2021 Defense Services Conference Recap

Conference Recap

Defense Services Conference 2021 Recap

• On Tuesday, August 17, 2021, over 100 attendees participated in PSC’s Defense Services Conference 2021, PSC’s first hybrid event since the COVID-19 pandemic started in which attendees participated both virtually and in-person at the Westin Arlington Gateway. The conference theme “Decision Making in a Dynamic Landscape: Implementing Agile & Responsive Solutions” brought senior executives across the Department of Defense (DoD) and the federal contracting community to discuss current initiatives aimed at accelerating innovation and delivering capabilities to the Future Force.

• Following Hon. Skelly’s keynote address, John Rucker, Senior Vice President, Command, Control, Communications & Intelligence Solutions, CACI, moderated the first panel entitled “Collaboration to Deliver JADC2” that focused on the implementation of the Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) framework. The panel included Rebecca Gassler, Navy’s Project Overmatch Chief Engineer and the PEO IWS 6 (Command and Control Directorate) Technical Director, Dr. Timothy P. Grayson, Director, Strategic Technology Office, DARPA, and Randy Walden, Director/PEO, Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office. The panel discussed data (the role and quality of data) and how to leverage and integrate that data across the services to support command and control capabilities. The panel also identified planning tools (modeling and simulation tools), data interoperability, and AI in support of the human decision-making process as much needed technologies for the achievement of JADC2 capabilities. Emphasis was placed not only on the tools needed to support JADC2, but also on how to get those capabilities to the warfighter in a threat environment.

• After a quick break, Brad King, CEO, Robbins-Gioia, LLC, moderated the second panel entitled “Enabling Efficient Resource Allocation Decision Making for Readiness & Sustainment.” This panel included Tom Constable, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Readiness, Larry Jackson, RADM, USN (Ret), Director, Center for Joint & Strategic Logistics, and Jack Schuler, Director of Budget Policy & Financial Management, Federal Legislative Affairs, Government Operations, The Boeing Company. This panel discussed how the Department approaches investment trade-offs to achieve modernization objectives and the ways in which “enterprise business systems modernization” can improve readiness and sustainment. Other topics included strategies to streamline legacy system architectures and enable investments in new systems, the impact of the current and foreseeable budgetary environment on these strategies, and existing efforts that may be de-emphasized so DoD can better focus on the modernization priorities. 

• Kristina M. O'Brien, Principal Deputy Director of Strategic Logistics, J4, gave the final keynote address of the conference, detailing (1) the role of the Joint Staff, J4, in advising the Chairman on the health and the capacity of the joint logistics enterprise, (2) the J4’s relationship with the Professional Services Council regarding the Readiness and Sustainment Industry Working Group (RSIWG) and how the commercial sector can support the Department in operating in a contested logistics environment, and (3) how our forces must adapt to that contested logistics environment as our adversaries watch us. She went on to emphasize the idea of operating in a more distributed environment, in which the U.S. depends more on logistics and supply support from our allies and partners. Ms. O’Brien ended her address that the Department of Defense cannot do this alone, and that success will be from a strong collaboration with industry in thinking in different ways and coming up with new and creative ideas to make this happen.

• Wrapping up PSC’s Defense Services Conference 2021, Neil Albert, Defense Services Conference 2021 Vice-Chair and President and CEO, NFA Consulting, offered brief remarks and closed out the conference.

• PSC thanks its conference premier sponsors Amentum, Leidos, NTConcepts, and PAE. Our keynote sponsors were Parsons and SOSi. Our panel sponsor was Peraton. Our exhibitor sponsors were Boon and TechnoMile and our networking break sponsors were Jacobs and VTG. We would also like to thank our supporting sponsor NITAAC and our media partners FCW, Federal New Network, and Nextgov. Thanks to PSC members and participants for helping to successfully deliver this hybrid event. To find out more, or to become a PSC member, please visit the Professional Services Council website at www.pscouncil.org.  



2021 Defense Services Conference  

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