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-Home > spotlights-2015-05
spotlights-2015-05
29
MAY
Ideas of the Week: The contributions below represent some of the great ideas that we have received since the website was launched. Thanks to the many innovators, within and outside of the Department of the Navy, that continue to provide impressive suggestions!
idea

Right now we must update our password every 30 days, meaning we cannot simply make a particular day of the month our "password reset day". Some sites only need to be used once a month, but if we are coming out of a 31 day month, we will either need to log in a second time, or unlock our account every other month.
- Submitted by a Sailor
idea

Ever worn a battle helmet on a ship for more than 15 minutes and not felt sweet relief when you finally get to take that hunk of uncomfortable metal off your head? Why do we still have the darth vadar helmets that weight 250lbs? We're in the age of kevlar. It's time for a design team to tackle our battle helmets and come up with a design that will not only keep our noggins safe and allow for comms equipment... but not incur headaches, massive sweaty melons, and an overall miserable experience. We hate them. Someone, for the love of Neptune, redesign these awful things.
- Submitted by a Navy Officer
(The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect those of the Department of the Navy, Department of Defense or the United States government.)
28
MAY

Instilling a culture of innovation and creativity is no easy task. It means stepping away from the comfort of the familiar and routine and into the realm of unknown possibilities. Here onboard USS IWO JIMA, we are doing just that, by building a culture that will allow deckplate ingenuity to bubble up to the surface. Our goal is simple; create a culture shift towards creativity, ingenuity, and innovative thought within our Wardroom and then manifest this paradigm throughout the ship. Our shift began in the Wardroom, through the implementation of a new training program...
27
MAY

Today, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus presented the first Department of the Navy Innovation Funding Approval Certificate to Naval School, Explosive Ordnance Disposal (NAVSCOLEOD), in appreciation of their efforts to develop innovative education processes for service members and provide exceptional value and great benefit to the Department of the Navy...
26
MAY

Welcome back to the Reducing Administrative Distractions (RAD) initiative. You had previously supported the RAD effort through your participation in the Navy RAD site. This site had been dormant for a number of months, but has now been re-energized and integrated into a larger innovation network that supports the entire Department of the Navy (DON)....
22
MAY
Ideas of the Week: The contributions below represent some of the great ideas that we have received since the website was launched. Thanks to the many innovators, within and outside of the Department of the Navy, that continue to provide impressive suggestions!
idea

I propose that drones be incorporated and programmed to paint the sides/masts of ships. This technology can be incorporated into the corrosion plan for ships. Sailors could save some time and do more with less with this technology. In fact, if programmed it could do it without the need Sailors at all. I got the idea off of a drone that is used for graffiti ie tagging large bill boards. If it can be used for graffiti it can be used for a greater purpose. The problem being sometimes sailors need scaffolding/ harnesses/ and it poses a danger (ie young really inexperienced sailor on a cherry picker really close to the side of the ship). Some of this danger/time consuming scaffolding could be replaced with Sailor, tablet, and drone. Please see this link of the drone in action http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=vice+graffiti+drone&FORM=VIRE8#view=detail&mid=B9BC5DC33D0F9444653CB9BC5DC33D0F9444653C Or you can Google katsu graffiti drone and videos will appear. The drone itself is about a 80% solution. The spray mechanism it carries can be replaced with something finer.
- Submitted by a Navy Officer
idea

Right now we must update our password every 30 days, meaning we cannot simply make a particular day of the month our ""password reset day"". Some sites only need to be used once a month, but if we are coming out of a 31 day month, we will either need to log in a second time, or unlock our account every other month.
- Submitted by a Sailor
(The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect those of the Department of the Navy, Department of Defense or the United States government.)
21
MAY

Designing a culture that helps leadership to enable everyone in the organization to think the thoughts, talk the talk, and walk the walk that will produce the desired results has been the mission of NAVAIR’s Support Equipment & Aircraft Launch and Recovery (SE & ALRE) Department...
20
MAY

