have been approved for the program, the Navy Force Structure Assessment still projects the need for 52 small surface combatants that LCS and Frigate address.

Beginning this fall, the Navy will start to phase out the 3:2:1 crewing construct and transition to a Blue/Gold model similar to the one used in crewing Ballistic Missile submarines, patrol craft and minesweepers. The LCS crews will also merge, train and rotate with mission module detachment crews, organizing as four-ship divisions of a single warfare area–either surface warfare (SUW), mine warfare (MCM) or anti-submarine warfare (ASW). Though organized this way, the LCS class will retain the technological benefits of modularity and the ability to swap mission packages quickly if needed. Aviation detachments will also deploy with the same LCS crew, but will remain assigned to their respective squadrons when in home port.

To facilitate these changes across the class, the Navy will eventually homeport Independence-variant ships in San Diego and Freedom-variant ships in Mayport, Florida, 24 of the 28 LCS ships will form into six divisions with three divisions on each coast. Each division will have a single warfare focus and the crews and mission module detachments will be fused. Each division will consist of three Blue/Gold-crewed ships that deploy overseas and one single-crewed training ship. Under this construct, each division’s training ship will remain available locally to certify crews preparing to deploy. Few homeport shifts will be needed since only six LCS are currently commissioned while the rest are under contract, in construction or in a pre-commissioned unit status.

The first four LCS ships (LCS 1-4) will become testing ships. Like the training ships, testing ships will be single-crewed and could be deployed as fleet assets if needed on a limited basis; however, their primary purpose will be to satisfy near and long term testing requirements for the entire LCS class without affecting ongoing deployment rotations. This approach accommodates spiral development and rapid deployment of emerging weapons and delivery systems to the fleet without disrupting operational schedules.

Implementing these changes now and as more LCS ships are commissioned over the coming years will ultimately allow the Navy to deploy more ships, increasing overall forward presence. With the Blue/Gold model in place, three out of four ships will be available for deployment compared with one out of two under 3:2:1. The Blue/Gold model will also simplify ownership of maintenance responsibilities and enhance continuity as the same two crews rotate on a single ship. Single-crewed training ships will complement shore-based training facilities and ensure crews have enough time at sea before deployment. The findings and recommendations of the LCS review will allow the LCS program to become more survivable, lethal and adaptable as the LCS become regular workhorses in the fleet.

“As we implement these changes, we will continue to make iterative adjustments and improvements based on evolving fleet requirements and technological developments,” said Vice Adm. Tom Rowden, commander, Naval Surface Forces. “Implementing the approved recommendations from this review and continuing to examine other areas for improvement will better position the LCS program for success – both now and in the future.”

For more news from Commander, Naval Surface Forces, visit www.public.navy.mil/surfor or follow the Surface Force at www.facebook.com/SurfaceWarriors and on Twitter @surfacewarriors

For more news from Naval Surface Forces, visit www.navy.mil/local/cnsp/.

Zumwalt Headed to San Diego After Commissioning By Brad Graves – SDBJ Staff

The U.S. Navy plans to send its futuristic destroyer Zumwalt to San Diego after the ship’s Oct. 15 commissioning ceremony in Baltimore.

In anticipation of the move, the Navy awarded shipbuilder General Dynamics Bath Iron Works an $8.75 million contract modification covering products and shipyard services. Half of the work will go to San Diego while the other half will go to Bath, Maine.

The deal, announced Aug. 22, is a modification to a previously awarded construction contract. It covers “post hull, mechanical and electrical sail way, transit and post-delivery advanced planning support efforts,” according to the Pentagon notice. Among the items covered by the contract modification are shore support, “sail around support” for the trip to San Diego, unspecified industrial work, logistics support, spare parts and unspecified long lead-time material. Work will run through July 2017.

The Zumwalt is also known by its hull number, DDG 1000. The Navy plans to build three of the destroyers. At one time, the Navy planned to build 30.

Source: http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local/Zumwalt-Headed-to-San-Diego-After-Commissioning-391167992.html#ixzz4IMRsOhOg

Navy Announces Elimination of NWU Type I


Story Number: NNS160804-12Release Date: 8/4/2016 3:50:00 PM
From Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) — Today, the Navy announced in NAVADMIN 174/16 that it will transition from the Navy Working Uniform (NWU) Type I to the NWU Type III as the service’s primary shore working uniform beginning Oct. 1, 2016.

Over the next three years, Sailors may wear either the NWU Type I or III, but effective Oct. 1, 2019, all Sailors will be expected to wear the NWU Type III as their primary Working Uniform when ashore or in port.

