Trends & themes to emerge from West 2019 Sea Services Conference

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Lt. Gen. Robert Shea (USMC, Ret.), president & CEO at AFCEA International, and Vice Adm. Peter Daly (USN, Ret.), CEO of the U.S. Naval Institute, discuss trends from this year’s WEST 2019 conference, and the evolving relationship between industry and the U.S. Navy.


 

Government Matters was rolling cameras at the WEST 2019 Conference in San Diego. The conference brought together leading minds at the “sea services” for discussions on maritime research and development. According to Lt. Gen. Robert Shea (USMC, Ret.), president & CEO at AFCEA International, many of the tech trends he saw on the show floor will be key for future military development.

 

“One of the things I think that we’ve got to be aware of… is our peer competitors are going to have a lot of that same capability, and I think we have to think through that challenge to identify trends,” Shea told Government Matters. “There’s a discussion about information and about how information can shape operations and how you get inside the head of your adversaries, or they into [our heads.]”

 

Technology integration was a focus of many conversations at WEST 2019. Vice Adm. Peter Daly (USN, Ret.), CEO of the U.S. Naval Institute, says that improving integration is something that all sea service members can agree upon.

 

“There is a 100-percent agreement that you have to integrate what we have better,” Daly said. “There is also, at the same time, this feeling that we’ve made the problem too easy for our potential adversaries and that we have to disperse and spread out… It’s a twofer: integrate what you have better, but also spread yourself out which means you have to be even better at integration.”

 

UPDATE: In this video report, we stated that 150,000 people attended the WEST 2019 Conference in San Diego last week. What we meant was that more than 150,000 professionals – in the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard who live in the San Diego area – are impacted and draw from the conversations that happen at the annual conference.