Navy damns the stovepipes, goes full speed ahead on IT reorganization

Tuesday - 11/17/2009, 11:08am EST

David Dorsett

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By Suzanne Kubota
Senior Internet Editor
FederalNewsRadio.com

In an effort to meet the challenges of the information age, the Navy is consolidating its IT, intelligence, and communications operations.

Navy Vice Admiral David Dorsett, the director of Naval Intelligence, told FederalNewsRadio the change is needed. "Signals intelligence and cyberintelligence, if you will, is an area that we've had a long tradition and history of," said Dorsett, "but we are evolving in terms of what our cyberwarfare capabilities will be."

Dorsett said the first steps are already underway.

The Chief of Naval Operations has three primary changes that he's implementing:

  • The first one is to align the Navy's Information Technology, Electronic Warfare, ISR - Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance - and other network capabilities into one organization on the Navy staff.

  • The second component is to create a Fleet Cyber Command that's subordinate to the US Cyber Command that the Secretary of Defense is getting ready to establish.

  • And the third component is to create a corps of information professionals across the Navy, comprised of about 44,000 of our professionals.
  • The new Information Dominance Corps will be made up of information technology, intelligence, information warfare, oceanography and space cadre specialists.

    The goal, said Dorsett, is to bring the Navy into the 21st century. "We've clearly leaped into the information age, yet we have industrial age structures, processes and organizations in place that really need to evolve."

    Dorsett said that while the process will change, the jobs, essentially, will be the same.

    The professionals will still do their own jobs. I think at more senior levels, what we're expecting is to broaden the experiences of the individuals from each of the communities so that we can holistically manage our information capabilities across the Navy. Traditionally, we've been very stovepiped and not have had as much cross operational activity across those domains and what we're looking for is to break down some of the barriers and increase interoperability across our people and across the entire Navy.

    Going forward, Dorsett said the focus will be on both improved technology and on the needs of the workforce.

    We've got a modest investment in unmanned capabilities today, but the guidance is pretty clear from our seniors that we are going to invest in much larger numbers, and much greater capability, not only in aircraft, but surface unmanned or autonomous capabilities and undersea autonomous and unmanned capabilities.

    Dorsett notes the changes are only the beginning. "This is really the starting point because we're looking forward to innovative ideas from the workforce on how we should organize, how we should align our capabilities and what new capabilities we should deliver."

    The reorganization is slated for completion by year's end, just in time to be thinking about the next budget. "We're in the early stages of studying it, but I would say it's safe to say as we're developing our next budget that we'll see some changes and modifications where we have additional focus on unmanned capabilities."

    Not only are no jobs expected to be lost in the reorganization, the corps is slated to add 1,000 trained technicians in the near future.