While the Navy is developing an incremental regional fielding plan for the NWU Type III, this transition period will give Sailors time to prepare for the change and allow them to get maximum wear out of recently purchased NWU Type I uniforms.

“As the CNO and I travel to see Sailors deployed around the world, one of the issues they consistently want to talk about are uniforms,” said Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus. “They want uniforms that are comfortable, lightweight, breathable … and they want fewer of them. We have heard the feedback and we are acting on it. As a direct result of Sailors’ input, effective Oct. 1, we will transition from the NWU Type I to the NWU Type III as our primary shore working uniform.”

This change is the first step in a multi-phased process that will streamline and consolidate the Navy’s uniform requirements, and ultimately improve uniformity across the force. The Navy has listened to Sailors’ feedback and is incorporating their desires to have a working uniform that is better fitting, more breathable and lighter weight.

NWU Type III will be issued to new accessions and recruits beginning Oct. 1, 2017.

Until further policy guidance is promulgated, black boots will be the standard boot worn in the United States and its territories with the NWU Type III. However, expeditionary forces in the United States or any forward deployed forces may wear the desert tan or coyote brown boots at the discretion of the unit commanding officer with the NWU Type III. Additionally, Sailors may wear the NWU Type I black fleece liner.

Sailors will be able to buy NWU Type III components for personal wear through Navy Exchange uniform stores and call centers once there is sufficient inventory on hand.

U.S. Fleet Forces Command (FFC) continues its multi-phase wear test of improved flame resistant variant (IFRV) working uniform components, for shipboard wear. FFC most recently conducted in-depth focus groups with fleet Sailors aimed at refining the design of the IFRV coverall. Additional feedback from the focus groups, subsequently validated by a senior level working group, resulted in the preliminary design of a more professional looking two-piece utility shipboard uniform that can be worn both at sea and operational support jobs ashore. Wear tests of the prototype two-piece variants are expected to occur in 2017.

Also announced in NAVADMIN 174/16:
* The Navy will transition to the black Cold Weather Parka (CWP) starting Oct. 1, 2018, as outerwear with the Service and Service Dress Uniform. Navy All Weather Coat, Pea Coat and Reefer coat will become optional items. Mandatory wear date for the parka is Oct. 1, 2020.
* Women, E7 and above, are now authorized to wear men’s uniform khaki pants without the belt and buckle with the khaki over blouse. Gig-line issues prevent wear of the male slacks with the tuck-in shirt.
* The rollout date of the male Service Dress Blue uniform at Recruit Training Command has been moved to Oct. 1, 2017, due to manufacturing delays. This change also aligns the uniform release with the introduction of the new E1-E6 Service Dress Whites.
* Navy sweat shirt and pants logo has been replaced with silver reflective lettering “NAVY,” which is similar to the logo on the Navy Physical Training Uniform shirt and shorts. The sweatshirt and pants are now available for purchase at Navy Exchange uniform centers.
* Commands may now authorize the wear of a “Don’t Tread on Me” and Reverse U.S. Flag patches on NWU Type II and Type III.
* Approval for the replacement of the Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewman (SWCC) insignia. Going forward, there will be three separate insignias to denote a Sailor’s specific qualification level, which are SWCC basic, SWCC senior and SWCC master. The implementation date is Aug. 19, 2016, with a mandatory wear date of Oct. 1, 2016.
* The Navy Uniform Matters Office is in the process of redesigning their website to enhance the dissemination and information regarding recent uniform changes. We expect the site to be running in the coming months.

The Navy continues to conduct a wear test of new women’s khaki pants and is developing options to improve the sizing of women’s khaki pants for E7 and above. We expect that the new women’s khaki pants will be available for purchase in late 2017 or early 2018.

Enlisted clothing replacement allowance will be adjusted to cover costs of these uniform changes and requirements. However, by law, commissioned officers are currently entitled to a one-time uniform stipend ($400), paid at the beginning of their careers. An additional stipend cannot be granted without a change in law.

NAVADMIN 174/16 contains more detail on the uniform changes and can be found atwww.npc.navy.mil.


JULY 28, 2016

Editor’s Note: You can read a longer account of Steve Blank’s visit to the U.S.S. Carl Vinson at his website later this week. 

