As the services begin to consider using
3D printing, additive manufacturing, while
deployed, how does that play into your arena?
McDEW: The research and development money really
resides with the services. We are monitoring very
closely what they’re doing. We are actually helping to
sponsor some of that research, where we can, in our
limited research money. But we rely on the services to
really fund a lot of that research and then we try to put
in a requirement or a request to go down a certain path.
I think some of the innovation that is happening in
the Marine Corps and some of the other services is quite
innovative and it is going to really change the way we
think about moving goods and services, and sustainment.
You mentioned in your hearing that TRANSCOM
held its first contestedenvironment wargame
scenario. What were some of the lessons learned?
McDEW: The big one is that we are in a changed environment, and sometimes that’s important in itself. It’s to
realize that the nature of war that we have been used to
for all of our careers and, really, for the last 70-75 years,
has changed. The nature of the threat has changed. The
fact that we’re more transregional, multi-domain, that is
something that we’ve got to attack. That’s one.
The other is that we have not focused enough on
cyber defense. There is cyber defense, but it’s such a
rapidly changing domain that we’ve got to get after it
faster. That was one.
And then one is attrition. We’ve never really
accounted for attrition of logistics. … We always assume
that logistics is 100 percent reliable 100 percent of the
time. I like that, but maybe that’s not realistic.
Again, referencing your testimony, why is
our current operating environment so much
more contested now than it has been since
World War II?
McDEW: I think that the domain challenges are just
different. Particularly, cyber allows cheap entry into
the market. Anybody can challenge you in the cyber
domain. And so that makes it a more contested environment only because more people are in there playing
around. Even if they want to do nothing nefarious, they
may just slow you down or something. That changes
the nature of war.
I don’t know if it’s more contested, but nations
have grown their abilities to challenge us in some
areas. Air — we have new peer competitors out there
and if they choose to challenge us in the air, they can.
Maritime — they can choose to challenge us. It doesn’t
mean they will, but they have grown their capabilities.
What would you like to tell industry about
your needs, your requirements or where you
would like to partner with them for the future?
McDEW: I would say that the way my budget is constructed and the way the Department of Defense budget
is constructed, we have got to have industry as vital
partners. The best and biggest breakthroughs will have
to be enhanced by industry. The greatest strengthening
of our defenses will have to be enhanced by industry.
We’ve got to have industry helping us unshackle
ourselves from what successes we’ve had in the past.
Sometimes the worst harbinger for your future is
your successful past. We’ve been so successful for so
long, can we think differently about what we’re facing
I am challenging my team at TRANSCOM to do that
as best we can. That is why we had the contested environment wargame. That is why we’ve had a successful
number of cyber roundtables. To bring in people to
help us understand where we are and where we need
to go, because we don’t know what we don’t know, but
we’re starting to understand it more.
What new technologies has TRANSCOM
employed in order to make your move-
ments more efficient and more effective?
McDEW: I think that we have worked multimodal
decision-making better. We’re in a different place
today than we were a few years ago in our ability to
employ mode-agnostic decisions. Sometimes it is
counterintuitive. You might think that moving some-
thing by air is faster, and it can be, depending on the
size and where you’re going with the components. But K A T
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