San Diego, California - Program managers from two Navy program executive offices participated in an industry workshop panel at the National Defense Industry Association (NDIA) Navy Gold Coast Conference August 22.
Gold Coast is hosted by NDIA and U.S. Navy participation is coordinated through the Navy's Office of Small Business Programs. This was the 29th year Gold Coast has brought small businesses together with Navy representatives in support of collaboration and innovation. The two-day event provided an opportunity for industry to attend Navy leadership speaking engagements, breakout sessions and matchmaking between industry and government.
The Program Executive Office for Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence (PEO C4I) and the Program Executive Office for Enterprise Information Systems (PEO EIS) took part in the panel. Keven Allen, deputy program manager for PEO EIS's Sea Warrior Program Office (PMW 240) joined PEO C4I's Capt. Kurt Rothenhaus, program manager for the Tactical Networks Program Office (PMW 160) and Mark Compton, deputy program manager for the Navy's Command and Control Systems Program Office (PMW 150) to discuss their respective programs, small business opportunities and to provide an overview of the mission of PEO C4I and PEO EIS.
"PEO EIS provides applications, networks and systems that support the business end of the Navy," said Allen. "We rapidly identify and implement affordable IT solutions for the Navy and solve readiness problems for Sailors, the fleet, Navy and other customers," he said of PMW 240's mission.
PMW 240 is one of seven program offices associated with PEO EIS. Other associated program offices include the Data Center Application Optimization (DCAO), Enterprise Software Licensing (PMM 172), Navy Enterprise Networks (PMW 205), the Navy Enterprise Business Solutions (PMW 220) and the Global Combat Support System - Marine Corps (GCSS-MC) program office (PMW 230).
"We contract quite a bit with small business," said Allen. "They cross the gamut from CSS [contractor support services] type support, system developments and sustainment type efforts."
PEO C4I's 10 associated program offices include PMW 150, PMW 160, Battlespace Awareness and Information Operations (PMW 120), Information Assurance and Cyber Security (PMW 130), Communications and GPS Navigation (PMW/A 170), International C4I Integration (PMW 740), Carrier and Air Integration (PMW 750), Ship Integration (PMW 760), Undersea Integration (PMW 770) and Shore and Expeditionary Integration (PMW 790).
"With 99 programs within the PEO [C4I], it's a broad portfolio that ranges from very large ACAT I [acquisition category one] programs to some very small projects that we rapidly deliver," said Rothenhaus. "It's a very broad and dynamic portfolio and we rely heavily on industry for support."
PMW 160 develops and delivers the Navy's latest network known as the Consolidated Afloat Network Enterprise Services (CANES), which supports multiple shipboard systems including administrative and intelligence capabilities. CANES links to external networks through the Automated Digital Network System (ADNS), another PMW 160 managed program.
"Often times C4I is a key enabler of a wide range of capabilities," said Rothenhaus while presenting an overview of PEO C4I. "Our approach is to identify those capabilities within the portfolios and asking how do they work together to provide a system or seamless system of systems to build linkages to our stakeholders, one of them being industry."
Rothenhaus said PEO C4I wants to provide a clearer picture of mission requirements for industry while allowing for more flexibility in how industry supports meeting those requirements. This approach supports the speed to capability goal outlined in PEO C4I's strategic plan.
"How do we stay out ahead of our adversaries," said Rothenhaus. "That's where our partnerships with industry come in to help us close those gaps and respond in what is a very dynamic environment."
PMW 150 provides software based command and control capabilities that support the Navy, Marine Corps and joint and coalition partners. Compton showed a slide depicting PMW 150's programs and where they fall on a timeline from envisioned solution all the way to fully implemented operation and support efforts but he emphasized one focus area in particular.
"One of the things we're focusing on is how to do remote installs on ships," said Compton. "This is part of cutting down on costs of delivery and sustainment of systems," he said.
This year's Gold Coast theme, "Supporting the warfighter mission in a changing acquisition climate," emphasized the challenge the Navy faces in a fiscally constrained environment. The PEO's and program offices have been thinking ahead on this issue and have incorporated fiscal responsibility into their strategies for developing capabilities for the fleet. Events like Gold Coast help small businesses connect with the Navy and foster collaboration through education and networking.