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Inside the Army’s 3 Transformational Tech Initiatives

Inside the Army’s 3 Transformational Tech Initiatives - top government contractors - best government contracting event

In order to keep pace with the ceaseless stream of new technologies coming out of the private sector and to meet goals such as the Joint All Domain Command and Control unified network, the U.S. Army is making a series of strategic hires and trying out a host of new tactics to render its acquisition and software processes more efficient.

Young Bang was brought on board in March 2022 to tackle some of these pressing need areas. In his relatively short time as principal deputy at the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology, Bang has spearheaded and supported several notable departmental causes that could have a lasting effect over the service branch and potentially across multiple defense components.

Inside the Army’s 3 Transformational Tech Initiatives - top government contractors - best government contracting event

Bang will deliver the keynote address at ExecutiveBiz’s Army Acquisition Priorities: Balancing Readiness and Modernization Forum. The event will be hosted at Falls Church, Virginia’s sublime 2941 Restaurant on Oct. 18 and offer deep context and insights on the service branch’s preparation for the future fight and how it’s adapting its acquisition and procurement approaches to shape the Army of 2030 and beyond. Register here.

Here’s a brief look into three significant focus areas for Bang’s time in office that he will expand further into during his speech at the forum:

Remaking and rethinking software

Bang is currently leading the charge in attempting to model the Army’s software procedures after the private sector. With commercial companies, a software development group creates a program and then works on a constant schedule to update and improve it — a process dubbed continuous integrations, continuous deployment. As opposed to the Army’s previous method of practicing sustainment, wherein software was sent out to various program offices for fielding and repairs, which Bang said caused a lot of unnecessary delays and lag time.

“The commercial side, they don’t have another organization [doing] the sustainment or the [operations and maintenance] and the enhancements. So that’s the same model we want to take,” Bang commented.

As of the beginning of fiscal year 2024 in October, sustainment will cease and the same program office that handled research and development of the application will be responsible for its upkeep and evolution.

Army officials are executing this under the Software Acquisition Pathway, a new procurement streamlining initiative introduced in 2020 that aims to accelerate the speed of getting functional, innovative software in the hands of warfighters in weeks or months rather than years.

A.I. Bill of Materials

Bang has also spoken about the potential value of implementing an artificial intelligence bill of materials, not unlike software bills of materials and data BOMs. This documentation would explicate the cyber vulnerabilities and security risks posed by the ascendent technology. First started by agencies like the National Telecommunications and Information Administration and the DOD, these BOMs make it possible to trace the origination of algorithms to gain a full understanding of a given system.

In a statement, Bang clarified that this would not be a way for the Army to potentially backward engineer the intellectual property of a company’s AI offerings, but was rather only “about securing our digital supply chain and the AI…Understanding how we did something might help us get better insights to the outcome. But initially, it’s about reducing the risk, and that will help us with the trust and responsibility.”

The executive has also played a crucial role in Project Linchpin, one of the major Army AI lines of effort.

The Digital Transformation Forum

The Army has a newly established assembly for the regular discussion of subjects such as workforce development, software acquisition, AI, agile contracting, data, cyber and more, called the Digital Transformation Forum. Bang is the leader of the effort and they likely will or have already met on the previous two topics outlined above.

The forum is attempting to field 24 new systems this year in a collaboration between all of the deputy assistant secretaries and program executive officers — and is on track to meet this goal as of this article’s publishing, a representative told ExecutiveBiz in an exclusive email.

Want to learn more about how the Army is staying fleet, battle-ready and rebuking all of the challenges of the AI Age? Register today for ExecutiveBiz’s Army Acquisition Priorities: Balancing Readiness and Modernization Forum! This Oct. 18 event will be accompanied by a delicious breakfast at 2941 Restaurant and provide invaluable networking opportunities with the other ambitious, accomplished executives in attendance. Don’t pass it up!

Inside the Army’s 3 Transformational Tech Initiatives - top government contractors - best government contracting event

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