tv Defense Technology Innovation Hearing CSPAN May 16, 2018 5:55pm-8:00pm EDT
weapons, and military drones. this two-hour hearing begins with committee chair mac thornberry. >> committee will come to order. for the last three national defense authorization acts reform, especially acquisition reform, has been a major priority. the purpose has to get more value for the taxpayers out of the money spent, but even more importantly, to make the department more agile in dealing with the variety of security challenges we face. as secretary mattis has testified, our technological position has eroded in recent years compared with our leading veafrs. we confront threats that don't con form to our traditional
notions of warfare. and the historical evidence indicates we may well be a victim of our own success. as one writer put it when looking at the inner war years, the losers were forced by events, to re-examine everything. military losers are intellectual radicals. the winners, complacent in victory, feel the need for self-examination far less. the answer is, the department of defense must work to be more innovative in technology, in policies, and in thought. one of the many books offering advice to businesses sums it up with a chapter title that is "innovate or die." that has been the goal of the reforms of recent years and the reform proposals that i'm releasing today. we are privileged to have two witnesses who are superbly qualified to help guide our efforts as well as those of the department in the quest to
develop a culture of innovation. one of the reforms we enacted two years ago was to create an undersecretary for research and engineering to be the primary driver of ino voition in the department. dr. michael griffin was confirmed that that position about two months ago and among other things, he's the former administrator of nasa. eric smith is the chairman of the defense innovation board and formerly chairman of google and alpha bet where he remains a technical adviser. he's here however only in his capacity with the defense innovation board. we are very grateful to have both of you here. i might alert members that after this -- immediately after this open hearing, we will reconvene in classified session to go in greater detail about some of these issues. let me at this point yield to the gentle lady from california, who is the acting ranking member. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and
i want to ask unanimous consent to put the ranking chair statement into the record. >> without objection. >> thank you. i certainly appreciate the chairman's calling today's hearing on the need for more innovation and technology development in the department of defense. and we're honored to have both of you here today to serve as witnesses on this critically important topic. we've been talking about it for a long time. but actually addressing it in a way that is going to continue to make a difference, is part of really what we want to see happen. maintaining a culture of innovation does matter. innovation ensures our service members have the technological edge they need, innovation has the power to win tomorrow's wars before they are fought. we must continue to promote a culture of openness. looking for new ways to do things, being willing to accept prudent risks, and trying something different, and constantly looking ahead rather
than behind. but we also know that the department of defense cannot go it alone. they must work with the private sector and academia. no less important are investments in stem education, programs that develop junior talent into future tech leaders of policies that promote an environment in which global collaboration, discovery, innovation, public institutions, and industry can thrive. i had an opportunity to read dr. schmidt's statement and i want to thank you because it provides a kind of reality test for us, and how do we continue to do many of the advances that we've been working on, and you note those in your statement very clearly. but also build an architecture that is going to bring us into the future and certainly respond to the needs of the men and women who go to war on behalf of our country. i look forward to hearing your testimony today. thank you. excuse me.
and i yield back. >> without objection, both of your written statements will be made a part of the record. i do want to comment, dr. griffin, that nobody's read yours because we just got it. and i think it's important. i realize that when you're an administration official it's gotta be cleared by all of these different levels, but who -- whatever the administration, it's important for those involved in getting us written statements, to get them timely or else there's really no use in doing it. so i've -- again, nobody's read your statement, because i think it just came at some point this morning. i'm not fussing at you, but i am fussing at all those layers that are responsible. it's kind of a good summary of our acquisition problems. if you got all these layers of people that have to approve something, it takes a long time to get something.
and maybe that's an appropriate analogy for the innovation topic today. but without objection your full written statements will be made part of the record. we are grateful to both of you for being here, and dr. griffin, the floor is yours. >> thank you, mr. chairman. first of all, my apologies, the statement is late. and the error is mine and no other excuses is permissible. so moving forward, chairman thornberry, ranking member smith, acting ranking member davis and members of the committee, i do appreciate your entering my written statement in the record and i want to thank you for the opportunity to discuss ways that we as the department of defense can foster a culture of innovation throughout the research and engineering enterprise. the reality is that we live in a time of global access to
technology, and global access to scientific talent. it is no longer preeminently concentrated here in america. the air, land, sea, space, and cyber domains have all experienced dramatic capability advances, and have done so throughout the world. these advances coupled with our adversaries commitment to a demonstrated pace of experimentation and fielding, that at present far outstrips our own pace, present a formidable challenge to u.s. forces operating around the globe. it is this erosion of u.s. technological superiority that led to the establishment of the position which i now hold as undersecretary for research and engineering. our mission is to ensure that we maintain our technological edge and i am honored to be here today to talk with you about
that. i believe that i come to this position reasonably well versed in the threats that face the united states today. and i am indeed concerned. we are in a constant competition. in a world that has now equal access to technology, innovation will remain important always, but speed becomes the differentiating factor. greater speed in translating technology into fielded capability is where we can achieve and maintain our technological edge. we must seek innovation, not only in our technology, but in our processes. i look forward to instilling within the department a culture that embraces a more agile approach to development. and with that said, i would be remiss if i did not highlight the dod, rne enterprise which consists of our labs, engineering and warfare centers,
and our partners in the ffrdcs, uarcs, academia, and industry, both small and large business, who have given us the military capabilities that we enjoy today and that will give us the ones we will need in the future. the department is addressing critical technology and capability gaps through a combination of adaptation of existing systems, and the development and introduction of innovative new technologies through our labs and centers and darpa and other entities. the department continues to push the envelope with research into new technologies, such as autonomous and unmanned systems, artificial intelligence, machine learning, biotechnology, space technology, microelectronics and cyber, both offense and defense. these technology areas are not just important to the department, they are the focus of global industry.
and we are focused not just upon technological innovation but also upon pursuing new practices and organizational structures to support this culture of innovation. earlier this year, deputy secretary of defense shanahan said and i quote, everyone wants innovation, but innovation is messy. if the department is really going to succeed at innovation, we're going to have to get comfortable with people making mistakes. from my own background of producing experimental hardware when i had possibly more enjoyable jobs, i can certainly say that it is -- no progress is possible without the willingness to take chances and make mistakes with today's hardware in order that tomorrow's systems will be better. we are today making investments across the full spectrum of
innovation. these areas include early stage research and development, repurposing commercial and non-traditional technologies for national security purposes, the advancement of manufacturing technologies, red teaming to identify our own vulnerabilities, new technology demonstrations, and experimentation and prototyping. our adversaries are presenting us today with a renewed challenge of a sophisticated evolving threat. we are, in turn, preparing to meet that challenge and to restore the technical overmatch of the united states armed forces that we have traditionally held. i thank you again for the opportunity to testify on this critical issue and i look forward to your questions. thank you, sir. >> thank you. although i cannot imagine a job that would be more enjoyable than the one you have now, to help the department of defense
be more innovative. dr. schmidt, thank you for being here. [ inaudible ] >> yeah, hit the button, please. >> sorry. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and i completely agree with what dr. griffin just said. i think it's crucial for our nation. i've worked with a group of volunteers over the last couple of years to take a look at innovation in the overall military. and my summary conclusion is that we have fantastic people who are trapped in a very bad system. and i'm concerned that you all are not going to get what you think you're going to get because of the deficiencies of the system, and i want to take you through that. i might start with a couple of simple examples. we visited a minesweeper, and minesweeper is obviously important, and there's a young sailor who is beaming. i go up to him and say, what are you beaming about? he says, we just upgraded our computer. upgraded from windows '95 to
windows xp, which was delivered in 2001. his job, by the way, was to watch for mines eight hours a day on the screen of his windows xp computer. no one i knew and no one i could find all up the chain of command could fix this obvious violation of department policy around adopting windows 10. we've visited more than a hundred sites and one of the sites we visited, we had 20 officers of various kinds, all very committed to innovation, and we had a presentation on the innovation occurring at the base. a programmer gets up and shows us rapid development methodology, quotes from my book, talks about how it's all done right. sounds great. we discovered that there are only two people on the base that are doing this. of course there's 20 officers in charge of these two people. but i guess the even worse news is one of them is being reassigned to a different base and won't be able to do any more programming. and they can't figure out a way
