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James Geurts Discusses US Navy Modernization of Unmanned Systems

3 mins read

James Geurts, Assistant Secretary for Research, Development, and Acquisition with the U.S. Navy and 2020 Wash100 Award recipient, recently addressed the challenges the U.S. Navy has faced deploying unmanned systems. He noted that the service branch has encountered obstacles to obtain and use the systems effectively on a global scale. 

Geurts stated that the U.S. Navy will try to determine “how to scale that to take advantage of the unique opportunities” unmanned systems provide. “We need to be bold in trying new things, but maintain discipline in how we scale that so we don’t get into exquisite fragility, where we have systems in one specific niche for one specific set of conditions.”

Geurts said scale and balance are two key attributes going forward. He noted chief of Naval Operations ADM Mike Gilday’s unmanned systems campaign plan seeks to move from a collection of  systems to an integrated capability that shares command and control, concepts of operations and data systems. 

A key challenge is “how we’re going to communicate with all these different systems and how they can come in and out of our network,” Geurts said. He said that the U.S. Navy should integrate technology that will cut across multiple platforms, to align technical, business, programmatic and operational architectures. 

“In the end we have to get away from manned vs, unmanned. It’s manned and unmanned together, that will enable us to be the most successful,” he added.

Potomac Officers Club will host its 2020 Navy Forum on September 30th. Click here to register for the event. 

Geurts will serve as a keynote speaker during the event. Geurts will discuss how the U.S. Navy has continually worked to decentralize, differentialize and digitize the service branch’s work as well as develop its talent in the field.

The Navy has also accelerated acquisition channels, modernized emerging technologies and increased research and development to become more effective in warfare. As the Navy continues to evolve to meet the growing demands, challenges still remain. 

Join Potomac Officers Club’s 2020 Navy Forum to hear notable industry and federal leaders discuss the initiatives, efficiencies and challenges the service branch faces as well as how to join together to improve the future of warfare. 

Click here to register for the 2020 Navy Forum.

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