Sitting backwards in a plane with no windows, strapped in a 4-point harness, head encased in a helmet, eyes covered by goggles, your brain can’t process the acceleration. As the C-2 A Greyhound is hurled off an aircraft carrier into the air via a catapult, your body is thrown forward in the air, until a few seconds later, hundreds of feet above the carrier now at 150 miles per hour you yell, “Holy sh*t!” And no one can hear you through the noise, helmet, and ear protectors.

I just spent two days a hundred miles off the coast of Mexico as a guest of the U.S.S. Carl Vinson with Pete Newell (my fellow instructor in the Hacking for Defense class) and 11 other Stanford faculty from CISAC and the Hoover Institution. It’s hard to spend time on a carrier and not be impressed with the Navy and the dedicated people who man the carrier and serve their country.

I learned quite a bit about the physical layout of a carrier, how the air crew operates, and how the carrier functions in context of the other ships around it (the strike group). But the biggest lesson I took from our visit was the realization that disruption is not just happening to companies, it’s also happening in the Navy. The lean innovation tools we’ve developed to deal with disruption and create continuous innovation for large commercial organizations are equally relevant to the U.S. Navy.

While there has been a fierce debate over the future of the aircraft carrier, I have a different take. From what I have seen, both of the following statements are true:

  1. The aircraft carrier is viable for another 30 years.
  2. The aircraft carrier is obsolete.

How can that be?

Well-defended targets

Among the primary roles of the 44 F/A-18 strike fighters that form the core of the carrier’s air wing is to control the air and drop bombs on enemy targets. For targets over uncontested airspace, that’s pretty easy. The problem is that countries with more capable militaries have developed advanced air defense systems such as the Russian S–300 and S-400 and the Chinese HQ-9 . These formidable systems are extremely effective at shooting down aircraft, including those flown by the U.S. military.  They have been selling these systems to other countries, including adversaries like Iran and Syria. While the role of an aircraft carrier’s EA-18G Growlers is to jam and confuse the radar of these missiles, the sophistication and range of these surface-to-air missiles have been evolving faster than the jamming countermeasures on the EA-18G Growlers (and the hacks to shut the radars down).

This means that the odds of a carrier-based F/A-18 strike fighter successfully reaching a target defended by these modern surface-to-air missiles is diminishing yearly. Unless the U.S. military can first take out these systems with missiles, drones, cyber attacks, and other means, skilled pilots are not enough. Given the F/A-18’s are manned aircraft, American political leaders may find the risk of high losses of pilots politically unacceptable.

Vulnerable Carriers

If you want to kill a carrier, first you must find it and then you have to track it. In World War II, knowing where the enemy fleet was located posed was a big — and critical — question. Today, photo imaging satellites, satellites that track electronic emissions (radio, radar, etc.) and satellites with synthetic aperture radar that can see through clouds and at night are able to pinpoint the strike group and carrier 24/7. In the 20th century, only the Soviet Union had this capability. Today, China can do this in the Pacific. To a more limited extent, Iran in has the capability in the Persian Gulf. Soon there will be enough commercial satellite coverage of the Earth using the same sensors, that virtually anyone able to pay for the data will be able to track the ships.

During the Cold War, the primary threat to carriers was from the air — from strike/fighters dropping bombs/torpedoes or from cruise missiles (launched from ships and planes). While the Soviets had attack submarines, our anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) capabilities (along with very noisy Soviet subs pre-Walker spy ring) made subs a secondary threat to carriers.

In the 20th century, the war plan for a carrier strike group used the F/A-18 aircraft and Tomahawks to destroy enemy radar, surface-to-air missiles, aircraft, and communications (including satellite downlinks). As those threats are eliminated, the carrier strike can move closer to land without fear of attack. This allows the aircraft to loiter longer over targets or extend their reach over enemy territory.

Carriers were designed to be most effective launching a high number of sorties from about 225 miles away from the target. This allows us to, for example cruise offshore of potential adversaries (Iraq and Syria) who can’t get to our carriers. Carriers can standoff farther or can reach further inland, but they have to launch refueling tankers to extend the mission range. For example, missions into Afghanistan are six to eight hours versus normal mission times of two to three hours.

Confronting better equipped adversaries, carriers face multiple threats before they can launch an initial strike. These threats include much quieter submarines, long-range, sea-skimming cruise missiles, and — in the Pacific — a potential disruptive game changer:  ICBMs armed with non-nuclear maneuverable warheads that can hit a carrier deck (DF-21d and the longer range DF-26). In the Persian Gulf the carriers face another threat — Fast Inshore Attack Craft (FIAC) and speedboats with anti-ship cruise missiles that can be launched from shore.