to swap the billets so this person can stay in their base. we're at a secret briefing with the security agency on an opponent in the crypto world, by a very, very talented, young, crypto expert, who says that he's being transferred to a different base and won't be able to work on crypto anymore. all right? this is the state of the talent of our young people and frankly why many of them are leaving for the private sector. they want to serve. one of our new generation airplanes had a potential software problem, we were asked to look at that. we went to visit, we discovered it has a first generation cpu, which was the processor that's in the airplane, that had been deployed and was out of date when it was deployed. but they're excited about a new version of the same cpu coming out in approximately 2024, which will be out of date when it's delivered. when questioned hard by our team, the rules were so constraining, the engineers did not have a choice. this is madness in my view. i can give you example after
example of this in the details. so my conclusion, or our conclusion, is that innovation definitely exists, but there's no real mechanism and no incentive for the way the current structure is sort of adopted. in fact, if i can make a strong statement, the dod violates pretty much every rule in modern product development. the spec is developed and finalized before production starts. the way you really do it, you start it and you learn from your mistakes, that's called agile development. it's essentially impossible to do because of the way the rules are set. there's no permanent software wear people. software, when done right is essentially continuous. the way it's done is the same way hardware is pro cured. you write a spec, it shows up, make sure it meets the spec, and the contractor goes away. if you were in 2001 and you'd
been asked to write a spec for the quichblt of a smartphone in 2018, none of the technologies that are in the smartphone you have today were available in one form or other at the time. yet that's how we do almost all of our procurement. it's crazy. much better to do it more iteratively. if you can't do it every week, do it every month. if you don't do it every month, do it every year. but once a decade means that the new hardware will mean that the new software has to be rewritten and that drives the craziness. once certified, a weapons system cannot be changed. we were in a control center that had a secret classification and they were using a protocol that i recognized as a computer scientist. and i said, wouldn't it be obvious to use this protocol, have a computer and military programmer take that protocol and then expose an answer that was useful for the air fighter? and the answer came back, that's illegal. and i said, we're inside of a
secret facility, you have a programmer who is a military programmer and they're not allowed to connect a computer into your network and they said absolutely. because the whole thing was certified as unchanging. again, a complete lack of understanding of how iteration and improvement would occur. the model that the military uses, where they outsource everything to large contractors has served us maybe well for these large weapons programs. but doesn't work at all for the kinds of stuff i'm talking about. you need a completely different model. the networking computer resources are sort of out of the dark ages. like out of the 1970s. people wait for hours to log in and then networks are slow. it's a complete violation of the concept of abundant computing resources which allow people to build flexible systems. the computer scientists, which we can't find very many of, are not a separate track. imagine if the way you did doctors and nurses in the military was, you'd have them become a doctor or nurse for six
months and then transfer them back out. it's a separate profession. it's obvious to me that computer science, and particularly programming should be a separate discipline with training and hierarchy and so forth. there are many examples of systems where there are two systems that should have been interconnected but vendor a built it this way, and vendor b built it this way. so we have soldiers who literally enlisted professionals that we in our country have asked to join the military, sitting there and it's called swivel typing. they look at it and read the number and then they type it over here. and then they read the number here and they type it over here. right? this is the easiest of all computer programming problems. and again, a small programming team can do that in a weekend, yet the system is not able to do that for the military. since every decision is protested, there's a risk of strategy where not much risk is
taken, because whenever the military actually makes a decision, they know that they'll spend another year or two in some kind of contest. and it just goes on and on. and if you -- if you -- i think this group feels strongly that this is not okay. but let's say you thought this was like, okay, things are fine, the country's doing well, it's important to note how at least one potential future adversary, china, is investing extremely heavily and rapidly in artificial intelligence and has announced publicly that their goal by 2030 is to be the leading force in the world. so again, there are competitive countries and competitive challenges that we need to address. now, we can talk about what to do, we have a long list. our team produced a list of approximately 14 recommendations, which the leadership and the dod has generally indicated they strongly agree with. these are recommendations that are consistent with the things that i've talked to you about,
things like the ko coms, the commanders should have a hundred engineers to go fix things, that software should be a different process. that there should be a program around psychological safety, where the people are encouraged to take risks without losing their jobs. in fact, maybe people could be promoted because they took risks, as opposed to promoted because they didn't take risks, which is part of the culture. trying to organize around big dat a collecting data. if you're working in artificial intelligence to do anything, you need the data to train against. construction and setting up of an a.i. center. my personal view, the split that you all did a couple years ago was very sharp, which brought dr. griffin in and his team, which is excellent. i can tell you secretary mattis and shanahan understand this very well and they're committed to addressing these issues. so i think we have strong
leadership on the military side. i know that you all are very concerned about this, so i think these are problems that can be addressed. thank you very much. >> just very briefly, dr. griffin, do you largely agree with dr. schmidt's diagnosis? >> it would be very difficult for me to agree more strongly with him. the way that we -- the way that we broadly speaking decide what we want to buy in the defense department before committing to buying it, has been, i think, broken for some years, which is why you, as dr. schmidt just said, why you created the position that you did. i made a couple of notes here. eric's comments about iterative development of software, i couldn't agree more. i used to be a software
developer. software's never done. but i would offer the following. hardware development is done that same way. you build a little, try a little, test a little, find where it breaks, fix it and move on. when you have it working about like you like it, then it's time to write the requirements. in the department, we have a fixed process where we write requirements and then develop capabilities. the way real engineers do it, is you prototype hardware, develop capabilities, and then based on those capabilities, now you write the requirements for the production system that you really want. so iteration in the hardware world is as important as it is in the software world. let me stop there. we are in very high degree of amou alignment. >> okay.
did you have something you wanted to add? >> i just wanted to add, so this requirements-driven process makes sense if you sort of hear it. it says, hey, let's write down what we want, the government will procure that, we'll know what the budget is, and we'll get what we want. the problem is, it produces outcomes that are not learning outcomes. there's no new feedback system. and the cycles in development in the general procurement have been increasing up to, say, 10, 12, 15 years, which ultimately causes us to miss the mark in the first place. >> by the time you have the hardware, you no longer want it because it's out of date? >> yeah. >> let me just ask you each to address one other issue. it has been suggested to me that to have a -- not only a culture, but an eco-system that foster innovation, an essential element is small to mid size businesses
that are willing to disrupt things. and the suggestion that's been made to me is, we make it too hard for these small, disruptive businesses to ever get into the dod system. there's this program called sbir, whatever that stands for, which spends a lot of money, gets things started, but very little of it ever gets picked up in a program of record that goes on. so i would appreciate each of you commenting on whether in the department of defense we need to have these small, disruptive businesses, and how well we're doing at getting them and bringing them into the system. >> i certainly agree that most of the disruption that occurs in our technology eco-system comes
from small and medium-sized businesses. we see the ones that succeed. we don't see the many that fail. and then ultimately they may very well get bought if they're successful, by larger contractors. i am not one to say that we don't need our large contractor industrial base. that is how we produce things at scale. but they are not largely the innovators that you seek. so i agree with your point there, sir. part of the difficulty and -- and i further agree that we are in the defense department and in the government at large, we're not user friendly for small and medium-sized firms which quite often lack accounting systems that are compatible with defense contracting auditing agency, and defense contracting management agency. it requires a lot of corporate
overhead and this time last year, i was running such a company. it requires a lot of corporate overhead to deal with what we do in government. well, why do we do those things in government? we do them so that we in the executive branch can demonstrate that we can account for every penny. we go to so much trouble making sure that no misspending of money is possible, that we actually create a larger mistake. we freeze out the innovators who, maybe their accounting systems aren't up to snuff, but their innovations are, and we leave those behind in an effort to make sure our systems are perfect. if we could find a way to do more dealing on a commercial transaction basis where, as a commercial entity, your
accounting system is your problem. i'm buying a quantity of things from you, and my interest is to make sure that you deliver those things on time. if we had more focus on outcomes and less focus on process, i think we in the department could do better. >> the department of defense has created two interesting groups, one is call diux, another one is called special capabilities office, or sco. both of which are central to solving this problem because they focus on the small, disruptive businesses and try to use their tech to augment the larger systems. there are groups, an example would be soft works, sof, werx, and afwerx, which are attempts to do that for the special operations forces as well as the air force and the other services are now looking at this to
