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James Geurts: Navy Needs to Take Action to Stay Ahead in Expeditionary Warfare

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James Geurts, assistant secretary of the U.S. Navy for research, development and acquisition, has said the service should review its acquisition processes and understand manned-unmanned teaming to better participate in expeditionary warfare, National Defense Magazine reported Tuesday.

Geurts noted at the National Defense Industrial Association’s 23rd Expeditionary Warfare Conference that the U.S. armed forces should rapidly respond to threats and field necessary technologies to win over enemies in the battlefield.

He said the Navy is working on organizing its “other transaction” agreements to continue procuring and deploying modern technologies such as artificial intelligence to warfighters.

The service increased the number of its OTAs in 2017 but has not fully leveraged them compared to the other service branches.

Geurts added that there is also a need for the Navy to determine how to split mission assignments with autonomous systems for expeditionary warfare operations.

“The challenge for us is understanding how to make those unmanned systems integrated into our formation in a way that makes sense,” Geurts noted.

The Navy assistant secretary said the service should identify how to incorporate unmanned systems into a concept of employment enabled by manned technologies to give the military a competitive edge.