The sum of all these threats — to the carrier-based aircraft and the carriers themselves —  are called anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) capabilities.

Eventually the cost and probability of defending the carrier as a manned aircraft platform becomes untenable in highly defended A2/AD environments like the western Pacific or the Persian Gulf. (This seems to be exactly the problem the manned bomber folks are facing in multiple regions.) But if not a carrier, what will the United States use to project power?  While the carrier might become obsolete, the mission certainly has not.

So how does/should the Navy solve these problems?

Three Horizons of Innovation

One useful way to think about innovation in the face of increasing disruption/competition is called the “Three Horizons of Innovation.” It suggests that an organization should think about innovation across three categories called “Horizons.”

  • Horizon 1 activities support executing theexisting, core mission with ever increasing efficiency.
  • Horizon 2 is focused on extendingthe core mission.
  • Horizon 3 is focused on searching for and creatingbrand new missions.

Horizon 1 is the Navy’s core mission. Here the Navy executes against a set of known mission requirements (known beneficiaries, known ships and planes, known adversaries, deployment, supply chain, etc.). It uses existing capabilities and has comparatively low risk to get the next improvement out the door.

In a well-run organization like the Navy, innovation and improvement occur continuously in Horizon 1. Branches of the Navy innovate on new equipment, new tactics, new procurement processes, new procedures, etc. As pilots want more capable manned aircraft and carrier captains want better carriers, it’s not a surprise that Horizon 1 innovations are upgrades — the next generation Ford Class carrier and next generation F-35C aircraft. As a failure here can impact the Navy’s current mission, Horizon 1 uses traditional product management tools to minimize risk and assure execution. And yes, like any complex project they still manage to be over budget and miss their delivery schedule.

Because failure here is unacceptable, Navy Horizon 1 programs and people are managed by building repeatable and scalable processes, procedures, incentives, and promotions to execute and the mission.

In Horizon 2, the Navy extends its core mission. Here it looks for new opportunities within its existing mission (trying new technology on the same platform, using the same technology with new missions, etc.). Horizon 2 uses mostly existing capabilities (the carrier as an aircraft platform, aircraft to deliver munitions) and has moderate risk in building or securing new capabilities to get the product out the door.

An example of potential Naval Horizon 2 innovations is unmanned drones flying off carriers to serve as as airborne tankers and ISR (intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance).  However, getting the tanker and ISR functions onto drones only delays the inevitable shift to drones for strike and then for fighters.

The problem of strike fighters’ increasing difficulty in penetrating heavily defended targets isn’t going to get better with the new F-35C. In fact, it will get worse. Regardless of the bravery and skill of the pilots, they will face air defense systems evolving at a faster rate than the systems on the aircraft. It’s not at all clear in a low-intensity conflict (think Bosnia or the fight against jihadist groups in Syria) that civilian leadership will want to risk captured or killed pilots and losing expensive planes like the F-35C.

Management in Horizon 2 works by pattern recognition and experimentation inside the current mission model. Ironically, institutional inertia keeps the Navy from deploying unmanned assets on carriers. Drones in carrier tanker and ISR roles should have been deployed several years ago. And, by now, experience with them on a carrier deck could have led to first, autonomous wingmen and eventually autonomous missions. Instead the system appears to have fallen into the “real men fly planes and command air wings and get promoted by others who do” mindset.

The Navy does not lack drone demos and prototypes, but it has failed to deploy Horizon 2 innovations with speed and urgency. Failure to act aggressively here will impact the Navy’s ability to carry out its mission of sea control and power projection. Along these lines, the Hudson Institute’s report on the future of the carrier is worth a read and a RAND report on the same topic comes out in October.

If you think Horizon 2 innovation is hard in the Navy, wait until you get to Horizon 3. This is where disruption happens. It’s how the aircraft carrier disrupted the battleship, how nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines changed the nature of strategic deterrence, and how the DF-21/26 and artificial islands in the South China sea changed decades of assumptions.  And it’s why, in most organizations, innovation dies.

For the Navy, a Horizon 3 conversation would not be about better carriers and aircraft. Instead it would focus on the core reasons the Navy deploys a carrier strike group: to show the flag for deterrence, to project offensive airpower from the sea, sea control, or to protect a Marine amphibious force.

A Horizon 3 solution for the Navy would start with basic need of these missions, the logistical requirements that come with them, and the hurdles to their success, like A2/AD.  Lots of people have been talking and writing about this, and lots of Horizon 3 concepts have been proposed, such as distributed lethalityarsenal ships, underwater drone platforms, etc.

