DoD Leaders Emphasize National Defense Strategy at Conference

Defense Department military and civilian leaders participated in the Defense News Conference here yesterday to discuss the 2018 National Defense Strategy and how the U.S. military is evolving as it responds to global power competition.

Leaders in attendance included Chief of Naval Operations Navy Adm. John Richardson, Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson, Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment Ellen Lord, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Industrial Policy Eric Chewning, and military deputy to the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, Marine Corps Lt. Gen. H. Stacy Clardy III.

The leaders’ remarks revolved around the three lines of effort of the NDS: optimizing lethality, increasing the number of allies and partners, and reforming the way DoD does business to quickly get technology into the hands of warfighters.

Here are some takeaways from the daylong conference:

— The Navy must be ready to compete in all arenas of global threats against near-peer competitors such as Russia and China, both of which have growing technology capabilities.

— DoD readiness ensures it has more tools today than it has had in the past, which allows the services to provide training that’s rigorous and realistic. More importantly, today’s training ensures mastery of skills.

— A tenet of DoD training is to ensure the services can train and fight with DoD partners and allies.

— Squadrons are the power base of the Air Force. They are the guts, brains and clenched fist of American resolve, and comprise how the Air Force competes, deters and wins. “We must build a more lethal and ready Air Force that can operate seamlessly across all domains with joint and allied partners,” Wilson said.

— Industrial-base collaboration with U.S. partners and allies is an important diplomatic tool for DoD.

— A critical part of the NDS effort to reform business practices in DoD is the priority to get capabilities in the hands of service members downrange quickly.

(Follow Terri Moon Cronk on Twitter: @MoonCronkDoD)