The Department of the Navy this week chartered the launch of a new organization to harness innovation and cutting-edge technology for warfighting applications, Secretary Carlos Del Toro announced at the Pentagon.
Delivering remarks at the Naval Research Laboratory Centennial Exhibition at the Pentagon on Thursday, Del Toro detailed the creation of the Disruptive Capabilities Office, a new organization that will “push the bounds of rapidly delivering warfighting capability through the innovative application of existing and new systems, and harnessing today’s exponential growth in technology.”
The new office will work in concert with stakeholders from across the Department of the Navy, which includes the Marine Corps, to deliver disruptive capabilities sailors and Marines need “at a pace and scale to close our Fleet’s most critical capability gaps,” Del Toro said, noting that the DCO will work hand-in-hand with the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory’s Rapid Capabilities Office.
Notably, Del Toro said the new Disruptive Capabilities Office will play a key role in supporting the Pentagon’s new Replicator initiative — an ambitious plan launched by Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks to help the U.S. military deter China by fielding thousands of autonomous systems at scale in various domains — by “partnering closely alongside joint efforts like DIU to accelerate production and delivery of the capabilities our Joint Force needs at-scale.”
During his remarks, Del Toro highlighted the Navy’s newly launched Science and Technology Board, which is chaired by former Navy Secretary Richard Danzig. Along those lines, the secretary said he has directed the chief of naval research to deliver a science and technology strategy for the department in the next 90 days.
Del Toro said: “This strategy will set forth our priorities and our approach as to how we invest our capital — both human and financial — to rapidly identify, develop, and field the capabilities our Sailors and Marines need today, and tomorrow.”
“As our department continues to re-imagine and refocus our innovation efforts, I encourage all of you — our nation’s scientists, engineers, researchers, inventors, entrepreneurs, and problem-solvers — to join us,” he said. “We are indeed in an innovation race — and it is one we must win. Innovation must permeate every aspect of our department’s approach to the delivery of the technologies and capabilities at a speed and scale necessary for our Navy and Marine Corps to confront the challenges of today and the future — just as NRL has done for over a century.