Deputy Defense Secretary’s Visit to Pacific Highlights Navy Project

Naval Information Warfare Systems Command and Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific leadership hosted Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen H. Hicks at NIWC Pacific yesterday for a tour of its latest innovations in unmanned technologies and command-and-control programs.

NIWC Pacific and its partners briefed the deputy secretary on its strategic efforts to link operational concepts and capabilities, the approach for which centers on warfighter collaboration and continuous, rapid delivery.

Discussions led by NAVWAR Commander Rear Adm. Doug Small highlighted Project Overmatch, a high-priority Navy effort to deliver a more lethal, better-connected fleet of the future.

“Across the department, we are making progress toward joint all-domain command and control,” Hicks said. “I saw that first-hand through the Project Convergence 22 experiment at Camp Pendleton, [California,] and program briefings at NIWC Pacific. The Navy’s Project Overmatch will play a key role in maintaining decision advantage over our adversaries, connecting platforms, weapons and sensors together across all warfighting domains for a more lethal joint force. That integration is the key to ensuring the Department of Defense remains the world leader in cutting-edge innovation.”

Project Overmatch synchronizes lethal and non-lethal effects and connects manned and unmanned systems in a robust naval operational architecture that integrates command and control across the joint force.

“Overmatch lies at the nexus of mission autonomy, continuous software delivery and all-domain command and control,” Small said. “It’s an exemplar for aligning resources with our strategy to build a resilient joint force, and it’s a key effort keeping our NAVWAR and NIWC Pacific teams plugged into the threat with a sense of urgency.”

A brief on NIWC Pacific’s latest autonomous vehicle innovations featured a tour of Sea Hunter, a medium-displacement, unmanned surface vehicle capable of long-range autonomous operations. NIWC Pacific provides program support, technology development, and testing and evaluation for the unmanned surface vehicle.

During her California tour, Hicks focused on linking resources to strategic competition priorities, including JADC2 implementation across the joint force.

“The thing we don’t always articulate when we talk about aligning resources to strategy is that the people, the scientists and engineers working to solve these hard problems, are key,” said Bill Bonwit, NIWC Pacific’s executive director. “Getting our people aligned to the right tasks in collaboration with the warfighter to meet these joint objectives — it’s energizing. I’m grateful we got to show the deputy secretary some of that today.”

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Darian Wilson