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American Forces Press Service

Industry Critical in Bringing Capabilities to Warfighters

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

PORTSMOUTH, Virginia, April 5, 2005 The defense industry is an integral part of the transformation process, the commander of U.S. Joint Forces Command told members of that industry here today.

“You are an integral part of the process,” Navy Adm. Edmund P. Giambastiani Jr. told industry members attending the Industry 2005 Symposium, co-hosted by Joint Forces Command and the National Defense Industrial Association. “We seek to do nothing less than to deliver capabilities to those soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines and what they require today and in the future, and we simply can’t do that without your help and without your support. It just frankly would not happen.”

“Joint Command and Control from the Warfighter’s Perspective” is this year’s conference theme.

Joint warfighters are demanding customers, Giambastiani said. They want to know, “What have you done for me lately?” They ask that question of both Joint Forces Command and the defense industry, he said.

Warfighters are looking for capabilities that are relevant, meet operational needs, are interoperable, and work as advertised when they are needed. They don’t necessarily care where those capabilities come from, the admiral said.

“What they’re interested in is something to get the job done,” said Giambastiani, who also is NATO’s supreme allied commander for transformation.

Interoperable capabilities are a prerequisite to an interdependent joint force, he said. The military is working toward that interdependent joint-force goal through transformation. As the services continue to transform, the pieces already in place need to be connected.

The “Joint National Training Capability” is working to connect those pieces, allowing for the most extensive, integrated network that Joint Forces Command has sponsored since Millennium Challenge 2002, Giambastiani said.

“With JNTC we were able to connect all of the pieces in a live, virtual and constructed environment,” he said. “Most importantly, the JNTC allowed our forces to train with all of the toys in peacetime instead of having to wait for an actual operation and actual deployment into theater. … In my view, the Joint National Training Capability will help provide this training jointness that we, frankly, have not had an opportunity to exercise in the past.”

Though great strides have been made in making the military services interdependent, there is still work to be done, he said. Other capabilities are available, but the goal is to achieve the next level of integration. Those in the defense industry will be invaluable in helping achieve that goal, Giambastiani said.

He told the industry representatives that the military needs their ingenuity and energy to develop the right capabilities and processes to move the joint force beyond where we are right now.

“If you are not developing coherently joint integrated capabilities,” he told the industry representatives, “you are developing tomorrow’s joint problem.”

Solutions that simply optimize an existing system or platform are not going to cut it in the age of transformation, the admiral said.

“The real transformation is the one that takes root within the minds of those participating in this process -- military, industry, interagency, multinational,” he said.

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