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Bob Newberry on Top Priorities of DOD’s Irregular Warfare Technical Support Directorate

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Bob Newberry, head of the irregular warfare technical support directorate at the Department of Defense (DOD), talked about his top priorities as director and the first one he cited is “greater affordability at the speed of relevance,” which is part of the National Defense Strategy.

“We want to get to contracts in less than a year, so that is really tightening up a schedule from requirements to signing a contract, and we want to deliver whatever capability we’re trying to develop in one to two years,” Newberry said.

Another priority he mentioned is the use of analytical tools based on artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms for big data analysis.

“We’ve really expanded that this year on a recent broad agency announcement — we asked the vendors to look at how they could use artificial intelligence or machine learning on all of the requirements to reduce the workload on individual operators,” Newberry added.

Other priorities Newberry cited are increasing lethality with a focus on small teams and individuals, improving survivability for personnel and facilities, strengthening alliances, optimizing human performance and learning and addressing chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive threats.

Newberry also talked about the directorate’s reorganization effort and the focus areas of the irregular warfare subgroup. 

He said industry can reach out to the directorate and present their technologies and ideas through industry days, tactical communications and telematics workshops and challenge programs.