An official website of the United States Government 
Here's how you know

Official websites use .gov

.gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS

A lock ( lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Immediate Release

Readout of Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks' Visit to U.S. Central Command Headquarters

Pentagon Spokesman Eric Pahon provided the following readout:

Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks visited U.S. Central Command headquarters on MacDill Air Force Base today to meet with USCENTCOM Commander U.S. Army General Michael Kurilla and senior staff, discuss the implementation of Combined Joint All-Domain Command and Control (CJADC2), and receive briefs on USCENTCOM's innovation efforts and theater threat assessments.

During her visit, Deputy Secretary Hicks reiterated the Department's support and appreciation for the progress USCENTCOM has made through experimentation and real-world operations on CJADC2, partner sharing, autonomy and other digital initiatives, and reinforced the need for enterprise-wide capabilities in these areas.

These efforts include the stand-up and expansion of innovation task forces within the Army, Air Force, Navy, and Special Operations Components, and the execution of the command-wide digital exercise series, Digital Falcon Oasis.

At USCENTCOM HQ, the Deputy Secretary visited with USCENTCOM operators and technical staff to receive briefings on digital capability sprints ("Digital Falcon Oasis" exercises) that have built CJADC2 capability over the last 18 months and discuss partner sharing capabilities.

During these discussions, she observed how USCENTCOM has conducted experimentation to build digital CJADC2 capabilities across the command and discussed lessons-learned that can be applied to other component commands. She also discussed the ways USCENTCOM is addressing information-sharing challenges with partners and allies to further advance CJADC2 capabilities in a multi-national environment.

Deputy Secretary Hicks also received updates on USCENTCOM's Service Component innovation Task Forces that are conducting technology experimentation, validation, and integration in the field, and discussed lessons learned on transitioning capability from experimentation to scale.

She also met with USCENTCOM's five "Servicemembers of the Year" to thank them for their hard work and dedication to mission during a complex and demanding year of operations throughout the USCENTCOM area of operations. 

Finally, the Deputy Secretary met with the USCENTCOM and USSOCOM Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Data Acceleration Initiative (ADA) Teams to hear about their successes, experiences, and lessons learned in digital modernization. She commended USSOCOM and USCENTCOM for their efforts to "treat data as a strategic assets" and elevate digital modernization as a Commander's priority, and solicited input from the Department's digital modernization experts on how to expand on their successes across other component commands and units.

The ADA initiative was announced by Deputy Secretary Hicks in June 2021, aimed at providing data professionals to each combatant command to help understand what data and processes used to make decisions, improving and automating data flows in preparation to enable implementing AI tools to accelerate decision-making. ADA teams collaborate directly with the headquarters subject matter experts and leverage combatant command operations, experiments, and exercises to introduce capabilities that integrate into the staff workflows.