Navy Secretary Spencer explains way ahead for partnership with industry

Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer recently gave an address at the U.S. Naval Institute (USNI) Defense Forum Washington 2017 in which he described his vision for how the Navy will more effectively partner with the defense industrial base.

USNI reports that Spencer, who previously worked in the private sector, offered a business-like perspective on what the Navy must do:

“I’ve learned from the world of business that when you’re facing competition, you need to have the resources and processes in place to innovate, compete and win – and to stay ahead of the competition at all times,” Spencer said. “It’s when you take your hand off the throttle that the competition starts to close.”

Addressing the threat of “near-peer adversaries,” Spencer emphasized that other countries are moving quickly to catch up with the U.S., and that the U.S.’s recent reliance on continuing resolutions (rather than more predictable annual budgets) has hampered America’s efforts and caused the Navy to waste money due to inefficient contracting processes.

“Since 2011 we’ve put $4 billion in the trashcan, put lighter fluid on top of it, and burned it,” Spencer said. “$4 billion enough to buy a squadron of F-35s, two Arleigh-class destroyers, 3,000 Harpoon missiles.”

Editor’s Note: To gain a broader understanding, you may also wish to review our articles touching on transformation and modernization within the Department of Defense, the Strategic Command, and the Army.

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