In theory, our acquisition process is supposed to do
this. In my experience as commander of the Operational Test and Evaluation Force (OPTEVFOR), however, we too often fail.
Naval leadership has embraced the need to make our
systems more integrated and interoperable, and is taking clear steps in the right direction. OPTEVFOR has
fully embraced the concept and changed operational
test processes to a clearly traceable mission focus.
Partnerships help cross the boundaries of individual
systems and add an emphasis on the system of systems. Some progress has been made. Much more is
required to succeed.
A fundamental key to this success is the discipline
of HSI. We must have the human in the loop from the
beginning if we ever hope to create a harmonized
solution. Lofty goals of perfect automation and spec-compliant system performance have historically fallen
The critical path to delivering final products that are
useful in creating warfighting capability is enabled by
excellence in human factors, engineering and systems
integration. The human in the loop is the ultimate tool
for connecting a complex conglomeration of systems
into a system of systems that creates a critically needed
Rear Adm. David A. Dunaway is commander of the Navy’s
Operational Test and Evaluation Force.
“A Point of View” is a Seapower forum wherein experts and
analysts express their views on a variety of thought-provoking
topics. It is edited for length and Associated Press style, and
publication is at the editor’s discretion. The views expressed
here are the author’s and not necessarily those of the U.S. Navy
or the Navy League of the United States.