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Wittman Advocates for Modernization, Organizational Reform to Strengthen National Defense in Joint All Domain Warfare Forum
Washington, July 18, 2023
Tags: National Defense
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Rob Wittman (VA-01) today addressed the 2023 JADC2: All Domain Warfare Symposium hosted by the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) to emphasize the urgent need for modernization and organizational reform through Combined Joint All-Domain Command and Control (CJADC2) at the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). CJADC2 is a concept that connects data-centric information from all branches of service, partners, and allies to make information accessible for quick wartime decisions.
“To meet the current era of great power competition with the Chinese Communist Party, the United States must prioritize accelerating our national defense capabilities and enhancing our industry partnerships,” said. Rep Wittman. “Effective and efficient data sharing across the joint force is essential to our national security, and CJADC2 will enable the United States to retain its critical advantages as emerging technologies drive the future character of warfare.”
As vice chairman of the House Armed Service Committee (HASC) and chairman of the Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee, Rep. Wittman shared his expertise with business leaders, engineers, scientists, and military officers. He was joined on the panel by Rep. Jack Bergman (MI-01), chairman of the Intelligence and Special Operations Subcommittee.
The congressman discussed the following topics in relation to CJADC2:
Rep. Wittman stressed the critical importance of the United States advancing its CJADC2 capability and the need to rapidly develop tailored capabilities for combatant commanders in various domains. He advocated for bottom-up solutions that prioritize warfighter requirements over a DoD-centric approach. Additionally, Rep. Wittman highlighted CJADC2's advantages in enabling faster decision-making for warfighters and called for extensive large-scale combined joint exercises and experimentation in the Indo-Pacific region to enhance its operational effectiveness. The establishment of a standing Joint Task Force in INDOPACOM was discussed as a potential solution to expedite CJADC2's operational capability.
The congressman addressed concerns about China's expanding military capabilities, emphasizing the necessity of operating at the speed of relevance. He praised major decisions to advance capabilities in the Future Years Defense Program (FYDP), including elements from the Next Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) program and data architecture. He also stressed the importance of aligning NGAD and Next Generation Adaptive Propulsion (NGAP) initiatives, while highlighting the significance of the 4th Offset Strategy, enabled by the Collaborative Combat Aircraft. The HASC allocated an additional $75 million to the program in the FY24 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), with the aim of transitioning from expendable to attritable and exquisite platforms.
Organizational Reform to Support Technology
Rep. Wittman emphasized the significance of ongoing organizational reforms in the DoD to expedite the integration of emerging technologies. He commended the elevation of the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) director to report directly to the Secretary of Defense, a proposal in the House version of the FY24 NDAA. This change is deemed crucial for enhancing diversity in the Defense Industrial Base (DIB) and fostering stronger partnerships between the DoD and non-traditional companies within the industry.
NDAA and Appropriations Outlook
Rep. Wittman emphasized the FY24 NDAA's focus on increasing near-term lethality across the joint force and eliminating DoD distractions. He acknowledged the challenges in advancing all 12 appropriations bills on Capitol Hill and stressed the need to align authorizations with appropriations, expressing concern about potential continuing resolutions and the importance of prompt passage of appropriations bills to avoid budget cuts.
The congressman shared his vision of strengthening national defense through modernization, organizational reform, and responsible fiscal planning in order to align capabilities with emerging threats, foster innovation, and establish a strong DoD-private sector partnership.