DIUx Remains Top Priority, Mattis
August 11, 2017
Secretary Jim Mattis told reporters yesterday that maintaining the
Defense Department’s innovation initiative for the warfighter is a top
priority for him, just as it was for his predecessor.
En route to Seattle on a two-day trip to Washington and California --
where the secretary will stop in Silicon Valley to visit the Defense
Innovation Unit-Experimental, or DIUx -- Mattis emphasized that he deals
with a military that's engaged in existing, active operations.
Critical to Readiness
“It's an equal obligation for me not just to maintain the current
readiness, but to make certain that the secretary of defense after next
has the same advantages … the same competitive edge that I enjoyed
growing up in this country,” he told reporters traveling with him.
On the first day of a two-day trip
to Washington and California, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis tours the
Strategic Weapons Facility Pacific Missile Assembly Building at Naval
Base Kitsap, in Bangor, Wash.
“So, I rate [DoD’s innovation
initiative] as a top-level priority,” Mattis said.
DIUx is DoD’s effort to seek commercial innovation to solve
mission-critical problems facing the military services, combatant
commands and other DoD components, according to a DIUx release.
Since June 2016, DIUx has awarded $100 million in contracts for 45 pilot
projects in such key areas as autonomy, artificial intelligence, human
systems, information technology and space. DIU-x usually awards pilot
contracts within 60 to 90 days of receiving responses to specific DoD
problems, the release said.
The secretary said he was impressed when Congress called for DoD to
reorganize to support innovation initiatives for the warfighter.
“[What] struck me was how well [Congress] had defined the problem of
trying to keep our troops in the field with everything they needed --
acquisition, technology [and] logistics,” he said.
“Meanwhile, we expect that same organization to be looking 20 years down
the road,” Mattis said. “And they had defined the problem so well that,
when I came in, after reviewing it critically, I embraced it 100