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Review of the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) Draft Memorandum, "NAVSEA’s 21st Century Engagement, Education, and Technology Initiative" I. Preface This paper provides a proposed course of action to respond to the increasing shortage of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) professionals that are necessary to ensure the national and economic security of the United States. It specifically responds to the recommendations and proposed actions developed in the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) report entitled “Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future.” (NAS Storm Report) This paper consists of an Executive Summary, a Purpose statement, the Context, a View of the Problem, a description of NAVSEA’s 21st Century Engagement, Education, and Technology Initiative, and an Implementation Plan. Additionally, Appendix A provides linkages between the NAS Recommendations/Actions and the proposed activities discussed in this paper. Appendix B provides a model for engagement with academic institutions. II. Executive Summary The Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) is the largest of the U.S. Navy’s systems commands and accounts for approximately one-fifth of the Navy’s annual budget. It employs almost 50,000 people in 310 primarily STEM-oriented occupations engaged in cutting edge technology development and implementation—from Research and Development (R&D) to real time engineering. NAVSEA’s responsibilities span the systems engineering life cycle of aircraft carriers, ships, submarines, and their components. This ranges from acquisition through support to the Navy Program Executive Officers (PEOs), to in-service engineering, maintenance, and retirement. NAVSEA team members serve the Navy with four supervisors at four major shipbuilding locations across the United States, through the undersea and surface warfare centers, and at the headquarters, currently located at the Washington Navy Yard, in Washington DC. NAVSEA comprises 33 major installations in 16 different states with large population centers. One of the great challenges confronting NAVSEA leaders and the nation, as noted in the recent NAS Committee on Prospering in the Global Economy of the 21st Century: An Agenda for American Science and Technology study, is to provide this full spectrum of services in the twenty-first century in an environment of continual downsizing, declining Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation (RDT&E) resources, and increasing competition from the private sector for STEM human resources. Moreover,
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Review of the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) Draft Memorandum, "NAVSEA’s 21st Century Engagement, Education, and Technology Initiative" NAVSEA recognizes that this challenge actually exists at three distinct levels: the national, the Naval Enterprise, and the NAVSEA organizational. The national level challenge is well addressed in the NAS report entitled “Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future,” (NAS Storm Report) which offers four specific solutions based on application of resources at the national level to provide: Improved education in science and engineering, Incentives for basic research, Improved conditions for the conduct of research activities, and Improved processes for intellectual property management and protection. However, the challenge grows more acute at the Naval Enterprise level, which comprises the entire Department of the Navy (DoN) including operating forces as well as the engineering and acquisition community. It is further exacerbated at the NAVSEA organizational level, which represents a tight focus on the specific application of STEM capabilities in RDT&E to realize the technical innovation necessary for the Navy to meet national security needs. This paper offers an approach to implement the NAS report’s recommendations—working from the bottom up. First is at the NAVSEA organizational level to iteratively prototype (and then prove) means to attract, develop, and maintain a world class STEM workforce through ongoing engagement with students and educators from middle school through post graduate school. Second is to adapt the approach as it matures in order to meet the needs of the broader Naval Enterprise. The goal here is to define higher level approaches that yield improvements in STEM capabilities development and applications throughout the DoN. Third is to adapt the approach from the Naval Enterprise level to meet the strategic, national needs identified in the NAS report. To address the NAS recommendations, we articulate a “21st Century Engagement, Education, and Technology” Initiative, which brings together a number of existing initiatives in the widely dispersed NAVSEA organization while developing a rapidly expanding infrastructure to attract short, mid-, and long-term entrants into the STEM workforce. It further engages partners with proven performance in the development of STEM capabilities in academic environments. The initiative also links the NAS recommendations with implementation of the Navy’s Diversity Strategy, which will ensure the diverse world class workforce that is necessary to the design, development, and delivery of cutting edge systems for our national security.
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Review of the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) Draft Memorandum, "NAVSEA’s 21st Century Engagement, Education, and Technology Initiative" We define developmental efforts to foster excitement and interest in STEM occupations among students, faculty, and researchers from high school through post graduate school. Specific elements of the approach include: Outreach by NAVSEA leadership and employees to community, university, education, and other organizations to build awareness of NAVSEA opportunities and gain insights into challenges facing the STEM community; Engagement with key partners in academia and industry to plant the seeds upon which success will depend; A Carrier, Ship, and Submarine Camp (CSSC); A NAVLAB to develop research facilities and support basic and applied research activities in NAVSEA and other (e.g., industry, academic, not for profit, other government agency) environments; and Improved facilities, opportunities for self-directed research and internal information exchange via collaborative environments. As depicted in Figure 1, the NAVSEA’s initiative comprises three stages: Plant, Nurture, and Produce. Plant is the initial phase where current, independent NAVSEA activities are collated to provide a synergistic and coherent foundation upon which to build. Here, activities in NAVSEA command elements that engage with local community educational and other resources are used to define objectives and leveraging opportunities that benefit both the local community and NAVSEA. Nurture is the phase in which activity sets and infrastructure are further developed to sustain the relationships with potential candidates and academic organizations and other stakeholders who develop the STEM workforce. Produce is the phase in which STEM professionals are attracted to NAVSEA’s workforce. This will result from phased implementation over the ten year spectrum in which trust and strong relationships are built.
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Review of the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) Draft Memorandum, "NAVSEA’s 21st Century Engagement, Education, and Technology Initiative" Figure 1. NAVSEA’s 21st Century Engagement, Education, and Technology Initiative
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Review of the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) Draft Memorandum, "NAVSEA’s 21st Century Engagement, Education, and Technology Initiative" NAVSEA is superbly positioned to define, refine, and adapt processes to implement the NAS report recommendations through it’s: Geographical dispersion, Focus on application of STEM capabilities in RDT&E acquisition efforts, Size of technical staff, and Ability to function as an incubator and prototype for development of a diverse workforce. These processes will be built upward throughout the Naval Enterprise, and ultimately applied at the national level.