address the question that you asked precisely. so we're very clear, most innovation is going to come from these small, innovative companies by definition, because that's how they differentiate themselves. all of them complain that the cost of compliance to the rules and procurement is overwhelmingly difficult. they don't have the money, they don't have the people and so forth. whereas the larger companies do. >> have you had a chance, dr. schmidt, in your reviews to, look at this sbi program and how successful it is in getting small businesses into dod mainstream? >> i'm aware of it. we've not done a deep dive on sbir. everything that the dod can do to encourage more choices in terms of innovation say good thing. whether it's individual contracting. it's possible, for example, to hire small teams of software people who you can't hire
through the normal military process, through special consulting arrangements. all of that should be tried. i want to emphasize what dr. griffin said about this need to track every dollar. i'll give you an example. i'm sitting with a very senior four-star general and i said in a polite way, you're a very powerful guy. why can't you get a team of 50 people in your huge budget, to do the things you're complaining to me about? and he said, i did, and they were taken away from me. and i said, you've got to be kidding. so there's something in the system that's a scavenging function, that's taking these small groups that are interesting and innovative and under the direct control of our most senior military leaders and taking them away from them. that's not smart. >> lots to go through. but miss davis. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and i think it's discouraging when we hear also that, in fact, you were able to find two generals, i believe, who really
got it, and yet were not able to make that happen. i think in other ways. so could you talk a little bit about and, dr. schmidt, with your experience in the private sector obviously, there are a lot of ways in which we often have exchanges, bring people into the military, bring military into the private sector. are we using every advantage that we have to do that? have you seen ways in which we could do a far better job building that human capital, so there's a real understanding of the role that one another plays? because i think sometimes, you know, folks in the military may think, well, they don't have to worry about the problems we have to worry about. and the same is true. how can we do that better? and i also would wonder, how can we do that better when it comes to developing that human capital
at a much -- prior to people getting into the service for that matter, that we can try to bring some of those, that thinking to bear? >> for this part of the military, i like to think of it as a very, very large corporation. with the problems of a very large corporation. how do you hire people, how do you promote people, and so forth. the defense department has something called the defense digital service, which is a good example, where patriotic men and women will take a year or two off of their current jobs. they get permission to do so obviously, and they come in and they fix problems. the problem with it, which is very successful, it's very small. 20, 30, 40 people. we need a hundred, 200, 300. and given the way the government in general does software in particular, these kinds of programs are effective, and i would encourage their expansion. corporations are not going to willy nilly hand over their top talent. but there's enough motion in the
system where, again, patriotic people are willing to take a leave or work -- and you can imagine there are programs with the private sector where they'll even keep their salary as a patriotic act, to do this, as long as it's time-limited. you emphasize in your opening comment, the importance of stem education, it's clear to me, the most important thing we can do is more emphasis on stem education at all levels. >> mr. griffin, i think these are all things that we think are good to do and some of them, of course are being done. we need to scale that more. but do you see -- and i know you're in this position somewhat new under this rubric, does it actually transfer when people have had those experiences? are there things -- the requirements-based processes in
the military, does that get in the way of people taking those good ideas and being able to deal with it? or will more people who understand this, in the end, be the difference between how we move forward in the future? [ inaudible ] >> what would you do? microphone. >> there are a lot of important questions contained in that one question you asked. that's really quite broad. first of all, the individuals who come in for these experiences and then go on to other avenues of life, they do retain those. we get valuable transfer both ways. as eric said earlier, we've got fantastic people in the government and laboratory networks, in my experience, as good as those who can be found in commercial industry.
it is, as he said, the system in which they reside. eric gave an example of a four-star who wanted to do something and the resources were taken away. just a couple of weeks ago, i was having a conversation with another four-star, and we were commiserating on the swarming drone threat. and he said to me, in almost a rhetorical conversation, why can't i just have some money and buy some drones of my own and put my guys on the problem of figuring out how to develop a counterattack and let them try stuff out and break some drones and find out an approach that works? and i said -- i won't offer his name -- i said, general, i could not agree with you more, but in fact, i'm an undersecretary and you're a four-star, and neither one of us has the power to route money to you, to allow your
people to do what you just said. >> yeah. >> it is the system in which we're trapped. now, in private industry, i once ran a gps company. if it hadn't been successful, i probably wouldn't be here today. if i had to go through the kinds of permission loops to upgrade my receiver circuitry that we have to go through in the department to catalyze and advance, i wouldn't be here today. i'd have been long out of business. it is the system in which our innovators are trapped. it is not the quality of the innovators or the innovations. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> mr. rogers? >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you all for being here. dr. griffin, as you know, i have a very high opinion of you for a long time. and i'm proud you're in this
position. this new nda that we just completed, gave you some pretty broad and sweeping powers. i know you've only been in it for two months now, but can you tell me how it's working? >> well, sir, in fact, i've been in this two months today. eight weeks today. and thank you for your kind comments. actually, i have to say, the broad and sweeping powers that the ndaa 17 allocated to us are more broad and sweeping powers to offer advice. i don't -- usdr doesn't have much in the way of specific directive authority to control what is or is not done. so it's more the power to persuade. i hope i'm an effective persuader. >> good. i hope you're effective too. conventional strike hypersonic development needs to be accelerated. can you tell me what your
thoughts -- and coordinated better. can you tell me what your thoughts are about that. >> you have hit my number one hot button, sir, as i may have mentioned that in my confirmation testimony couple months back. i will say that in my opinion today, the most significant advance by our adversaries has been the chinese development of what is now today a pretty mature system for conventional prompt strike at multi thousand kilometer ranges. we will, with today's defensive systems, not see these things coming, and they have an all az myth capability, they can come from any direction. we will not see them coming beyond several hundred kilometers of range, and once inside that range bucket, we have very little time left to
respond. it is a tactical system that has strategic import for our nation because it, if employed, could have the effect of limiting our ability to project power in the maritime domain. and as you well know, sir, you're the subcommittee chairman for strategic forces, i think you know how important our ability to sustain carrier battle groups and other maritime domain assets, is to projection of u.s. strategic will throughout the world. and this capability is under threat today. we must respond with our own offensive capability and we must with all deliberate speed develop defensive capability. >> excellent. and i know you will. finally, directed energy is something i feel very strongly about us maturing as quickly as possible. it's been five years away forever. but as you know, this technology is pretty mature.
but it needs some more focus and attention. and one of the things that i'm concerned about right now is that it's being developed in three different areas, three different programs, instead of being focused generally in missile defense agency. can you tell me what your thoughts are about why that development's been spread across three different programs. >> i'm not sufficiently knowledgeable of the history to know how we got where we are. and in business school, they teach us that some costs are irrelevant anyway. so my mission is to go forward and unify our directed energy development across the department. that is what i want to do, because right behind the hypersonic threat, i am concerned that we are not leveraging our technical advantage in directed weapons. within a few years, i want this nation to have a hundred kilowatt laser that can be deployed on a striker. i want us to have a several
hundred kilowatt directed energy capability that i can put on an air force tanker, so that it can defend itself. by the latter part of the next decade, i want to have a mega watt class device that can go in space and be -- and protect us against enemy strategic missiles. these things are within our grasp if we focus our efforts. they absolutely are within our grasp. >> well, i want what you just described. so get after it. >> please help me get it, sir. >> i'm with you. thank you. i yield back. >> thank you, mr. chairman. good morning to our witnesses. i want to thank you for being here and for the testimony. i think this is an important discussion that we're having. and i have the privilege of serving as the ranking member of the emergent threat committee and we have primary jurisdiction over the departments cutting r &
d programs. and so the more we can do to cut out the red tape and accelerate these programs, i think the better off our nation will be. dr. schmidt, let me start with you. of the recommendations made to increase innovation in the department, which is the most imperative? and has the recommendation been adopted? i'm sorry. been adopted and actually seeing it come to fruition? >> the -- thank you very much. many of the recommendations are in the internal reviews of the dod, and the military has said generally they're going to implement as many of them as they can. the one that's gotten the most traction is the proposal around a.i. center. we are proposing that the nature of a.i. as a long-term technology that will be useful for defensive and perhaps offensive purposes as well. so the creation of that is under review right now.
