WASHINGTON — New guidance from the Joint Requirements Oversight Council, or JROC, will arrive by the end of the month, with an emphasis on how to speed up key areas for the Pentagon, according to Gen. John Hyten, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Speaking at the annual McAleese & Associates conference, Hyten explained that under the department’s still-in-the-works joint war-fighting concept, there are four subsidiary topics of focus: information advantage, joint command and control, fires, and contested logistics.
By the end of May, Hyten said, the JROC — which serves as an oversight body on the development of new capabilities and acquisition efforts — will publish strategic directives on speeding up the acquisition system for those four key areas.
“Speed is critical. And I’m trying to put speed back in the JROC,” Hyten said. “We’re working with the department to figure out how to put speed, and focus experimentation, so we can drive to the future. We’re working to figure out how to transition experiments quickly into operations. And the reason we’re doing this is because the threat demands it.”
Hyten did not go into detail about what the JROC guidance will look like, but did indicate it will have a focus on allowing lower-level officials flexibility in how they go about working acquisition issues.
“Many people in our enterprise still like being very deliberate and taking no risks, and making sure we understand everything before we move forward. We like to make sure that every test works, and we don’t test until we’re sure that it’s going to work,” he said. “We can’t do that kind of business anymore, we have to be able to go forward, which means we have to give that responsibility to much younger people in our formation.
“We have to give the authority and responsibility to the people that do work. We do that on the operation side of our business, but we don’t do that on the acquisition side of their business, and we have to do that again. They have to be given the responsibility, the authority and the funding flexibility to make decisions, put money where it needs to be, and go fast because otherwise we will not be able to keep up with our adversaries.”
Hyten previously discussed the need to develop new data standards through the JROC in order to make the joint war-fighting concept work.
“We believe we will enable the services to move fast because we’ll display the information requirements, we’ll define the data requirements, we’ll define how those pieces have to be done,” Hyten said Thursday. “And the advantage the services get from that is, if we define them correctly, the services never have to come back to us in every program they have with interoperability requirements.”
Aaron Mehta was deputy editor and senior Pentagon correspondent for Defense News, covering policy, strategy and acquisition at the highest levels of the Defense Department and its international partners.