Focusing on these goals — not building or commanding carriers, or building and flying planes — is really, really hard. It’s hard to get existing operational organizations to think about disruption because it means they have to be thinking about obsoleting a job, function, or skill they’ve spent their lives perfecting. It’s hard because any large organization is led by people who succeeded as Horizon 1 and 2 managers and operators (not researchers). Their whole focus, career, incentives, etc. has been about building and make the current platforms work. And the Navy has excelled in doing so.

The problem is that Horizon 3 solutions take different people, different portfolio, different process, and different politics.

People: In Horizon 1 and 2 programs, people who fail don’t get promoted because, in a known process, failure to execute is a failure of individual performance. However, applying the same rules to Horizon 3 programs — no failures tolerated — means we’ll have no learning and no disruptive innovations. What spooks leadership is that in Horizon 3, most of the projects will fail. But using lean innovation, they’ll fail quickly and cheaply.

In Horizon 3 the initial program is run by mavericks — the crazy innovators. In the Navy, these are the people you want to court martial or pass over for promotion for not getting with current program. (In a startup they’d be the founding CEO.) These are the fearless innovators you want to create new and potentially disruptive mission models. Failure to support their potential disruptive talent means it will go elsewhere.

Portfolio: In Horizon 3, the Navy is essentially incubating a startup. And not just one. The Navy needs a portfolio of Horizon 3 bets, for the same reason venture capital and large companies have a portfolio of Horizon 3 bets, not just one.

Process: A critical difference between a Horizon 3 bet and a Horizon 1 or 2 bet is that you don’t build large, expensive, multi-year programs to test radically new concepts (think of the Zumwalt class destroyers). You use “lean” techniques to build minimal viable products (MVPs). MVPs are whatever it takes to get you the most learning in the shortest period of time.

Horizon 3 groups operate with speed and urgency. They need to be physically separate from operating divisions in an incubator or their own facility. And they need their own plans, procedures, policies, incentives, and key performance indicators (KPIs) different from those in Horizon 1. 

The watchwords in Horizon 3 are “If everything seems under control, you’re just not going fast enough.”

Politics: In Silicon Valley most startups fail. That’s why we invest in a portfolio of new ideas, not just one. We embrace failure as an integral part of learning. We do so by realizing that in Horizon 3 we are testing hypotheses — a series of unknowns — not executing knowns. Yet failure/learning is a dirty word in the world of promotions and the “gotcha game” of politics. To survive in this environment Horizon 3 leaders must learn how to communicate up/down and sideways that they are not running Horizon 1 and 2 projects.

Failure to make a portfolio of Horizon 3 bets means that the Navy is exposed to disruption by new entrants unencumbered by decades of success, fueled by their own version of manifest destiny.

Lessons Learned

  • Our carriers are a work of art run and manned by professionals.
    • Threats that can degrade or negate a carrier strike group exist in multiple areas.
    • However, carriers are still a significant asset in almost all other combat scenarios.
  • Speed and urgency rather than institutional inertia should be the watchwords for Horizon 2 innovation.
  • Horizon 3 innovation is about a clean sheet of paper thinking.
  • It requires different people, portfolio, process and politics.
  • The Navy (and DOD) must manage innovation across all three Horizons.
    • Allocating dollars and resources for each.
  • Remember that today’s Horizon 3 crazy idea is tomorrow’s Horizon 1 platform.

Entrepreneur-turned-educator Steve Blank is credited with launching the Lean Startup movement. He’s changed how startups are built; how entrepreneurship is taught; how science is commercialized, and how companies and the government innovate. Steve is the author of The Four Steps to the Epiphany, The Startup Owner’s Manual — and his May 2013 Harvard Business Review cover story defined the Lean Startup movement.  He teaches at Stanford, Columbia, Berkeley and NYU; and created the National Science Foundation Innovation Corps — now the standard for science commercialization in the United States. His Hacking for Defense class at Stanford is revolutionizing how the U.S. defense and intelligence community can deploy innovation with speed and urgency.

Image: U.S. Navy, Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Patrick W. Menah

Coast Guard Birthday Celebration – Aug. 11th 2016

Entry is FREE for all Navy League Members, Coast Guard Personnel and Auxiliary, Elected Officials, and Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce Members.

RSVP is required due to security.  Make your reservation with the Clearwater Regional Chamber at www.clearwaterflorida.org

CoastGuard Birthday Additional Details