Category Archives: The Lighter Side

Navy Introduces Innovation Qualification Pin

[Editor’s Note: This is satire.]

Secretary Ray Mabus discusses the new Innovation Qualification Pin in Akron, Ohio.
Secretary Ray Mabus discusses the new Innovation Qualification Pin in Akron, Ohio.

(AP Wire) At an InVenture Place event in Akron, Ohio – Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus has announced the upcoming development of a Navy Innovation Qualification (IQ) Pin. The pin is intended to embrace a force-wide implementation of innovative culture and ensure navyinnovation meets the highest standard of excellence. Mabus said during his speech that, “innovation is one of the most powerful forces in the world, and it is only right that the most powerful navy seeks to harness it.” “With the necessary safety and oversight, of course,” added an aide.

In preparation for the IQ pin, Mabus has released a memo on assessing workplace innovation by fiscal year 2016. Plans are for standards of innovation to be codified by Chief of Naval Operations and Headquarters Marine Corps. The joint Navy and Marine-Corps effort to develop these standards, and ultimately the criteria for the IQ pin, is being called the “Innovation Bridling Squadron” (IBS). IBS’s charter is to develop force-wide qualification standards integrating lessons learned, operational risk management concerns, and DoD acquisition.

IBS is led by CAPT Wallace Binghamton from OPNAV N84, who was available for comment at the InVenture Center event. “Without oversight, innovation can often lead to the foregoing of regulations or unpredictable results,” said Binghamton, “integration of a fleet-wide standard will allow experienced leaders to mitigate risks, and ensure innovation does not stray too far from the safe and proven path. Those who eventually earn their IQ pin will be fully certified in the navy way of innovation.”

Binghamton assured us that IBS would be very disruptive, stating their inspiration will be DoD acquisitions. “Let’s be serious here – the US military knows innovation. We have everything from the F-35 to the Army’s Future Combat System,” said Binghamton, “We can design and field a new landing craft in the time it takes to fight only two world wars. We know innovation – we just need to get the word out.”

The IQ development committee consists of this dumpster grease fire behind the Chili's.
The monthly IQ development committee consists of this dumpster grease fire behind the Chili’s.

Binghamton then described his team’s vision for the IQ certification process. “When I was earning my Surface Warfare pin, it was a long and painful process. It is critical that equal rigor be put into our innovation process. We have a mock-up Personal Qualification Standard (PQS) form of about 70 pages at the moment – but that’s only a skeleton, of course.”

When told IBS’s current plans, and asked for comment, Mabus’ grunted and grabbed his stomach, growling a, “no comment,” before storming off, “to go talk to someone about IBS.”

The roll-out of IBS’s study on the timeline for developing the IQ pin is scheduled for 2020. The first Navy and Marine Corps InnovationQualified officers are scheduled roughly for 2030 in anticipation of China’s global hegemony and America’s ignominious retreat before communism’s iron boot. The physical pin design will be complete by 2035.

#CARRIERDEBATE: Bearcraft are the Answer

[Editor’s Note: The following more appropriately fits in our annual International Maritime Satire Week, but Matt couldn’t wait]

Friday night,  Naval Academy History Museum and USNI hosted a debate on the viability of Aircraft Carriers as a future naval asset. Bryan McGrath, the affirmation, and Jerry Hendrix, the negation, wrestled over the value-for-return and vulnerability of a carrier to enemy weapon systems. There were, however, three particular points of agreement – that there are concerning issues about the range and ability of the modern-day carrier air wing, that unmanned aviation is the future… and Grizzly Bears are terrifying.

In that light, it seems that a mutually-acceptable solution for the investment security and return sought by Jerry Hendrix and the flexibility and potential sought by Bryan McGrath would be using our greatest fear to solve our mutual problem. Even as we speak, the CNO’s office for naval aviation, N98, is testing the B3AR5: unmanned bearcraft. With the terrifying visage and endurance of a grizzly bear, with the flexibility and precision of an aircraft, the B3AR5 propels US naval security, and the bearcraft carrirer, into another 60 years of dominance.

ABHC Connor Stark coaxes a baseline B3AR5 out of it's bear trap for upgrade s and work-ups.
ABHC Connor Stark coaxes a baseline B3AR5 out of it’s bear trap for upgrade s and work-ups.

 

A confused B3AR5 during basic work-ups and training.
A B3AR5 is startled during advanced training.

 

Lockheed Martin's bid for the new B3AR5 data link architecture to act as a force-multiplier to the deadly lethality of flying bears.
Lockheed Martin’s bid for the new B3AR5 data link architecture, enabling swarm attacks to act as a force-multiplier to the deadly lethality of flying bears. Also synergy.

 

Prototype B3AR5 conducting flight-deck tests during sea trial.
Prototype B3AR5 in idle during flight-deck tests during sea trial.

 

AT1 Billie Sanders conducting pre-flight checks on a B3AR5
AT1 Billie Sanders conducting pre-flight checks on a B3AR5

 

The first B3AR5 catapault launch w/ F-18 flight lead off the USS LEEROY JENKINS (BVN-1)
The first B3AR5 catapault launch w/ F-18 flight lead off the USS LEEROY JENKINS (BVN-1)

 

 

B3AR5 overflight of USS LEEROY JENKINS (BVN-1)
B3AR5 overflight of USS LEEROY JENKINS (BVN-1)

 

Naughty B3AR5 hits the sound barrier during a unauthorized flyby of the USS GERALD R FORD during sea trials.
Naughty B3AR5 hits the sound barrier during a unauthorized flyby of the USS GERALD R FORD during sea trials.