and i suspect will occur. we're also recommending, for example, that be done in conjunction with a university or couple universities, so trying to make sure it's world-class. >> how do you feel innovation can be scaled? >> well, this is what i've done my whole career. and you can systemitize innovation by doing essentially reviews, quick decision cycles and that. remember that the biggest mistake is not starting something doesn't work. it's continuing something that doesn't work. so you want to fast fail. and, again, dr. griffin has emphasized this in his notes as well. so i would suggest that the government spend a fair amount of time doing reviews that are pretty rough. it's very difficult in the dod to cancel anything. and yet the budgets are always fully allocated. so if you want to have room for innovation, you're going to have to stop doing a few things.
i'm not talking about the big things, i'm talking about lots of other things they're also doing. >> thank you. that's a good segue into my next question. dr. griffin, so any future conflict will undoubtedly include advanced technologies like directed energy or hypersonics or rail gun, and we recently had a conversation about these topics in my office, and i thank you for the courtesy call when you came by. so it's not just us pursuing these capabilities, as we spoke about, our adversaries are investing heavily in these areas as well. so do we need to be more aggressive in our pursuit of these capabilities? and how do you believe we can better promote a culture more accepting of failure in this pursuit within the department of defense? >> thank you, sir. the first thing that pops into my mind when you say how can we institute a culture that's more accepting of failure, what i --
from the heart, what i think we need to understand is that it's not failure to learn that something we tried didn't work on the way to our major goal. if our goal to -- chairman rogers was asking me about directed energy weapons and i know you're interested in those as well. if my goal a decade from now is to give the u.s. dominance in missile defense in the world by means of having a mega watt class laser, that's my goal. failure is failure to reach that goal. it is not a failure to try out different approaches to reaching that goal and have them break along the way. as long as i don't lose sight of my strategic goal that i'm going to have a mega watt class laser in ten years. and breaking hardware along the way to that goal is not a failure. in fact, breaking hardware along
the way to that end goal is often and i'm tempted to say always, but i'm sure there are exceptions. breaking hardware along the way is often the quickest way to get to where you want to be. and so it's -- there's a cultural mind-set here that we are in the course of trying to prevent small failures along the way to the grand goal, we miss the grand goal. >> thank you. >> thank you, sir. >> as i mentioned, we in congress, of course have to work with -- we want to be supportive of these innovative efforts and as long as we're taking these journeys together and we have an open line of communication when a failure occurs. again, this is something that we can take these leaps together and understand where we wanted to get to and be supportive of your efforts. thank you and i'll yield back. >> mr. whitman.
>> thank you so much for joining us today. dr. griffin, you have spoken repeatedly about the role hypersonics will play in this era of great power competition between the united states, russia, and china. and you also stated specifically that they are your highest priority. you went on to state, in your words, i'm sorry for everybody out there who championed some other high priority, some technical thing. it's not that i disagree with those, but there has to be a first, and hypersonics is my first. other than funding, how do you transitionally get that redirection towards hypersonics, get us to the point where we are not only catching up, but surpassing our adversaries? wanted to get your perspective on that. >> thank you, sir. let me add that i have a goodly -- good size list of priorities that come to us out of the national defense strategy that was released in january.
i'm not often a fan of government assessments, but this one was really well done. and that gives me my -- gives me my marching orders, if you will. and of course the nds did call out hypersonics. and as you correctly point out, i've emphasized that. to be honest with you, our earlier -- this nation's earlier research work in hypersonics systems development was basically what our adversaries had used to fuel their own systems. it is time for us to renew our emphasis on and funding of these areas in a coordinated way across the department to develop systems which can be based on land for conventional prompt strike, can be based at sea, and later on, can be based on aircraft. we know how to do these things. this is a country that produced an atom bomb under the stress of
war time in three years from the day we decided to do it. this is a country that can do anything we need to do that physics allows. and we just need to get on with it. >> very good. thank you. dr. schmidt, let me pick your brain. in your role, you look at a lot of different opportunities. one of the opportunities that i think has evaded us to this point is, how do we take needs within the department of defense, and combine that with the innovation and creation that exists within the outside community, and look at the conduit of venture capitalists who look to invest in those emerging technologies who normally haven't been connected with dod? how do we make that connection? how do we get those companies that have been innovative on the commercial side to say, there's an application of what we do, and the attraction of capital with that, to accelerate the development of those technologies? give me your perspective about what we can do to better make
that happen. >> unlike silicon valley companies, the dod is top down. so the ndf is crucial here. it has roughly ten big buckets. the military is now trying to organize its activities into these buckets. and that's a crucial signal to the venture capital industry to say, work in this area. then the next thing to tie in is the notion that there's a new approach to a problem, a faster this, a smarter that, often software, and that's where the current lack of link is. that the people who are running those parts of the dod are not technologists, they're generalists. they don't have someone to say, hey, there's a new way to solve this problem. and all you have to do is take a look over here. i've championed having various internal bakeoffs and so forth. dr. griffin is central to this role and understands this role very well as one of the people
to bring this into the dod. he won't be successful without the rest of the dod being in alignment with these ten broad areas and calling him and working with him, looking for these things. >> very good. dr. griffin and dr. schmidt, one final question. in this era of great power competition, we are not going to be where we were in the past, that is to outresource our opponents, whether it was what we did in world war ii, or during the cold war. where we will prevail today, we must be able to do more per our unit of currency than our adversaries do per their unit of currency. give me your perspective on, how do we start down the path to do that? dr. griffin, you spoke a little bit about this, about us being the creators and innovators. how do we accelerate that in this era of competition to prevail? >> well, sir, as i said earlier, we're not out of innovators, we're not out of innovations.
we're out of time. if we -- and it is about pace. we must match the pace that our adversaries are demonstrating today. so a few weeks ago, i was fortunate to have some private time with the chairman, and he asked me essentially the question that you asked. and i often pop off with the wrong remark, but in this case, i said, sir, i can either -- we can either retain our national preeminence, or we can maintain our processes, but you cannot have both. we've got to thin out our process structure like weeds in your favorite garden. and nothing else actually matters. if we don't thin that out, nothing else is going to matter. >> very good. thank you, mr. chairman. i yield back. >> mr. larssen? >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to explore this last question -- over here, sorry -- that mr. whitman asked a little
bit more. because when we developed the atomic bomb we controlled that process. we developed the space program, the government controlled it. to catch up or to lead on a.i. on clown computing, machine learning, we don't control that. it's largely already being driven by the private sector. and so the fundamental question i have, is there a money ball question here? that is, are we going to only be hitting singles and doubles, like the dds or the sco or diux, or do we get into an issue where -- get to a place where we're hitting home runs, where we're actual able to do a government investment in the quantum computing, into a.i., that's big enough to set the foundation? otherwise we're relying on the private sector to do that. and the private sector may not
want that big investment from the government to help them leapfrog the foundational technologies. >> well, sir, the private sector will and with the grace of god in this country, do what will do well for them. and they should. because that is -- >> i agree. >> that's the strength of our industrial base. so the question is, how we in the department can take on some of the advances that they're making and put our money in on the tasks that we want done for us using these new technologies. so dr. schmidt a few minutes ago mentioned that one of the advantages of having, say, roughly ten buckets of priority development, is that when venture capitalists can see the department putting its money there, well, they will go and do likewise. so i think emphasizing a.i. through an a.i. center and other
things, we in the department are not trying to build up a.i. to solve commercial problems. we're trying to build up a.i. to solve defense problems. and i believe that stray specialists for the private sector, the investments that are being made in machine learning and ai are fundamental to the future of the industry's, i can assure you -- >> for them it is very clear, are we talking about the roi for them to have the dod either invest or for them to be able to utilize the technology that may or may not be proprietary. >> historically the dod
investment kick started many industries that i have been part of, if you go back to the original work that darpa did and today they are finding key investments that you are describing. we benefit from fundamental military research. if it is a question of a military program it has to be looked at on a cost-benefit basis by the company and to the degree that the company can make it easier that is to the benefit, my answer to all of this is more, an ai center that we are proposing as heart of my group that is run by the dod and if it's the private sector as well because it puts more money into working on hard problems. >> my concern is less about anyone military program, there are 1 million of them and there will be 1 million more, it is about the foundational technology investment where as a government we do not control that like we did when we developed the atomic bomb or the space program. we were the
first entry, the first in the market, if you will, but we are not the first on ai and machine learning. if you go down the list that we are competing with china and russia, i am trying to get past , or get through talking about the dds or sco where we are borrowing people and technologies across services that utilize something new and talk more about the foundational technologies that we have to invest in to be where you want to be dr. griffin in five years on directed energy and 10 years with directed energy and so on. we are computing this use by the dod and we do not seem to control that is much because of the great innovative system that we have. that is a fundamental challenge that i would like to hear an answer to. my time is up, i
apologize. >> again, the relationship between the tech industry and research funding that has come over history from the government has been profound. as a graduate student i was on the darfur grant and national science foundation grant. the more basic research that you fund in aggregate across the sciences, it really does benefit the military mission and the defense of our nation, it may be indirect, but the fact of the matter is that pretty much every conversation that we have had so far this morning started with some form of government or national science foundation funding for the basic research. >> thank you mr. chairman. dr. griffin, i respectfully want to bring up what the chairman brought up earlier, we received the testimony at 9:20
am this morning, it makes it difficult for us to do our job and this seems to be becoming more commonplace from the dod that we do not get the testimony in a timely manner. you gave the example of the drones and the swarm of drones and the four-star general that you are with, neither one of you had the authority to do what both of you thought needed to be done with regard to the procurement and potentially wargames. my question dates back to, is that real or perceived that you do not have the authority? show me the language that prohibits you from doing what you and the four-star want to do? i think in a bipartisan manner you would be able to remove the language from the law.