Do you have an innovative idea, a solution to reducing administrative distractions, or a creative proposal for how we can recognize top contributors?  If so, enter the Hatch and start participating. We are looking for the DON workforce to share their creative ideas for improving the DON. Challenge the Force... Change the Game!...
19
MAY

Many see advanced manufacturing (more commonly known as 3-D printing) as a passing fad or a novelty with limited operational value. Few are able to paint a vision of how this emerging capability could completely transform naval logistics and create a warfighting advantage. Task Force Innovation's Co-Lead, Vice Admiral Phil Cullom, shares his vision of the self-sustaining ship here...
18
MAY

The strategic environment of the 21st Century has been characterized as volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (V.U.C.A) as new technologies, developments, disruptions, change and transformation continue to accelerate. These trends profoundly impact the ability of any organization to remain relevant and competitive. We are now entering a period where our existing views of leadership need to be reconsidered to pace these changes and our ensure superiority and competitive advantage...
15
MAY
Ideas of the Week: The contributions below represent some of the great ideas that we have received since the website was launched. Thanks to the many innovators, within and outside of the Department of the Navy, that continue to provide impressive suggestions!
idea

Revert to the previous policy of allowing service members hand carry the medical and dental records for themselves and dependents during a PCS. Since the DOD changed the policy several years ago (DODI 6040.43, dtd June 10, 2004) to require the administrative staffs of MTFs to package and forward medical and dental records, this has resulted in a substantial increase in admin overhead for those staffs. In my last two PCSs (from Hawaii to Millington, TN; and from Millington, TN to Washington, DC), my dental record on average arrived one year after the PCS, requiring the Dental staffs in both cases to execute new X-Rays and to build a new (temporary) record, additional man-hours. The cost to ship the dental record in the last PCS was $20. If one-third of the uniform Navy is PCS-ing every year, then the cost of shipping one medical record each year is roughly $2M and at least 100K man-hours expended that could be used for patient care and treatment (or reduction of admin staff size).
- Submitted by a Navy Officer
idea

If we gave Sailors a commercial WiFi option onboard ships ( AT&T Sailor Phone type of idea), it could significantly increase ship's internet speeds as the Sailors wouldn't be on the Navy's computers surfing the web while on SHF (taking a bit of the burden off of the ships SHF).
- Submitted by a Navy Officer
(The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect those of the Department of the Navy, Department of Defense or the United States government.)
14
MAY

"I have had the amazing opportunity to create a new vision for the future and lead a team of government and industry experts. My small, but highly expert team operates under an agile development methodology that continues to push the beyond the existing boundaries of interoperability and automation between defense and intelligence systems." --Lt. Rollie Wicks
13
MAY

"What we’ve always known is that the way we recruit, develop, retain and promote Sailors and Marines is critical to our success. To fight and win, we need a force that draws from the broadest talent pools, values health and fitness, attracts and retains innovative thinkers, provides flexible career paths, and prioritizes merit over tenure. Whether we are talking about systems and tactics in the digital age or personnel management, we must evolve to meet the needs of the future battle space and the needs of our people. Today we shift from ‘what-ifs’ to what’s next... "
12
MAY

The U.S. armed services rely on unique advantages (technology, logistics, intelligence and professionalism) to maintain strategic, operational and tactical advantages; no military wants to be in a fair fight. Today, Captain Robert A. Newson shows how non-state groups use unconventional warfare methods overseas to bypass these U.S. and partners’ strengths. Critically, he notes they could target these techniques on America, to create a domestic threat. For Captain Newson, unconventional warfare therefore compels the US build a real whole-of-government solution to this challenge...
11
MAY

Modeled on the CNO’s Rapid Innovation Cell, Fleet Readiness Center Mid-Atlantic (FRCMA) is spearheading an innovation initiative that consists of two separate, but collaborative, teams: the Junior Innovative Think Tank (JITT) and Senior Innovative Think Tank (SITT). The JITT focuses on junior sailors (E1-E5) harnessing their fresh perspective and creativity. To balance this equation the SITT (E6 and above) will leverage their expertise and experience and focus on the practicality of project implementation. The JITT/SITT’s goal is to empower all sailors and take advantage of their insight in solving tough problems...
08
MAY
Ideas of the Week: The contributions below represent some of the great ideas that we have received since the website was launched. Thanks to the many innovators, within and outside of the Department of the Navy, that continue to provide impressive suggestions!
idea

As a warfare center employee, I have seen several very talented people become frustrated with the time required for various processes and leave the civilian workforce. The first innovation barrier that I feel needs to be evaluated is the Government Commercial Purchase Card (GCPC) used by Navy innovation teams.

