NPS must ensure that we are involved in developing new technologies important to the Navy and the Department of Defense and in educating students capable of understanding and leveraging whatever new technologies emerge. Technologies such as novel computing platforms, cyber security, additive manufacturing, innovative materials for energy and structures, early synthetic prototyping, and large constellations of small satellites all promise to disrupt existing capabilities. In order to support the Navy and Department of Defense in avoiding technology surprises and to educate officers to be among the first skilled users of emerging technologies, NPS must actively support laboratories exploring emerging technologies and recruit and develop faculty who can lead in these areas.
Action S1.1—Establish emerging technology exploration laboratories and secure seed funding for new research in selected areas of great strategic importance.
Candidate areas include:
- autonomous systems;
- cyber security technologies;
- additive manufacturing;
- nano-mems cleanroom for new materials;
- modelling, simulation, visualization and virtual reality;
- nano-satellites and new-band satellite-ground communications;
- military applications of blockchains; and
- quantum computing.
We will propose other areas as the need and
Action S1.2—Enable excellence in our faculty in these emerging technological areas.
For the emerging technologies identified above, NPS will encourage existing faculty to form new groups to establish labs and link them to education programs and hire new junior professors to strengthen our coverage of these technologies. We will also seek support for Chaired Professorships in order to hire and retain senior faculty leaders in these areas and provide incentives for departments to collaborate.
Few organizations in the world collect and manage more data than the Department of Defense. However, the sheer quantity of these data, the large number of organizations exercising authority and control over subsets of the data, and incompatibilities in data storage severely limit decisions across all functional areas from personnel readiness, to command and control, intelligence, cybersecurity, logistics, meteorology, oceanography and acquisition.
The new field of data sciences and analytics makes data relevant to national defense and homeland security. NPS is uniquely positioned to make major contributions to the Navy and Department of Defense capabilities by expanding and focusing our educational programs and our research in data science. NPS will educate future leaders to think and succeed in this data-rich environment through knowledge of the fundamentals, applied research, and the ability to create institutional data science capacity.
Action S2.1—Create an interdisciplinary working group guided by a faculty coordinating committee.
The new Data Science Working Group will bring together faculty and staff from across NPS. This group will initially be charged with implementing three main strategies:
- assist with organizing existing data resources relevant to national defense;
- provide an effective data analytic capability to answer important defense-related questions; and
- educate military officers and Department of Defense civilians so that we have the human capital that will make it possible to integrate data sciences and analytics into future decision-making.
The working group will develop education programs and sponsors; get research sponsorship for new technologies of gathering, storing, and analyzing data; develop a resident capability in data engineering; and coordinate data science activities across campus.
Many aspects of our national security require an understanding of, and an ability to predict, environmental conditions in the atmosphere, ocean, land, and space.
A number of high-profile national security systems involve technologies that are especially sensitive to environmental conditions: sensors, communications systems, and missile defense and anti-submarine warfare technologies involving lasers, radar, or sonar. Many extremely high-profile national security policies, plans, and operations such as planning for the impacts of rising sea level on military bases and operations, and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations, are sensitive to evolving climate conditions.
Service members must increasingly be educated about environmental effects as well as how to utilize and apply earth systems models for forecasting and decision-making. Naval officers in leadership roles will increasingly need to be well-informed about a range of environmental effects.
Action S3.1—Enhance our strength in defense-relevant aspects of the environment.
We will expand our range of interdisciplinary expertise in research and graduate education on environmental conditions including the operational effects of environmental conditions, energy footprints of systems and operations, protecting energy supply chains, optimizing logistic networks, and applying models and environmental information in the operational and national security environments. In this area, we will:
- leverage NPS’s investments in expanded bandwidth to classified networks and cloud computing to enhance our collaborations with Navy, Department of Defense, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, other agencies, and universities to obtain and share access to large environmental data sets;
- improve access to real-time and archival environmental data;
- recruit post-doctoral researchers who will bring the latest techniques and scholarship into our classrooms and laboratories;
- establish seminar series and annual conferences that bring faculty, students, military and industry together to discuss pressing issues and concerns; and
- engage with our sister higher education institutions (Naval War College, USNA, Air Force Institute of Technology) to analyze environmental effects on sensors; weapons; personnel; strategic, operational & tactical planning; the operations of adversaries; and to develop policies and alternative courses of action based on environmental intelligence.
Action S3.2—Expand our collaborations on environment.
We will facilitate and improve faculty expeditions to ships, submarines, aircraft, and other platforms and experiments such as those in the Navy and University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System fleets or at Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command and the research labs. We will collaborate with other military organizations and with industry to obtain access to their experimental platforms both equipment and computational platforms such as exascale and quantum computers for hands-on education, research and experimentation to understand and explore environmental effects on operational outcomes for existing and planned systems.
The Secretary of Defense and all of the Service Chiefs have identified cybersecurity as the fifth dimension of warfare, along with land, sea, air, and space. We will continue expanding our cyber educational and research programs, strengthening our ability to respond to ever changing, often surprising cyber threats. We will prepare our students to be decision-makers who can support the requirements of the Navy-Marine Corps team, the Joint Force, and the Department of Defense. We will maintain our National Center of Academic Excellence status (from the National Security Agency) in Information Assurance, Cyber Defense, Cyber Operations, and Cyber Research and our Department of Defense Information Operations Center for Research.
Action S4.1—Develop new academic programs that enhance our external relationships in the cyber domain.
We will build off of our cyberspace oriented curricula to offer enhanced DL certificate opportunities. We will continue to develop, refine, and distribute our comprehensive “Cyberspace Operations Fundamentals” course. We will work with curriculum sponsors to incorporate the course into their resident and DL students’ schedules. We will offer new cyber management and leadership courses through the Center for Executive Education, Graduate School of Business and Public Policy, and online forums. We will establish student internships at leading cyber businesses, especially in Silicon Valley, to give our students first-hand experience with industry approaches to cyber security. We will establish faculty and staff internships at numbered fleet headquarters and aboard ships, to afford first-hand experiences with the operational environments in which cyber security is critical.
Action S4.2—Expand classified cyberspace operations research and education.
We will upgrade our classified networks to ensure uninterrupted, high-speed access at the Top Secret level to our sponsors and provide them with enhanced test environments. We will establish a Joint Information Operations Range node at NPS in order to support visibility and participation in classified experiments and exercises. We will commit additional staff to administer and support these networks to support faculty and student work.
Action S4.3—Expand support of cyberspace operations research and education.
Our students require hands-on experience with the complexities of cyber operations, the nature of threats they will face, and the improvements possible from augmenting software with security hardware. To give them this experience, we will provide cloud platforms for research and classroom lab experiences through Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, or other providers. We will commit additional support services to the delivery and maintenance of these environments and set up instructional lab content in support of faculty. These upgrades will support increased depth of knowledge for successful cyber warriors and also the cyber research programs of the faculty. We will also involve more students with testing cyber technologies locally, with industry, and at the Field Experimentation Facility at Camp Roberts.
Action S4.4—Assist SECDEF and SECNAV on designing secure networking.
NPS will continue to explore efforts with the office of the SECDEF and SECNAV on developing design concepts for a new, highly secure, flexible world-wide Department of Defense network. This work will be conducted through research and student theses.