>> i apologize for being late for the testimony and will endeavor to see that this does not happen again, the fault is mine and i will remedy it. with regard to there is no language in the law specifically prohibiting me from doing what you suggested in the example that i cited, there is no language that specifically gives either myself or this particular four- star the permission to do it. absent the documented permission to do it, it is presumed that you cannot. this is a cultural issue within the executive branch of the government, not just the dod. >> i agree, it is cultural. if we as a government are going to take the position that our dod and the people that run the dod on the civilian side and the uniform personal side have
to have the express written permission of congress to do anything, then we need to be learning other languages because at some point, someone will conquer us. my question then gets to, how do you break the culture? congress does not prohibit you from doing what you and the general agree need to be done. it is a culture, it is a decision made inside the dod to not do things that need to be done. >> yes sir, let me expand my answer slightly more, unless i can find something in appropriated and authorized language and funding that fits the category of this particular response to swarming drones, unless i can find money which is appropriated for that purpose and authorized for that purpose, i do not have a documentable, if you will,
chain of permission going to the top of the government that will allow me to do these things. so, absent that clear succession path for the use of money, by definition i am using it inappropriately. >> i am almost out of time, if i could, the pistol example with the army, the army took 10 years to buy a new pistol, they had one that worked while they took the 10 years to do it, but if you asked them why it took 10 years, they cannot answer the question. it is a bureaucracy built upon the bureaucracy and there is a lot of blame that goes around. we know the problems, we need to know how to eliminate the problems and remove them. one of my concerns as we work on these issues and i know that you are tuned into the private sector and compensation, is whether or not it will be uniform personnel or civilian personnel that are actually the
best solution for us in the programming aspect of things. even in the civilian personnel, ags seven starting pay is $35,000 -- a gs 7 starting pay is $35,000 per year, that is someone with a starting degree. how do we compete with the pay scales and what are your thoughts versus uniform and pay personnel? >> we are fortunate that many people work for low wages out of patriotic duty to solve the problems. they will do so until they feel that their innovative ideas are ignored by their bosses. then they leave and i have encountered many people that go to higher paying opportunities in the private sector. to do this long-term we need softer budgets that can be sent through softer contractors
where they are paid market wages. this is legally achievable, just not done as practice and you have given permission for this to happen. >> thank you gentlemen. >> thank you mr. chair, dr. griffin, i had the honor of representing a number of universities in my district, including uc santa barbara and cal poly san luis obispo, both of the institutions participate in many research opportunities offered by the department of defense. the experience has not only been rewarding for dod as they enhance the technological edge, but also for the students this the partnerships allow the students to pursue advanced research and directly impact the security of our nation. i believe it is critical for dod and congress to expand these academia partnerships as part of the dod effort to
foster and promote a culture of innovation. secretary griffin and schmidt, how important are these dod academia partnerships in enhancing organization? are there new initiatives within dod to expand and create more partnership like dod educational partnership agreements and university affiliated research centers? >> to the last part of your question sir, i do not know at this point if we have any new partnerships planned or what they might be, i would be happy to look into that. with regards to history, i myself spent 11 years in dod and nasa. i am the strongest possible believer in the value of these laboratories and centers and such where the u.s. government partners with a
university to bring a technology development focused upon a particular area. for example, with nasa and jpl, with the dod having a lot of interest, we hire caltech to run jpl for the benefit of the government and the taxpayers. it has been an extraordinary and productive thing to do, i could repeat the same story with regard to the johns hopkins applied physics laboratory or los alamos or many others. this got us where we are. one of my goals is to make sure that those partnerships are strengthened and reaffirmed into the future. >> one of the best ways to address shortfalls in innovation is to work more with the leading universities that are top of class globally. the
more we do this, the better. i should highlight that uc santa barbara is the center of external progress on quantum computing and major breakthroughs appear to be coming to the research done there in the physics department. >> thank you both. mr. chair? >> ms. bonnie. >> thank you mr. chair, in a committee last week the leader in artificial intelligence in quantum will be the next world superpower, i am deeply concerned that we must be able to keep pace with abby terry's -- adversaries like china when it comes to ai. china has publicly stated their goal to be the global leader when it comes to ai by 2030, not very far away. what specific steps do we need
to take within the dod in addition to research and development to ensure that we keep pace and surpass these adversaries? and if you can talk about what we are currently doing with regards to ai. >> as we discussed earlier with dr. griffin, hypersonic's was his first for a number of first , for me, the ai questions are first in a long number of first . to do ai you need data for training. the dod, broadly speaking, has a great field of data that is not stored anywhere, or stored in places where the program is no longer alive. hitting all of that data in a place that is usable, discoverable, and useful for the mission at hand is crucial. we have highlighted the importance of having some form of ai, if it is in conjunction with universities, to take the work at the state-of-the-art.
the third is that the majority of contractors used by dod are not ai capable at this moment, although they are working on it. again, i would encourage the specification and the current process which is essentially a requirements document that will actually state what problem they need to solve. a typical example would be you are worried about a swarming drone problem with autonomy. that is a good example of an ai problem. where's the research? where are the tools? where are the drones? where are the counter drugs? those questions need to be asked and they need to be asked in the context that causes the data to be stored and the algorithms to be invented and funded. >> the defense innovation board has recommended and dr. schmidt has emphasized the need for an ai center. i believe in his hearing recently, the secretary
affirmed that the dod will establish an ai center. that i believe comes under my area. we are looking right now as we speak at things like how do we structure, who should lead it? where should be? how we should structure other departmental research to focus through that. these are ongoing questions that we are addressing this week. currently i was briefed recently and told, i cannot verify the number, but i was told that we have 592 separate ai related projects across the department. we need to bring some focus to all of that and i think that is what you are getting at. ma'am? >> to follow up, some of the technology companies that we have talked with, particularly those that contribute in the areas of ai, have expressed a
reluctance to work with dod. i know you are not here today and the capacity with google, but you are familiar with some of the news articles related to the workforces questioning and concerns regarding the dod project maven, how do we overcome this skepticism? i think that this private sector workforce is critically important to be able to leverage innovations when it comes to what dod is doing specifically with ai? >> because of my role in both organizations i have been deliberately kept out of the particulars, i honestly cannot answer those questions at all, i do not know. my sense of the industry, the answer at the industry level is that the industry will come to some set of agreement on ai with principles, what is appropriate, what is not? my guess is that there will be some kind of consensus among key industry players on that.
that process which will take a little while will probably then informed how dr. griffin and his teams leverage and work with or against, what have you, a matter of speculation, but my guess is that is the past. >> thank you, my time is about to expire. >> mr. panetta? >> thank you mr. chair, gentlemen, thank you for being here, your preparation and testimony, playing off the representatives question, he talked about outside universities, what about internal, defense-related universities? maybe postgraduate school? are they contributing, instead of top-down, basically, bottom-up, people with in department of defense? >> one of the goals prescribed
by the navy is due to the location and storied history of training top leaders in the navy to have it serve as an innovation hub and have business contacts with venture community. that is an objective that we support. in general, the educational systems within the military is a broad statement and could be improved by working with and sharing abilities with a traditional public sector universities, etc. the university or training program or open innovation program that is linked to the educational systems of america will serve both sides. >> i would agree, i am familiar with postgraduate and somewhat familiar with the air force institute. while they are quite good at specific things, the
more that they can be linked with their academic cousins outside the department, the more that they become, and i do not mean this in a disparaging way, but just another university that has ownership in the dod and the better we will do. i think there is just no arguments that taken in total, the american system of higher education is the world's best. taking it globally, we ought to try and propagate that as much as we can and use this as much as we can and support it and let it run free. it has done well for us. >> may i add something? >> please.
