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Rear Admiral Keith Hash / Laura Austin Photo

RADM Hash speaks on strategic planning for NAWCWD

By Patricia Farris News Review Publisher 

    Rear Admiral Keith Hash, with his wife, Misha, attended the April 26 China Lake Alliance meeting. CLA Executive Director David Janiec introduced RADM Hash as the guest speaker.

The RADM discussed strategic planning and his vision for the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division. He noted that his tenure here could be “anywhere from 10 months to 4 years, and that’s what you have in your military leadership. We rotate in and out. Your civilian leadership, on the other hand, is here for the long haul.

“They have set the vision and will carry out that vision. That’s exciting to know, and I’m glad I can start to make that actionable. We started with some of our vision and values, but the strategic vision is a vision that NAWCWD needs to set itself up for the next 5 to 10 years. The civilian leaders look at us and say, ‘What do we need to be in 10 years from now?’ They had to go through many thought processes to see what that looks like.

“Who are we today, and what have we been in our history? This is not just what we will remake NAWCWD. It is based on who we are today, who we have been for over 30 years, which we need to be, and who we are for the nation going forward. So this vision becomes a framework from which we build the actions we take to make the vision a reality. Part of that is that we set a mission statement for our workforce to know what they are doing every day.”

“I loved the story about NASA in the sixties when they wanted to put someone on the moon,” he said. “You walked into NASA, and you talked to any person sweeping the floor, you’d ask them ‘what are you doing?’ the response would be ‘I’m putting a man on the moon.’

“That’s the mindset we want at NAWCWD, and we need it across the Navy. We want every employee to see where they fit in the strategic plan to serve their navy and nation for our warfighters.”

“We deliver integrated and interoperable warfighting capabilities, which is a broad term, but it’s essential to understand that we integrate many things. We do a lot of science, technology, and new development, but we deliver fully integrated capabilities for our warfighters.

“There is no single weapon or platform that will deter or win wars anymore today. It has to be a fully integrated capability that has to be interoperable because no one nation will win any war today. It has to be interoperable across our services and interactive with our allies and partners. They are the people we are focused on for free and open commerce, a free world.

“ We don’t want to go to war; we want to prevent war and partner with those who do that. So the more interoperable we become, the larger our force becomes, which means that the folks that might want to change that world order have another thing to think about if they decide to pull the trigger that day. We want to provide our warfighters with a decisive advantage.

“We want to make sure that anyone who might consider bringing harm’s way to our way of life, to any of our people, our nations, or our allies have second thoughts about that and decide today is not the day. We hold to that mission, and that’s our vision. We will give our warfighters the best to win today, tomorrow, and into the future.

“We have folks that are deployed today. We have folks using our technologies in combat today, preparing to deploy the technologies we are preparing that are brand new tomorrow. These are hitting the squadrons this month, now, software is being loaded into aircraft that we have been testing and will be taking on deployment for months to come.

“The question of how artificial intelligence plays into world events and how we’re developing has come up. Artificial intelligence is critically important. We need to allow machines to do what machines can do so that humans can do what humans can do.

“Things are traveling farther and faster than we had ever thought before. We have to make decisions. The decisive advantage means we must make decisions faster than any potential adversary. We can allow machines to automate and do things humans used to do. Machines can take in the massive amount of data around them and bring them to a decision-able piece of information, present that to the human, and allow the human to make a decision and move forward. If we can adapt and be flexible and overcome faster than our potential adversaries, then we can retain the decisive advantage.

“But what we deliver is trust. Trust that the warfighter will trust that what we give them will work the day they need to use it. The belief that our resource sponsors can believe that when we provide them with a budget for a device, it’s the right budget, and we will deliver at the time they expect us to. That also includes the trust of our stakeholders that when we work collectively together, we are being open and honest and collaborative and not competitive. Trust is essential, and everything we do and say either builds or breaks trust.

“We also hold ourselves accountable for behaviors and results. I want to be held accountable. If I say I am going to do something, I want you to hold me accountable to that. Holding ourselves accountable and each other accountable is essential because we are all focused on the same outcomes, which matter to our warfighters, our navy, and our nation.

“Finally, we are committed to nurturing, developing, and respecting our people. We must include all voices and bring a diverse population to the table. We need to make sure that everyone is engaged at the table. We want this workforce today to be excited about what we are working on today. Where do we need to be going in the future, and what are some of the things we need to change so we will be competitive, not just as in a warfare center but as a navy and as a nation, we are getting ahead of the aggression we see out of Russia, and ahead of the threat we see out of China, and the kind of countries that may want to threaten our way of life. This is where we have four key enablers. This is where communication with this community is important because you are part of the key enablers workforce we are hiring.

“This year we are focusing on hiring seven hundred new employees between China Lake and Point Mugu. This represents a significant increase over last year, yet we still need to meet our mark. We are going to be hiring next year, and that is going to continue. The base is hiring, the warfare center is hiring, and jobs are to be had. We are looking for core skills across some areas to go forward. Some of these are; cyber- security, security in general, machine learning, and automatic artificial intelligence modeling and simulation.

“These are areas we can bring efficiencies and rigor to what we want to deliver to our warfighters. So let’s make this a community people want to live in so their families want to stay here and support them in their job. We want to partner with you to bring the best to our nations and our navy and support the mission.

“Also, to our infrastructure, you have seen the 4 billion dollar investment here at China Lake. Those buildings are coming up. We have opened the religious facility and the gym. We are hosting some fantastic events within the religious facility.

“We have all kinds of conferences going on, and the protestant services are still going on. The gym is fantastic, so I encourage you to use these excellent facilities if you have access. We will open our training facility later this summer and our first lab a few months after that. That lab will be some of our new secure space.

“Later this summer, we are supposed to have a ribbon cutting for the lab, and we plan to invite big chunks of the community to be a part of that. That day is the only chance you will have to walk into that building.

“We need a strong community partnership to attract and maintain world-class talent here. We do an excellent job bringing them straight out of college, but we must ensure they want to stay here. They need affordable housing and activities that benefit them and their kids. To retain people, I would love to see interaction in softball teams, soccer teams, and all these kinds of things. People need to interact in many ways. We have a rocket club, an airplane club, music groups, and other things. That’s been a part of the history of China Lake. I was excited when I heard the mayor say there will be a pool. We need to think about creating a community where people want to live.

“We want to be world-class. We want to compete with anybody in the country so they will come to NAWCWD. We cannot compete by pay, but we can compete with what we do.

“I have been here for nine months, and it has been an amazing nine months. I have enjoyed living in the community. Everyone says, ‘You are lying,’ but we love the heat. I am excited that it got hot this week.”