Executive Forum on August 6th, 2013 in Arlington, VA

Keynote: VADM David A. Dunaway, Commander, Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR)

In a fiscal and political environment where program managers are incentivized to look only at the cost, schedule and performance risk associated within their own programs, the Department of Defense is encouraging management to look across their platform portfolios for cost savings in order to “do more without more.” One proven strategy to accomplish this is to use open industry standards and open architecture systems. To accelerate this cross-platform cost savings, the members of the Future Airborne Capability Environment (FACE™) Consortium have developed a common open software architecture, based upon existing industry standards, to assist in eliminating the majority of redundant software development and its associated costs.

The FACE initiative provides a technical standard which lays the framework for maximizing software reuse by enabling a software product line (SPL) approach. Complementary business strategies for decreasing cost, increasing interoperability and bolstering competition have also been developed and published by the FACE Consortium. VADM David A. Dunaway, Commander, Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), states that “the FACE Technical Standard is an engine for innovation and affordability. It will accelerate delivery of integrated warfighting capabilities in a more competitive environment.”

An important part of ensuring the objectives of the FACE initiative are met is by enabling adoption across the services as well as industry. To promote the increase of both Government and Industry support, the FACE Consortium hosted an Executive Forum on August 6th, 2013 in Arlington, VA. This forum was structured as an information exchange for senior executives from both Government and Industry to receive an introduction to the FACE initiative, discuss the benefits of the FACE approach to both Government and Industry, learn about current and future FACE procurements, and review the structure and goals of the FACE Consortium. Over twenty-five executives attended the interactive event, which was highlighted by a keynote speech from VADM Dunaway.

As a former F/A-18 aviator, VADM Dunaway understands the direct impact that a common open architecture will have on the Warfighter. He drove home the point that the FACE Technical Standard provides the required guidelines to develop a common software infrastructure to allow for the replacement of obsolete software capabilities with improved capabilities. This will enable industry to focus on developing new and innovative capabilities for Warfighters who depend on those capabilities for enhanced mission effectiveness. The FACE initiative also provides the tools required for the government to provide these enhanced capabilities to the Fleet with greater speed. In addition to challenging industry to provide the best capabilities possible, VADM Dunaway also assured industry executives that the government is not interested in using the FACE initiative to expand government rights to industry’s intellectual property (IP) – there is an important balance between protecting industry’s IP and allowing the government to receive enough information to integrate and replace obsolete products. VADM Dunaway affirmed the importance of this balance and stated that he is committed to ensuring this balance is achieved.