>> the challenge we face in the government and military is a deeper training problem then it initially appears, many of these approaches are being turned on top of one another by changes in adversarial posture over technology. an agile and innovative leadership team is a different training program from the kind of leadership that we are changing and training today. ink about these simple things like the acquisition university where people learn to do acquisitions, that has to change based on what mike has two outline. there are thousands ago through these systems and it is a much deeper question than it might initially appear and that is exactly right. >> thank you gentlemen, there you go mr. chairman. >> mr. bacon? >> thank you mr. chairman and thank you dr. griffin and dr.
smith for being here and providing your testimony, there are good updates on hypersonic's, artificial intelligence and chronic computing, in the next 20 or 30 years we will see the technology migrate. this miniaturization of weapons, can you give us an update on how we are doing in that area? are we seeing progress? for example, i think we will see small remote pilot aircraft that can be used for isr or kinetic authorization's -- operations, but give an update? >> i don't know that i have specific updates. as you indicate, there is a driver to miniaturize and when you have the technological driver you will generally get results. for example, i started in missile defense when the best and first interceptor that we could build weighed a ton and i do not say
this as an exaggeration, it weighed one ton. the missile defense that we have asked for greeley and brandenburg today, those wait a couple hundred kilograms can we make them smaller and lighter? yes and we will and one bus can support smaller interceptors. unmanned aerial vehicles are following this, not everything has to be global hawk as wonderful as it is. when we are challenged to advance our technology because of adversarial postures, we will do that. what this is about as much as anything today is reforming our processes to allow them to come forward in a timely way. and
that has been the central theme . >> anything else to add? >> i agree with dr. griffin. >> the other area that i read about israel product warfare, i have heard that russia is more in that the need we are, do you have any other feedback on that area? >> i am unable to address the question, i do not know the russian posturing robotics and i really am only familiar with our own. >> okay, thank you. one last question, on the f3 five front we have had a lot of experience with that and good progress and tough times, what have we learned from the f 35 that we could apply? >> f 35 comes under my counterpart for acquisition and
sustainment. i will be very careful in my remarks and they will be top- level because it is not my program. and this has been there for over two decades and performing well, in work for over two decades it is frankly late and almost automatically cannot be said to keep pace with the threat. i think that it is well known, at least on the inside that the software architecture is not one that would have been developed by our leading i.t. providers. it is not the software architecture that the google or microsoft or cisco would have provided, there are a number of systemic issues there that i
hope will be lessons learned for the next spin. i think it would be better for me to stop there. >> anything else to add? >> i think that dr. griffin's comments reflect that you think of the f 35 and other programs as hardware programs but they are software programs with hardware attached, if you thought about this as a software project and had divined -- defined it this way, you would have a different outcome today and that is at the root of the design, procurement, and operational methodology for these large systems. think of this as, we will get the softer right in the future and figure out what airplane to build around it, that is a
better approach going forward. >> thank you gentlemen, mr. chair, i yield back. >> mr. gallego? >> all of these marines are the same, aren't they. [ laughter ] thank you mr. chair. we are actually very proud in arizona to have a cyber warfare range and an incubator to train future cyber warriors, it is a great place, a nonprofit, by design it is a nonprofit and is not government run. that is something that has made it be flexible in the curriculum and output. if it was a program it is my opinion and the opinion of others that it will be slow that it will be able to change and adapt the environments and retrain and retract and retain
students. in this environment we need cyber warriors to come out as fast as possible, as strong as possible, as smart as possible, and as trained as possible. what can we do to encourage that type of environment, especially from the top down in this stuffy world that we deal with when it comes to dod policy versus an aggressive cyber warrior and a cyber warfare policy? we will start with you dr. schmidt. >> relative to the other things in the military, this is an expensive, salary is relatively low for cyber warriors, you do not need that many, they are brilliant people, i am beside myself as to why we do not have a surplus, we have a shortage, they are the cheapest, highest and most effective part of our defense systems. i think it is because we do not have a name for them, as mike said, he does not have a line item for doing what you just described. you can imagine that as part of
the future ndaa, we could say, we would like to have 1000 of this kind of person under the command of the secretary doing useful things. the only way that you will get that is by doing some form of numeric quarter around the people. in the same sense that we argue over airplanes, ships, and so forth, why do we not say, you need this many people? then the system -- >> just out of curiosity since you brought this up, if you have to pinpoint a number, out of the blue, your best educated guess, what is the amount of cyber warriors we need in the country? >> the general answer in my industry is 1000, in the military, it is probably a small number of multiples of that. >> wow! amazing, mr. griffin? >> i would just offer a couple of additional comments in
addition to those provided by eric, cyber defense is of course critically important to the department, but i will go out on a limb and say that it is even more important to those that guard the economic systems, banking and financial industries and all of that. so the department is looking towards bringing in, we have a new cio coming from the financial industry, i think that we need to do everything that we can to tap into people that are, if you will, playing for their own money in this arena and we are doing that. eric mentioned my comment that unless i have an appropriated and authorized line item, i cannot spend money on something , if you want to emphasize cyber security, offensive and defensive, this is one of my priorities, since we all agree
that we do not really know much about what we are doing in this area, when you hire and give us the authorization to hire these 1000 people, you cannot be too specific about what i have to do with them because i do not know right now. you have to have some trust in us to use the money as the need of all is because we hope to learn more about cyber defense and offense to produce an adequate cyber warfare capability, but i cannot sit here and tell you right now that i or anyone else knows with this will look like. >> so this needs to be on the dod side and the political side in terms of how we appropriate money and legislate money? at least give the flexibility to be able to do that and basically, allow people to fail like in the private sector? >> let me help mike out.
>> do that in 10 seconds. >> e-prescribe lee -- precisely describe the problem, he wants to do something but he cannot find a budget item that allows him to find the money to legally spend it, the problem is we have the armed service committee, the appropriators and the internal budget processes within the dod, all of whom organized to make sure there is no wasted individual, we cannot precisely define what these people will do, but we do know that we need them and they are not expensive compared to the other things that we need to focus on, there certainly things that you should focus on, big-ticket items that i strongly encourage you to have, a small bucket like someone like yourself takes a look at where you say, hey, let them try this, let them experiment, whether it is hiring people or money towards universities, these are honorable people trying to do the right thing.
>> thank you mr. chair. >> just so that i can clarify, are you talking about x number of people in your organization dr. griffin whom you could use as a task force to go do this, that or the other thing? we have a whole cyber command that does a variety of things and we have poured money into that. >> generally speaking a or when i talk about deploying people to a problem and i'm not discussing dod, civilians or military officers. there very well could be some of those, but i'm talking about the necessity to engage the laboratories, the universities, and the flexibility to stand up in the department if we feel that we need to, or the
flexibility to put work where we think it can best be done. i am not talking about going out and hiring thousands of civil servants. >> i am just sitting here trying to think, how do we write something that gives this sort of flexibility as a trial because it will be a challenge for the appropriators to agree to the broad flexibility? i am trying to narrow down a pilot or something? >> with sympathy to the problem you are trying to solve, i can imagine you trying to say, this is a pot of money, not a large amount relative to what you normally deal with, that you reserve the right to review how it is being spent every six months or so, and you are open to how it be spent, in other words, we will trust the other side but we will inspect. go back to trust but verify, that is a completely appropriate view that you
should take. the problem is, you do that and for the next six months, many other people say yes and no rather than letting people come up with new ideas, experiment, come up with new ideas and at the end of the day, the next six months, you say, we have good things and we made mistakes. again, mike or his equivalents will come back and say, we want to be honest with you, we will emphasize what worked and stopped just off the things that do not. that is how innovation works in our industry. >> it is fair to say that we are part of the problem when we complain when things do not work, that is one of the lessons that i have learned in recent years. i apologize for interrupting, ms. cheney? >> thank you mr. chairman and thank you to our witnesses, dr. griffin, can you talk specifically, hypersonic's is the number one priority, what are the main obstacles that you
see to more efficient development of that tech allergy? what are we doing about these obstacles, and address as you do that whether or not our obligations or an interpretation of our obligations under the inf treaty has an impact on hypersonic's. >> i will take the last part first, the inf treaty does not hinder our ability to do research. it would color, the logical question is, why would you do research on systems that are capable of violating the an av treaty -- inf treaty? the answer would be that our adversaries are already in violation so why are we observing the rules of the game that our adversaries have abdicated. >> would you say that we are observing the rules of the game with respect to research? >> so far ma'am, we have been.
