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Shawn Skelly on Pentagon’s Move to Strategic Readiness

2 mins read
Shawn Skelly
Shawn Skelly Assistant Secretary DOD

Shawn Skelly, assistant secretary for readiness and force management at the Department of Defense, said DOD is shifting its focus from near-term priorities to strategic readiness to help maintain its competitive edge against near-peer competitors, Federal News Network reported Tuesday.

“The department recognizes that they need to broaden its aperture to a more strategic view of readiness. Yet organizational incentives and processes are currently optimized to focus operationally,” Skelly said at an event Tuesday.

“The focus on fight tonight or operational readiness permeates beyond simply how we prepare forces and influences how we measure them. That introduces risk and we may lose sight of the future challenge we’re charged to be prepared for,” she added.

Skelly said focusing on data use is also part of DOD’s transition to strategic readiness.

“We are using data to balance the readiness of today with requirements to develop and field forces and capabilities for the challenges of tomorrow. That will enable better decision-making with a clearer understanding of the risk acceptance being undertaken,” she said.

Skelly’s team is working on a Readiness Decision Impact Model, a tool that will use data to determine the impacts of operations decisions and policy resources.

“We envision it will allow us to trace how a particular senior-level decision about a deployment could impact the unit, the service combatant commands and our ability to modernize other capabilities,” she said of the tool.

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