If a trusted authorized purchaser existed that could place orders the same day for R&D teams, Government side development efforts would become faster reducing costs and increasing the innovators satisfaction. As an example, I am leading a team that is developing a new Navy shipboard piece of equipment. My lead electrical engineer has been waiting for several months to get his hands on some of the systems key components (all purchased with a GCPC) to test them out and verify they are suitable for our application. Daily, he expresses frustration at not being able push the easy button and test out several ideas to quickly drill down to the best solution like commercial development companies and Universities can. The end result has been a general dissatisfaction with some of the program progress and my increasing awareness of the Navy's self-imposed process driven cost hikers. I have been told that the issues stem from the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) and Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFAR) and locally we can't fix it. But, someone in the correct place could implement a trial program to jumpstart this. I would be happy to volunteer for a trial, take any class or go through any qualification to help demonstrate that good people can facilitate great things for the Navy, if given just a little trust.
- Submitted by a Navy Civilian
idea

The Navy needs to develop and grow a workforce and management culture that has the capacity to enable innovation in areas where innovation is needed. We need people that are trained to find innovative solution to problems involving integration of new technology into current and future platforms, systems, equipment and processes. Where is the structured learning process (say equivalent in funding and scale to DAU) that transfers the design information, engineering judgments, and lessons learned on today’s platforms, systems, equipment and processes to the next generation? This is a Navy technical stewardship responsibility. Right now you are training your technical workforce to be acquisition savvy engineering managers, not technical innovators. The process is cumbersome and a logical fortress for paper technical warriors. The opportunity to practice design and production skills is being replaced by engineers looking for ways to use toothless contracts to bridge the capability gap between barely able to make threshold requirement products, and the robust fighting products the military war fighter is expecting. We are developing a generation of view graph engineers.

Innovation requires expertise, specialized skills and aptitudes. It is a subset of design, which is a subset of creativity. We need innovation in ship design, shipboard integration of equipment, energy management and production, and DoD/Navy cyber systems within the government ranks. We need to have the opportunity to DO this work and OPPORTUNITY TO PRACTICE these skill sets to grow the expertise and specialized skills “in house” to increase the probability innovation will occur. There is still no guarantee innovation will occur, as you need to have some aptitude and the opportunity to provide an innovative solution, but we can increase the probability it will occur. This represents a culture shift from where we have drifted since acquisition reform.
- Submitted by a Navy Civilian
(The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect those of the Department of the Navy, Department of Defense or the United States government.)
07
MAY

It is difficult to predict where the next great idea will come from and taking multiple research paths is often the best way to solve complex problems. SECNAV directs the DON to identify critical unclassified research needs and share them with the public, particularly America's top graduate schools...
06
MAY

Since the late 19th century, the Department of the Navy has been at the forefront of analytical wargaming. Wargaming is an invaluable method to test new ideas and concepts in a risk friendly environment. This latest SECNAV innovation memo provides direction to grow our wargaming capability and improve how we share the results across the DON...
05
MAY

(Headquarters Marine Corps 5/1/2015)...By Courtesy Story Quantico, Virginia -- Last month, intelligence Marines, designers, and developers formed a cohort and participated in the first Marine Corps Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance Enterprise Accelerator to create a minimum viable product called Tellus. Tellus is a mashup of Life Alert, OnStar, and Waze that provides operations and intelligence personnel with the ability to report significant activities or events. Users can drag and drop icons that represent the type of SIGACT being reported onto a map and add their unit ID. Tellus then auto generates an alert that contains location information, unit ID, and SIGACT data and instantaneously alerts operations and analyst personnel across the Intelligence Operations Center, Combat Operations Center, Aviation Combat Element and Logistics Combat Element...


