Tech & Kit

JAIC Acting Director Visits Naval Special Warfare

Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC) Acting Director Nand Mulchandani met with leadership at Naval Special Warfare Command (NSWC) to discuss its strategy on applying AI for asymmetric advantage both on the Corporate side as well as AI for Warfare. Aug. 19.

Mulchandani and a small team from the JAIC visited the command as part of its mission to transform the DoD by applying AI to achieve mission impact at scale. The group was briefed on the basics of Naval Special Warfare’s mission, Mulchandani met with command leadership and members of NSWC’s Future Concepts and Innovation Directorate (N9) to discuss how AI is shaping the battlefield of today and how it can provide an asymmetric advantage to future operations.
Established at NSWC earlier in 2020, N9 is partnering with cutting edge companies and DoD research organizations to find innovative solutions and technologies to increase precision, speed, and lethality on the battlefield while also reducing costs, and risks to operations.

“We are working with SOCOM on a number of important AI initiatives and this visit provides us an opportunity to expand this important relationship,” said Mulchandani. “The Naval Special Warfare community is at the cutting edge of using, testing, and deploying new technology including AI, and both organizations found an instant connection between current products to collaborate on and align future roadmap activities. We look forward to partnering with Naval Special Warfare to deliver real and tangible capabilities to our warfighters.”

While maintaining its focus on core skills and enduring missions like countering violent extremist organizations (CVEO), NSW is also focusing its effort on delivering the maritime special operations force the nation needs in a competitive strategic environment in relation to Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran as laid out in the National Defense Strategy. To support these efforts, NSW looks to extend the use of AI and machine learning beyond logistics and maintenance – areas where the SOF community saw early success – and will key in on applications of AI for Warfare.

“NSW has a history of rapidly adapting and adopting new organizations, processes and technologies at speed to innovate effectively to deliver the force and effects our nation needs and expects,” said Capt. Christian Dunbar, Director of the NSWC Future Concepts and Innovation. “Artificial Intelligence and autonomy are already changing the complexion of warfare and being employed downrange now. AI, automation and autonomy will fundamentally transform and disrupt the future of what we today call warfare.”
The AI for Warfare concept, is an ontology for systematically approaching AI projects with the greatest impacts across the 7 Warfighting functions such as AI for Maneuver, AI for Intelligence, AI for Command and Control, AI for Fires and Effects etc. While the ability to introduce new practices and technologies into the force can be challenging, successful outcomes result when they are used on a smaller scale first.

“The N9 team very much views AI as a critical enabler to achieving the goals laid out by the NSW Commander in “NSW Vision 2030”, the CNO and Commander, U.S. Special Operations Command,” said Dr. Bruce Morris, deputy director of the NSWC Future Concepts and Innovation Directorate. “Our ultimate goal is digital modernization and transformation across the force to gain an asymmetric advantage on the battlefield of today and tomorrow, and we’re well on our way.”

NSW Command is committed to its Sailors and the deliberate development of their tactical excellence, ethics, and leadership as the nation’s premiere maritime special operations force supporting the National Defense Strategy. NSW is the maritime component of U.S. Special Operations Command, and its mission is to provide maritime special operations forces to conduct full-spectrum operations, unilaterally or with partners, to support national objectives.

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