SECNAV Establishes Task Force
Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Ray Mabus announced the establishment of Task Force Innovation (TFI) within the Department of the Navy Jan. 22.
Consisting of subject matter experts from across the department, TFI has been charged with developing a comprehensive innovation agenda for the Navy and Marine Corps.
Specific tasking for TFI includes the creation of the Department of the Navy’s innovation vision, the development of bold short and long-term innovation goals and metrics, oversight of coordination across the department and the removal of bureaucratic roadblocks preventing the achievement of these goals.
“From non-state actors, to rising powers, today’s threats to our national security and our interests are not just becoming more numerous, they are also accelerating,” said Mabus. “Establishing Task Force Innovation will help us develop the best ways to improve our systems and ensure that we are also able to embrace our innovative ideas at a pace that keeps us ahead.”
The task force, comprised of special advisors to the Secretary of the Navy as well as representatives from the offices of the Assistant Secretaries of the Navy, the Deputy Undersecretary of the Navy (Policy), the General Counsel, and the Office of Naval Research will focus its efforts on three main areas.
The first, according to a memorandum signed by Mabus establishing TFI, is leveraging innovative practices to create and maintain an adaptive workforce.
This area of focus will involve evaluating the Department of the Navy’s culture, policies and processes to ensure the Navy and Marine Corps are attracting, developing and retaining the best talent while creating a risk-tolerant environment that allows these men and women to anticipate and solve the services’ most demanding problems.
“This isn’t about creating an innovative workforce,” said Mabus. “This is about harnessing the creative energy which our Sailors, Marines and civilians already have.”
TFI’s second area of focus will be ensuring the Department of the Navy is effectively viewing information as an asset.
“We develop large amounts of data in the Navy and Marine Corps - everything from measuring our acquisition programs to the lessons learned from deployments and operations,” Mabus said. “We should be taking advantage of modern advances in computing power and analytical tools to ensure we are using all this information as a strategic asset.”
TFI has also been charged with rethinking how the Department of the Navy values and shares information to ensure that processes within the Navy and Marine Corps allow the services to move at the speed required to perform their mission in the information age.
The final area of focus for TFI will be ensuring emerging operational capabilities have a clear and expedient path to the fleet. The new concepts specifically being addressed by TFI will include adaptive force packages, unmanned systems, non-lethal weapons, directed energy weapons and additive manufacturing.
“The Navy and Marine Corps need to continue to press forward with emerging capabilities and our next generation weapons and operating concepts,” said Mabus.
TFI will have 60 days to provide a detailed innovation agenda clearly stating the actions required to prepare the Department of the Navy for the future. They will report directly to the Undersecretary of the Navy.
“Innovation requires bringing together novel ideas and repurposing resources in order to fundamentally do things differently and to create beneficial outcomes,” said Mabus. “This involves using our greatest asset to its full potential - the intellectual capital of our remarkable workforce. I am confident that by working together, we
will develop creative solutions to the most demanding challenges that lie ahead of us.”