JED - April 2011 - (Page 12)

message f ro m the p re s i d e nt Association of Old Crows 1000 North Payne Street, Suite 200 Alexandria, VA 22314-1652 Phone: (703) 549-1600 Fax: (703) 549-2589 PRESIDENT Walter Wolf VICE PRESIDENT Laurie Buckhout SECRETARY Jesse “Judge” Bourque TREASURER David Hime AT LARGE DIRECTORS Michael “Mick” Riley William “Buck” Clemons Steven Umbaugh Cliff Moody Linda Palmer Paul Westcott Robert Elder David Hime Tony Lisuzzo REGIONAL DIRECTORS Southern: Wes Heidenreich Central: Judith Westerheide Northeastern: Nino Amoroso Mountain-Western: Jesse “Judge” Bourque Mid-Atlantic: Bill Tanner Pacific: Joe “JJ” Johnson International I: Robert Andrews International II: Gerry Whitford APPOINTED DIRECTORS Robert Giesler Jim Lovelace Donato D’Angelantonio Thomas Metz IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT Chris Glaze AOC STAFF Don Richetti Executive Director Norman Balchunas Director, Operations Mike Dolim Director of Education Carole H. Vann Director of Administration Shelley Frost Director of Convention and Meeting Services Kent Barker Conferences Director/FSO Glorianne O’Neilin Director of Membership Operations Stew Taylor Marketing and Exhibits Manager Tanya Miller Member and Chapter Support Manager Jennifer Bahler Registrar Keith Jordan IT Manager Tasha Miller Membership Assistant 2011 – EW AT A STRATEGIC INFLECTION S 12 The Journal of Electronic Defense | April 2011 ecretary Gates’ January memorandum, “Strategic Communications and Information Operations in the DOD,” (see JED, February 2011, p. 24) is significant in the recognition of the importance of electronic warfare (EW) capability to the National Strategy. Today, more than at any previous point in history, government leaders around the globe recognize the value of EW. There will never again be a plethora of new weapon systems built at the pace at which the EW industry has become accustomed. Electronic systems (radars, communications, EW and multifunction systems) will modernize current weapon systems, and EW will provide survivability for these weapon systems in denied EM environments. New weapon systems will be designed with “EW inside from the start,” – not added later. The recognition of just how critically important EW can be is a strategic revelation, and it will demand significant changes along the entire EW life-cycle chain: acquisition (development of requirements and system delivery by industry), operations and training, sustainment, modernization and retirement. Secretary Gates’ memorandum does some significant things for EW, but most important to this discussion is the assignment of key EW responsibilities to the Joint Chiefs of Staff and of proponency to USSTRATCOM. Yet, even with these the changes outlined by Secretary Gates, current National Military Strategy, and a $700 billion DOD budget, (twice what it was 10 years ago), these alone can not make this strategic inflection a reality. The DOD is making strides toward a cost-effective and timely acquisition process, but success in changing the culture will require industry to do the same. Cutting the work force has been the industry answer in the past, but is that the best solution today? This question is keeping industry strategists awake at night. Is the answer more of the same, or will the survivors be defined by those who act boldly? I believe the EW industry itself must change, and change in profound ways to enable this strategic inflection. In the US, the top 50 industry EW contractors garner more than 75 percent of the DOD’s EW budget, and the top six of these win most of that funding. Think of this as a pyramid: the top six form the apex, the next 200 companies account for the center and the remaining 1,000-plus form the base. The same layered pyramid represents the overhead in the industry: the top 50 have the most overhead, and the top six have the greatest. The DOD wants efficiency, and overhead erodes efficiency. What may happen as the inflection takes root is that the pyramid flips and more of tomorrow’s EW dollars are won by today’s bottom 1,000. This may seem far fetched, but today’s middle and lower pyramid layers behave more like commercial companies engaged in producing the lowest priced, early-tomarket and integrated multifunctional systems than the top six. And, among other efficiency attributes, they have much lower overhead. This sounds just like the costefficient rapid acquisition behavior that DOD is looking for. Are we at the precipice of a reordering of the top EW companies? – Walter Wolf

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of JED - April 2011

JED - April 2011
Table of Contents
The View From Here
Conferences Calendar
Courses Calendar
From the President
The Monitor
Washington Report
World Report
Latin American EW
The US IR Decoy Industry: Planning for a Viable Future
AOC/Shephard EW 2011 Preview
Book Review
EW 101
AOC News
AOC Industry and Institute/University Members
Index of Advertisers
JED Quick Look

JED - April 2011