i think that is question for the congress. with regards to systems that we can develop and how to speed things up, we are on a test cycle where every few years we do an advanced hypersonic weapons experiment, we just did one with the navy's light experiment and it was a brilliant success. i cannot praise them enough for how well they have done. as the new undersecretary for our any -- for our any, i am asking the navy, instead of 18 months why is it not august? that kind of pace of development as we work our way through the system problems to produce a realizable operational system,
we need to emphasize development pace. these guys are doing great work, i do not have suggestions for them to improve their work, i wanted tomorrow and i want to know from them what is the impediment to delivering in august so i can get that out of the way. >> to have a sense of what those impediments are? other than what we have talked about, the general process of risk avoidance, fear of failure, how many times do i have to analyze the system to be as sure as i can be that when i do a test it will not break as opposed to a cultural mindset that says my greatest enemy is time. my greatest enemy is not breaking a piece of hardware. i must add, ma'am, that i am often, every time i talk about
regaining the type of pace and speed that we used to be known for, people think i am talking about cutting out system engineering or testing or things like that. i want to cut out layers of bureaucratic decision-making where way too many people think that their opinion matters in the decision process. i do not want to cut out engineering tests, i want to cut out the number of people that think they have a right to an opinion because that will shorten the process, if that sounds cruel, i am sorry, that is what needs to go. >> do you have a sense that you have a willing audience in terms of leadership of the department? how will the process work from here in terms of making this kind of change that is difficult because it is cultural and our greatest enemy is time?
>> i believe strongly that i have the unequivocal support of both the deputy secretary who is experienced in an industry that i much admire and the secretary who has leadership in this area is unparalleled, i cannot recall a better team. >> dr. schmidt, when you find a problem like the scavenger function that you spoke about, what is the system in place for you to be able to say, here's the problem, here is how we need to fix the overall process to address this? >> by law my group is called a factor committee, we are not allowed by law to implement anything, we discuss in public and held public hearings, we speak to you and have good working relationships with the senior and -- senior leadership and dod that are listening. >> thank you, my time has expired. >> and i just clarify for a second, i think that you
mentioned that people want to be heard and they do, their opinion is important but there is fear of accountability, if i do not do this right, if i do not.the teaser cross my eyes, how can you smooth that process which is we have to check these boxes to move this along. is that something that can be done or changed? >> it can be changed, we are a sovereign nation, first of all, the department operates within that. americans make their own rules. it is my best professional judgment that i can give you that we have too many boxes to check, if we do not reduce the
box checking we will not change the time. most of my career has been in government service one way or another, i have about a decade in rounding off the industry and i can only tell you that there is a fundamentally different mindset when you are in commercial industry and you are responsible for outcome, you are not responsible for process, companies that become bound up in process fail and others win. if we cannot in government, not just in the department of defense, if we cannot in government become more focused on producing the outcomes that we seek -- >> solving the problem.
>> yes, solving the problem as opposed to proving that you went to the require process on the way to failure, if we cannot change the mindset, then whomever or whichever member said earlier, we better learn to speak another language i am with him. >> dr. schmidt? if you get people in a room and you have a big food fight and you balance the various interest to achieve clear outcomes, that is how development is done slowly and quickly and with pressure and creativity. the military does not operate that way. it is illegal and frowned upon culturally. there is a winner and loser and challenge, people checkboxes and this is guaranteed to slow everything down and it could be predictable to slow it down.
all you need is to describe how innovation works, when i speak with the military and they talk about the golden area, roughly speaking this is a world where in the 1970s he would have a plant and people and you would try this airplane and that airplane and this one would crash and that when would work and they kept iterating quickly. that should be the mantra and there needs to be a good reason why we cannot develop that model and it seems to be lost today. >> we need to fix it. >> you are right. >> ms. murphy. >> thank you mr. chairman and gentlemen for your testimony, i represent a district in central florida that is home to team orlando, a public private partnership for modulation and training that is co-located
with the university of central florida which is the second largest university in the country and a major institution. additionally, a key part of the ecosystem are small businesses that are drivers of innovation in the s and t and cyber industry. i hear from them that it is hard to survive along contracting leave time and crs and the impact of those. there is a consortium called the training and readiness excelerator, we affectionately call this t rex, it basically uses a flexible authorities to field prototypes . they are trying to focus those fielding prototypes in areas where we need the narrowest -- the most innovation, medical modeling,
those types of things, can you talk about how you think the department of defense should utilize ota's and other unknown equivocal methods to start innovation. how can we use that these instruments are used to the greatest effect and manage properly? >> ota's have been around for a long time and congress has recently increased the number of ota's. the system that you give the ota's is not using them very much compared to the opportunity before. our team has recommended that the military measure encourage the use of ota's in a measurement sense. if you set an objective like 1000 times the needs to be doubled, that would make progress to achieve the objective that you laid out which we agree with. >> i certainly agree with all of that as to how they can be managed properly, i know of no better approach than to hire
people that you trust to carry out a given development, put them in charge and hold them accountable for the results. the purpose of an ota is to reduce the box checking the ranking member davis commented on earlier. again, measuring, congress gave us the department and enhanced permission to use ota's and you should enhance the permission. let me add a parenthetical comment, the purpose of an ota is to get around the system, maybe we should fix the system. i will leave you with that. >> great, do you think there is a personnel element to why the ota's are not being used to the full potential? >> again, i would go back to the psychological problem that the psychology of risk is set wrong.
people should be promoted because they took risks, people should be promoted because they took risk, some of them failed but enough of them won that the cause was advanced greatly. that is not in the language in the military hr policy. >> and other contracting personnel issue, earlier we were briefed on the f 35 and continued sustainment problems that are accumulating so that air force could be forced to reduce their plan by one third of cost do not fall significantly. the key issue that was highlighted was a severe quality difference between industry contracting experts and those in the dod where the contract and the department does not quite understand, how can the department of defense develop the expertise necessary
to negotiate better with the industry and how important is the expertise in the future of u.s. defense innovation? >> ms. murphy, as mentioned earlier, i do not have a 35 under me and -- f 35 under me and have little knowledge of the program. >> the disparity is not unique to the f 35, can you speak more broadly between the quality of contracting experts on the other side of the negotiating table from the dod? >> i can only say that industry has a lot more money that they are allowed to spend on hiring lawyers and contracting officers then does the dod and yet, it will always be a challenge for us to get people that are willing to work for civil service wages to go up against the corporate counterparts. eric mentioned earlier that
there are many patriotic individuals that will take a salary cut and is in effect a small percentage of what they earn in industry and come to work on behalf of the taxpayer and retain the greatness that we have in this country. not everyone will and this is a difficult challenge, i cannot say more than that. >> it is a difficult challenge. >> thank you, my time has expired. >> thank you mr. chairman. >> thank you gentlemen, we talked a lot about increasing speed and innovation, one of the things that you have said if i heard you correctly is one of the problems and challenges that we face is that so much technology is available for everyone, it is not just ours, to us this is part of the
problem that we face, whether it is intellectual property that is stolen, or intellectual property that happens to be shared, if it comes from the commercial side rather than the department of defense, or wherever, those are the challenges that we face. increasing speed helps, but not a whole lot if it is immediately available to everyone else including at the terrace -- adversaries. >> in the process what recommendation do you have for protecting ourselves and where'd you see the pitfalls today? >> i guess i can go first. there are certain client technologies that are and should be highly classified and certain programs that we do that are and should be walled off and we should make sure they are successful at that.