 

The first flight of Carrier Bear Wing, BVW-1, off the USS LEEROY JENKINS (BVW-1).
The first flight of Carrier Bear Wing, BVW-1, off the USS LEEROY JENKINS (BVW-1).

 

For the Army's new Coastal Artillery project, intended to give the US it's own ground-based A2AD capabilities, General Odierno, Army Chief of Staff, has commissioned tests of a ground-based version of the B3AR5.
For the Army’s new Coastal Artillery project, intended to give the US it’s own ground-based A2AD capabilities, General Odierno, Army Chief of Staff, has commissioned tests of a ground-based version of the B3AR5.

 

The Interview Review: No One Promised Hitchcock

Presents are open and dinner approaches… If you are considering adding “The Interview” to your holiday celebration, grab some spiked eggnog and read this review by yours truly available at War on the Rocks.

“The Interview” is a silly, fun movie that you’ll want the kids out of the room for. If you are (or were) expecting Kubrick or Hitchcock, I’m assuming you didn’t pay attention to the part of the trailer where Seth Rogan has to hide a drone payload in his butt. He had to loosen up quite a bit to do that and I’d recommend you do the same before watching (figuratively, of course).

I can see why North Korea would hate this parody of Kim Jong Un. An alcohol-swilling trust-fund brat with daddy issues, megalomania, and a penchant for Katy Perry isn’t the image one wants for a 31 year-old god-king whose internal mythos is that he is formidable genius…. Read the rest at War on the Rocks.

Matthew Hipple is the CIMSEC Director of Online Content and firmly believes that Die Hard is the greatest Christmas movie ever.

DEF 2014 and the Guardians of the Machine

This piece by Mikhail Grinberg is featured as part of our Innovation week in honor of the Defense Entrepreneurs Forum. It is also featured at The Bridge.

In December 1918, a few weeks after The Great War ended, the government of the United Kingdom released a report on the “Machinery of Government,” which it spent the last year of the war preparing. The purpose of the report was to first understand how various departments were organized and second to propose a series of recommendations for improvement. A prolonged period of conflict had left most departments with much “overlapping and consequent obscurity and confusion.” In fact, the very “purposes for which they were thus called into being” were wildly altered by four years of fighting on the Continent.

All departments were affected. But even those that were least tied to the wartime effort – Health or Education – fell short of basic organizational “foundation for efficient action.” Such were the report’s conclusions at a time when London was seeing a radically changed – and still changing – world through the fog of victory.

“Machinery of Government” gave birth to a simple concept that decisions about “what” to do in any particular department or “how” to do it – whether it is about acquiring weapons systems or setting academic curricula – should be done by experts and not policymakers. The answers to these questions need to meet policy objectives and strategic priorities set by politicians, but they should be unencumbered by Politics.

The report did not express this logic explicitly, but its recommendations led to this logical conclusion. The research community was the most fervent adopter of this approach, giving birth to today’s UK Research Councils, which are bodies of experts – scientists and artists alike – that distribute public funds to projects that have the most promise.

In April 2008, John Denham — the then Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities, and Skills — remarked how the spirit of a report written 90 years prior was still relevant to the science community. He outlined three key points:

  • Scientists are “best placed to determine research priorities”
  • Government’s role is to set “over-arching strategy”
  • And that research councils are the “guardians of the independence of science”

The Defense Entrepreneurs Forum (DEF) just concluded its second annual conference(#DEF2014), where dozens of bright young leaders from the military, government, academia, and industry gathered to discuss ideas. We gathered at a time when war has gone on too long, where new and existing machines of government have overlapping obscurity and confusion, and where Politics certainly seems to dog every aspect of governing more than it did in the past.

Last year’s conference (#DEF2013) concluded on a major high note, but what DEF is remained undefined. This year, we’re getting clarity. #DEF2014 participants have outlined a vision: to potentially become the guardians of independent and clear thinking about how to make the military better. A community that identifies problems, determines priority areas, works to meet overarching strategic objectives more efficiently and at a lesser cost, and guards these initiatives by having a place – DEF – to host and nurture ideas.

Richard Burdon Haldane, who chaired the committee that authored the “Machinery of Government,” knew that any initiative cannot be effective if it’s scripted and formulaic. In fact, he suggested that “practical efficacy will depend upon the zeal and discretion… the living forces whose spirit is essential to any form of government that is more than a machine.” For the second year in a row, DEF has proven that it has limitless zeal and discretion, or in this year’s lingua DEF, conviction.

To those of us that make up DEF, this is more than a word…it is a charter. We have taken the first steps by supporting the implementation of great projects such as this year’s Innovation Challenge winner, the Syrian Airlift Project by Mark Jacobsen.

What’s next? It’s up to you…

Editors Note: What’s up next? Well, DEF 2015, of course! Also, contact the Defense Entrepreneurs Forum about putting on your own DEFx or a DEF “Agora“… but without the Athenian invasion of Sicily or the executing of victorious Admirals.