Clark: The future of the Navy lies in integration

SAN DIEGO'Adm. Vern Clark, the chief of Naval Operations, foresees a Navy that needs fewer people to accomplish its mission as it relies more on speed and agility. It will achieve this goal, he says, by integrating more efficiently with the Army, Air Force and Marine Corps and by taking advantage of their IT investments.

Military success no longer depends on combat between forces, but rather on improved data flow and distributive systems, Clark said. Tomorrow's unmanned vehicles will leave very small footprints, in the air, on surface and under the surface, he added.

Clark's vision of the Navy could include mergers with other services in operations such as intelligence, and it must include a faster, more collaborative acquisition process, he said.

The Defense Department is working to improve the speed at which military services acquire new technologies and weapons, he said, but the streamlined process can't come soon enough.

"I want to capture the investments that the Army is making and the Marine Corps is making,' Clark said in a keynote speech yesterday at the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association West 2004 conference. 'There are not enough resources for us to continue to do stovepipe development in the future."

Clark said he is eager to receive suggestions from industry on how the military services can break down stovepipes and fight as one force.

"I am looking for those kinds of apps," Clark said. "We need your help to create that future. Industry has to help us create self-forming, self-synchronizing networks to make it so dangerous for a future enemy to even enter our domain."

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