the way to get ahead and stay ahead is to work harder and run faster. >> even if we have a technological edge in a particular area, you can name the area, even if we have an edge, when an adversary knows a certain thing is possible to do, even if they do not have the same intellectual property, they will figure out a way. if they are intent on dominating us, our only recourse is to work harder and run faster and stay ahead, that is best enhanced buy free and open interchange of market technologies. the unhindered flow of capital to people that
have successful businesses and dod enterprises that are successful. as eric mentioned earlier, stopping the things that are not working. if we cannot be more agile than our adversaries, they will win in the long run, i cannot say it another way. >> i get that completely, my question is, are we doing enough to slow down their speed, the adversary speed i guess? is it really walled off, or is everything getting out? >> you cannot wall things officer, there are some things, a few more progressive newsmagazines than the economist which championed, as i well remembered, china's admission to the world trade organization several decades ago, a few months ago they had an extension -- extensive article on chinese practices of holding corporate ip hostage if a corporation wants to manufacture in china.
this is an unfair practice until the u.s. and other allies are willing to push back on some practices we will be handing ip over to an adversary. there are some things we can do, but broadly speaking, if we are not prepared to work harder, run faster, and compete at the technological edge then we will not win. >> i understand what you are saying. the point is to stay ahead. in a way, you are making a recommendation that we do not allow this to happen readily and quickly and so easily for china to inherit our technology. >> yes sir, that is correct, i certainly think we should not do deals in which giving up our
ip is contingent to this deal. that does seem remarkably shortsighted. >> mr. halloran? >> thank you mr. chairman, thank you for your service. >> is your microphone on? >> there we go. >> i would like to echo the ranking member sentiments about the importance of developing tomorrow's technology and defense leaders through investments in stem education and other programs that promote innovation. during the testimony we made observations that i found extremely interesting. this not only addresses current issues but future issues as we move forward. the needs additionally for the dod in areas like ai in which i
was using consultants on ai in the late 1980s. i do not understand why we have not moved ahead faster in this area and we had cyber in here to address this and they indicated they were 2025 and we need another million people private and government in the area. plus other things we have not even thought of right now. you have mentioned about the universities, our universities are great universities. they will only be as good as the people that we send to them and i believe that we cannot afford as a country to leave people behind that have the knowledge potential but lose because of the inability to get the type of education that they need.
we have talked time and time again about the government approach. we do not seem to have an all america approach to issues. there are critical barriers to developing a high-tech workforce . there's nearly 20 million americans in rural communities that do not have access to broadband. lack of broadband access affects the ability of meaningfully expanding stem initiatives in those areas and impacts businesses across the industrial base in rural areas. i believe without addressing the key infrastructure priority, our shared goal of sharing defense-related innovation among nontraditional and small businesses will not achieve its full potential. i also believe that if we do not clearly identify whether it is preschool or high school,
that the transition is not working for america. we need a way to have this work. i would like to ask the witnesses how the digital divide and lack of broadband impacts the culture of innovation and the department of defense and believes that it is necessary for today and tomorrow's national security, thank you. >> thank you. the broadband is crucial to growth in the year, -- in the economy, there are groups left behind and there is tremendous work using licensed and unlicensed radio waves to achieve this problem in rural areas. i have good news that we will be able to overcome those challenges. this started in 1996 and we
wired up the schools. 20 years later i think we're getting close to this. i agree with the comment. out of the reason that broadband is important is on the educational size -- side, there are new tools and techniques using ai for direct and personal learning that are available over broadband networks that are interactive and interesting and game of hide. there is a possibility -- interesting and like games. >> there is a possibility of reaching a citizen that could benefit someone in a way that could materially affect their career, quality of life, educational experience and suitability for military experience. >> mr. griffin? >> if there is anyone more in love with education than i, you would struggle to find them. i agree with everything that has been said. we need to do a better job of
preparing high school students to go to college, i spent time as a college professor and i would agree with the observation that our high school students are not coming to college as prepared as they were and we should fix this. one of the ways to fix this is to have broadband for everyone, that is the modern world. >> i do not know what the department can do specifically, but i do support your goals. >> thank you dr. griffin and dr. schmidt, for being here, for your service to the country, it is heartening to see a physicist and technologist answering the nations call to public service. dr. smith, in yearbook, a new digital age, you and jared cohen anticipated many issues that we face, we talked about data permanence, the problem with data permanence and
internet privacy and i agree about the technology combatants in the department of defense and i think dr. griffin cited the same thing, but i do wonder, candidly, what both of you thought and whether you shared the dismay, and frankly, embarrassment, that most americans had as they watched the senate hearings and some of the senators questioning mark zuckerberg about the technology gap in the u.s. congress and whether there are things that we could do to help improve that. >>
of facebook when he doesn't charge for the services. another senator did not know what cookies were. i can go through this, and i'm not saying this and disparaging way, but you talked about the education. do you think the united states congress dealing with matters of artificial -- could use a better education? >> i can say that the area we are describing now are pretty technical. i would not expect an average citizen in good standing to understand them. i do think that more briefings for the benefit of the congress of the impact, artificial intelligence, would be helpful. and the leaders of the nation can understand the restrictions and what they're good for and what they are bat for in the implications. you represent us, and the application of that in our
businesses. and it is important that our leaders understand the applications of all that. >> i think most of us think that having all kinds of diversity in decision-making groups, aids the decision-making. the more disparate points of view that you have to a task, the more you have to actually make a decision, the better you will do. and so if more working scientist and engineers and such ran for congress, i think that would broadley be a good thing. i've had many years of working with the congress and i don't generally find that the issues confronting us are caused by a failure of the congress to understand what we are saying.
the issues seem to be more systemic. i could not choose better words and so i'll just try to quote them as best they can. we have great innovators in the department and air trapped in the system that doesn't work. as winston churchill famously said about democracy, it is the worst of all systems, except for all the others we have tried some of these things seem to be endemic to the nature of rep he has an -- representational democracy and we struggled to do the best we can >> i like to ask one final question. you talked about privacy and regulation and as we are dealing with artificial intelligence and all the positives, it is more important than ever that we've been thinking about what an internet bill of rights would look like.
may be something not as expansive as the gdr p, but within the american context, i wonder if you and dr. griffin have thought about how to get technology leaders part of that question behind that idea that would assure the american public that the congress can protect their privacy around internet rights in a bipartisan kind of way. >> there have been a number of at temps in doing this and i think people are sympathetic in doing this. the devil is in the details, as you know being a legislator. and i would encourage the three of you, you all know our industry very well and try to represent the nation as strong as you can to find that balance. in our book we said that you need to fight for your privacy or you will lose it.
and i remember writing that sentence because it is so easy for the public information -- the private information to become public without your knowledge. and i think there must be a way to enshrine that principle to strike the right balance between interest. >> thank you. >> dr. schmidt, let me ask one of question. it is hard to do business with the dod. but since you have a foot in both camps, what is the willingness of, say, the i.t. industry to do business with the department of defense? is her reluctance? >> there is a general fear that the overhead cost will kill the startup. and it would be very helpful if we had a number of companies that started with an idea, had help from the dod to get
through the process and had ultimately become hugely successful in the new paradigm. and if we had a couple companies like that that we could point to in our narrative, it would encourage more of that. we need a couple of hit of companies that are good businesses that also served the dod and the things that it cares about. it is an attempt at that and there other initiatives within the dod to do that. but we need a couple big winds. >> mad i want -- may i add that it is important not to feel helpless when you are in our situation, but rather be clear and assertive that this is a system, that operates under the laws of our nation and we can change it. we've highlighted a couple of examples of things which don't make any sense when you're in
the middle of the system. why don't all of us collectively engage in the discussion as to how we could eliminate some of those nonsensical behaviors. and at least have that debate. it feels like that debate is not occurring to me as a private citizen. it feels like everyone is sort of repeating build criticisms. this procedure was a problem, rather than saying the system was not architected. how would we architect system to address at least the stupid stuff. i assume you are okay with that. >> i could not agree more. i simply know that when developing new things that have not been done before it is hard to get it right and it is easy
to make mistakes along the way and when you're doing that, you are guided by a single-minded focus on the end goal. but when i'm doing that, i cannot tell you upfront what the requirements ought to be, exactly how it is going to come out in the long run, what contractors i need what system practices i'm going to use, it depends. and so if in the advanced development stage, which in klude things -- so that they can have experience with the thing for deciding to go in production, if, can give the department as much flexibility as possible to not know exactly how we're going to get to the goals we all share, give us the taxability to not know how