AOC 2021, the 58th Annual Association of Old Crows International Symposium & Convention, wrapped up last Thursday, and we are taking a moment to look back at the week that was.
On Tuesday morning, keynote speaker The Honorable Heidi Shyu, Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (OUSD(R&E), told the audience her office is focused on transitioning innovative solutions from prototyping efforts formal programs of record. While this process is well resourced at the Service level, she wants to make sure it is also happening in support of Joint needs.
Also on Tuesday, symposium attendees heard from a technical panel of Young Crows moderated by Mr. Ashley Sharma, Director of Electronic Warfare and Countermeasures, C5ISR-EW Directorate, Office of The Under Secretary of Defense (OUSD), Research & Engineering (R&E). The panelists, representing the Army Research Lab, Naval Surface Warfare Center - Crane and Air Force Research Lab Sensors Directorate, discussed AI and autonomy.
On Wednesday, Dr. Kelly Fletcher, Performing the Duties of Chief Information Officer for the DOD, delivered the morning keynote. Speaking about China and Russia, she said, "Our adversaries know how important this technology is to us. We know we have some vulnerabilities, and our adversaries know about them, and they're going to try to take advantage of them. What really makes me concerned most, frankly, is that there are probably vulnerabilities that we don't know about and that our adversaries are trying to find." In response, she said that responsibility for maintaining electromagnetic superiority will require a whole-of-nation approach. This includes developing and strengthening partnerships between industry, academia, and allies, as well as intra-government partnership between the DOD and agencies, such as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). More broadly, this also includes working on spectrum challenges with international bodies, such as the International Telecommunications Union and the World Radiocommunication Conference. Dr. Fletcher also discussed the importance of DOD's partnership with the commercial sector on matters such as spectrum sharing and 5G networks. Within the DOD, she said it was important to break down barriers between EW practitioners, spectrum managers and communicators.
Looking ahead, please be sure to mark your calendars for AOC 2022, the 59th Annual International Symposium and Convention, which will take place Oct. 25-27 in Washington, D.C.
We hope you enjoyed this year's event, and we look forward to making next year's even better!