(Combat Direction Systems Activity, Dam Neck 5/1/2015)...By Tammy Van Dame WEST BETHESDA, Md. (NNS) -- Self-sustaining ships, bio-printing and even energetics such as munitions topped the list of what Navy leaders envision their additive manufacturing future may look like during a meeting here this week that explored the implementation of 3D printing to the fleet.

Nearly 200 participants representing a broad spectrum of stakeholders from engineers and scientists to acquisition professionals and 3D-printing practitioners discussed Navy applications of additive manufacturing (AM), often referred to as 3D printing, at the 2015 Naval Additive Manufacturing Technical Interchange (NAMTI) meeting at Naval Surface Warfare Center - Carderock, April 28-30...
04
MAY

The Athena Project is an initiative, founded in the Surface Community, focused on harnessing deckplate innovations to create a cadre of forward-thinking, creatively confident Sailors for the Fleet of tomorrow. The Athena Project creates a platform for Sailors to pitch innovative ideas to improve their command or the Navy in an open forum to fellow Sailors as well as leaders of industry, academia and government...
01
MAY
Ideas of the Week: The contributions below represent some of the great ideas that we have received since the website was launched. Thanks to the many innovators, within and outside of the Department of the Navy, that continue to provide impressive suggestions!
idea

My idea would involve a watch worn underway that would alert the pilot house when a Sailor or Marine has gone overboard (crosses a certain threshold of a lifeline and provides an alert to the Officer of the Deck).
- Submitted by a Navy Officer
idea

As a prior Enlisted Sailor, I participated in several advancement exams. I remember my wrists tiring and eyes crossing by the time I reached the last column on the answer sheet and always wondered if the Navy would ever go digital. I was sitting with the Admin Officer at lunch last week and we lamented about the advancement exam process. He let me in on just how much time and money go into this process. I have not validated this information, but what I was told was shocking.

First, the exams are finalized. Then, a contract is awarded to print all of the exam booklets and answer sheets. The exams are shipped to a sorting facility, where they are forwarded out to commands throughout the Navy. Once the exams are completed, they need to be sent back and graded using an antiquated bubble-reader machine. Some exams, due to the classification are mailed via registered mail which can take weeks. If a Sailor reports to a command and has not had their test forwarded, they are at risk for not being able to participate. It would be very interesting to know the answer to this math: (Cost to print each exam and answer sheet) + (Cost to ship each exam and answer sheet) + (Cost to ship each answer sheet back) + (Cost to grade each answer sheet) and then multiply that number by how many Sailors took each test last cycle. I imagine it's a fairly large number, not to mention all the wasted paper.

So how do we fix it? I would like to see this process go digital. There are plenty of virtual testing engines out there to choose from and exams could be stored as a database. That database could be loaded onto a CD/DVD and shipped to the Admin Officer at all Navy Commands. That gets rid of the exam booklets and answer sheets. The next question is how do we administer the test? Laptops would be one way to go, but I think we could go one step further. I believe tablets would be the best direction to take this. Each command would be issued basic tablets, with Wi-Fi disabled, and these tablets would only be used for advancement exam purposes. Each tablet would be loaded with the Sailor's information and the test they are taking. A Sailor would line up to get their ""Exam Tablet"" and it would be issued to them after they placed their CAC in a reader and the tablet would ""unlock"" only for that Sailor.

Benefits: Exam delivery would be much more cost effective and quicker. Sailors would be able to complete their exams in half the time and would know their exam ""Raw"" score immediately. Grading all exams would take a fraction of the time it takes now and results would come out much quicker. With development and testing, I think this could be implemented in two years or less.
- Submitted by a Navy Officer
(The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect those of the Department of the Navy, Department of Defense or the United States government.)
 
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