The gains made by the U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) in Afghanistan over the past 13 years should not be lost due to budget constraints and allied troop draw-downs in that still conflict-filled nation.
That is one of the key insights from SOCOM’s commander, Navy Adm. William McRaven, in a speech at the recent NDIA 2014 SOFIC Conference. McRaven also highlighted how the future of a successful command relies on the industry working with satellite operators to provide the latest in technology no matter the mission.
New missions in the Asia-Pacific and Africa regions will also require the right innovations and industry partnerships, according to McRaven. The combination of ensuring operational efficiencies in Afghanistan and mounting new efforts in these other regions will continue to drive the need for more efficient commercial solutions.
McRaven also discussed how teaming with industry is “revolutionizing the acquisition process,” by rapidly creating nimble SOCOM field technologies. He said that because his command does not depend on funding for large programs such as airplanes or ships that require a slower procurement process, it is possible to “slice through the red tape” in getting budget dollars.
“This is a fundamental shift in how we are doing business and that’s what people expect of U.S. Special Operations Command,” McRaven said.
With military efforts being challenged by today’s budget realities, McRaven’s discussions about new industry innovations and improved procurement practices provide a guide for how our defense efforts can be fully enhanced.
As we all know, mission requirements are constantly evolving and strong industry partnerships can be effective no matter where the future battlefield may lie.