Shipbuilding Challenges | AI in Defense | Talent Development in the Navy


Presented by Oracle and Carahsoft

In this edition of Fed Gov Today, Francis Rose delves into three critical topics: the ongoing challenges in military shipbuilding, the expansive role of artificial intelligence in defense, and the Navy's strategic efforts to enhance its talent pool. Featuring insights from Shelby Oakley of the GAO, Peter Guerra from Oracle Government, Defense & Intelligence, and VADM Johnny Wolfe Jr. of the US Navy, the program highlights the common threads and unique challenges in these areas. The discussions reveal a blend of technological, strategic, and human resource initiatives aimed at strengthening the US defense infrastructure.

Challenges in Military Shipbuilding

IMG_3581Shelby Oakley, Director at GAO discusses the persistent issues in military shipbuilding, particularly focusing on design maturity and the inefficiencies in the construction process of Navy and Coast Guard vessels. Her insights are based on recent GAO work and testimony presented to a House subcommittee.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Design Maturity: Both the Navy and Coast Guard struggle with achieving design maturity before starting construction, leading to costly reworks.
  2. Polar Security Cutter Program: This program is significantly delayed, with design issues and lack of expertise contributing to setbacks.
  3. Commercial vs. Military Practices: Unlike commercial shipbuilders, the Navy and Coast Guard often proceed with construction without complete designs, increasing risks and costs.

The Expansive Role of AI in Defense

IMG_3502Peter Guerra, Group Vice President, AI & ML at Oracle Government, Defense & Intelligence explores the various applications of artificial intelligence within the military, from predictive maintenance to operational readiness. He emphasizes the importance of data-driven decision-making across different mission areas.

Key Takeaways:

  1. AI Applications: AI is being used across a wide range of military functions, including budget management, maintenance, and mission-critical operations.
  2. Data Management: Effective use of AI requires decentralized data processing, especially for forces operating at the edge.
  3. User-Friendly AI: Oracle provides low-code/no-code tools to help non-technical military personnel utilize AI without needing extensive programming skills.


Talent Development in the Navy

IMG_9787VADM Johnny Wolfe Jr., Director at the US Navy Strategic Systems Programs discusses the Navy's initiatives to attract and retain top talent through specialized onboarding programs. These efforts are crucial for maintaining the effectiveness of the Navy's strategic systems and ensuring long-term operational readiness.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Newcomer Onboarding Workshop: This program immerses new personnel in the mission and history of the Navy's strategic systems, fostering a strong connection to their roles.
  2. Strategic Importance: The Navy's strategic systems provide 70% of the nation’s day-to-day nuclear deterrent, making talent development critical.
  3. Future Goals: The Navy is focused on sustaining current deterrent capabilities, preparing for future systems, and strengthening partnerships with allies like the United Kingdom.

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