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Marine Lt. Gen. Dennis Crall Briefs Media on Joint All Domain Command and Control

LIEUTENANT GENERAL DENNIS CRALL: Look, I really appreciate the opportunity to explain just briefly where we are in the story on the department's efforts to deliver a true Joint All Domain Command and Control capability, and rather than spending a long time in an opener I really prefer to get to your questions to leave us plenty of time to give the best answer I can based on where we are in this journey.

So what I would like to do is just as a brief reminder kind of walk back. This is the fourth artifact and the final artifact in the delivery of the planning for JADC2 delivery. This started some time ago when the Deputy Secretary authored the Cross-Functional Team Charter, which really provided the workspace, place, headspace for all the various efforts throughout all of DOD, on the OSD side, the military side, and even in some of the supporting elements to come together, one, to map where we were in the efforts that we've had, you know, knowing, illuminating those areas, and then starting to formulate where the department needed to go.

There was really a sincere effort to put that together, and there was clearly a lack of structure and operational or organizational design on how we were to move forward. I've said in the past this effort to deliver a JADC2 capability is not novel. The department has been on this journey and several other attempts, some which have been marginally successful and some which have failed all together.

And this was a different approach, quite a different approach in the starting point with that CFT charter. One of the reasons this did not end up in a typical program office as the department has often done is speed. The Deputy Secretary and Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs wanted this to move quickly but smartly, and also wanted to accept more risk that we take in traditional programs, meaning that we have an appetite and expect to fail fast and then fix and then scale.

And so, this apparatus that was developed to define the problem and lay out that roadmap ahead and oversee the delivery of these very specific elements was created. That was about a year ago, maybe a little bit longer ago. Maybe a year and some change.

The next document that came out, really our seminal piece, was the strategy signed by the Secretary himself, and this was really important for us to determine the end state on where JADC2 was heading to make sure that we could prepare ourselves for that fight that we expect not only today but also tomorrow.

And in very simple terms this was the recognition that data and data-centricity was at the heart of success in our next war fight. We are a wash and sensor data, unable to keep up the -- really the human-intensive labor, and if the pace we're removing we couldn't take advantage of it. We could not bring in machine learning, artificial intelligence to -- to really look at the makes sense aspect of the data that we were receiving. Much of it hit the cutting room floor.

And finally, we couldn't get to the act, the most critical point, of making sure that information was distilled so that war fighters and decision-makers could make the best decision at the speed of relevance that was needed. That strategy laid out clear lines of effort, specifically what it was we needed to accomplish and really those large bins and buckets.

While that document is classified for a host of reasons, we were able to recently release an unclassified version which lead -- at least provides a sense of those lines of effort and where the department is trying to go with them.

So once you know where you want to go, the next document in that series was the posture review, and that really is simply looking at your gaps. If you know where you want to go and there's some areas you can't go, you got to define why? That posture review took a look at those gaps to find them very clearly and then prioritized them, all with an eye toward funding, and also those pieces that need to have a developmental priority, both in the R&E and SNC communities.

Sometimes we knew where we wanted to go, but technology may not have been there, and so we took a look at what it took and how to prioritize those to fill those gaps. But the seminal document that we been waiting for, and it has been difficult for the reasons you might expect, it's so comprehensive, but the -- the document that really -- that we have been waiting for is the implementation plan, which the deputy secretary just recently signed.

And the reason that's important, the department unfortunately has examples over the past couple decades, at least that I'm aware, where we've got up to that culmination point of defining where we want to go in those gaps, but the delivery mechanism, the how we're going to get there, who's responsible, what order do you put these in, what are the prerequisites to make sure that you have an actionable plan that can be executed, and finally those milestones which include funding.

If those are absent, what you end up with is a really neat story, a grand idea, but really nothing that comes off the conveyor belt at the other end. And this is what the at -- the I plan actually does for us, it takes a look very clearly at specific and prioritized plans.

How are we going to accomplish the very things that we said again, in what order? How do you measure them? How do we leverage the boards, bureaus, working groups, cells, committees that are in the building to empower them to move these to fruition? It does as -- provide a sense of shared awareness.

You don't always know what others are working on, so the I plan captures that in its fullest. So you can look across your lane of expertise, be informed by some of the other efforts and maybe that provides opportunity to come up with a better way. Not all overlap is bad, but if your Venn diagram has too much Venn in it, then you're really wasting resources at that point. So increasing awareness with the I plan is also a residual benefit.

The other thing it does is allows us to -- to look at these emerging technologies and figure out where they fit in the process rather than simply focusing on what this directly in front of us but anticipating that next need, anticipating the threat and how we can leverage what may not even be available today to meet that landing spot when it does become available.

So very importantly in that implementation plan, the front end of it captures what I just described. The backend of it is just going to remain electronic, meaning that there's some -- it's a malleable document that we can go in and, again, leverage what we learn on the fly and not lock ourselves into something that we can't move or -- or advantage.

So that piece really takes a look at who's responsible, the five Ws, plus the H of "how" we get there, are all captured in that implementation plan.

So we can point to who has the lead; who is providing support; and the most important aspect that I mentioned before, are those milestones for delivery?

Have we satisfied the prerequisites? Have we even identified what they are? Is this the right order of march? Do we have a good, funded delivery timetable that makes sense? Do we have a testing apparatus lined up with this, so we can learn very quickly?

And, most importantly, do we have an eye to the threat so that we don't lock ourselves into something that we would eventually deliver that will not meet success on the battlefield?

That's why the implementation plan is so critical and important to what we do.

It's classified for reasons you might expect. I can talk a little bit and provide even some examples of how this may come together. But one of the areas -- when you prioritize against vulnerabilities and threats, that's not something we would like to advertise to our adversaries. And, also, you might expect that, as we partner with industry to assist us in moving forward, many of these contracts have not been let. And it's unwise to -- to reveal responsible parties and the orders in which we might prosecute some of those, before we have the contractual pieces in place.

So, for those reasons and a few others, the document is classified. But the idea and sentiment that I gave you and the level of detail therein is real. I don't believe I've exaggerated any it.

The most crucial aspect is now in front of us. We have all four parts. And we've talked, some time ago, and I've said very specifically, this is the year of delivery. And that's exactly what we intend to do.

I think we've talked; we've studied; we've interacted; we've mapped. It's now time to put these together and learn by doing.

So with that, I welcome your questions.

MR. GOEMAERE: Thank you, General.

So, media, as a reminder, you get an opportunity for question and then a follow-up before we move on to the next question.

First question goes to Brandi Vincent with Nextgov.

Q: Thanks, Russ. And thank you so much, Lieutenant General Crall, for doing this.

You, sort of, alluded to this, but there was a variety of different inspirations for JADC2. There was also a DOD-led study on Russian new-generation warfare a few years ago that found that multi-domain battle is how Russia might be beaten in the next generation of war. And in some parts, I think JADC2 grew from that idea and that concept.

Can you please elaborate, a little bit, on how important JADC2 capabilities might be amid this ongoing and evolving conflict surrounding Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and particularly as the U.S. military becomes more involved.

GEN. CRALL: That's -- that's a great question. So I will say very clearly that I don't think it matters what we're pursuing, what conflict or what challenge we're facing. The speed of -- first of all, the volume of information is only growing exponentially. And we have the ability -- with the sensors, hardly anything is private anymore. Almost, the unblinking, all-seeing eye is everywhere. So we're awash in sensor data.

We also know that, in order to take and make sense of that sensor data, we've got to be able to bring the human machine interface alive. We need to be aided, to know what information is important and at what time it's important.

You know back, you know, 20 or 30 years ago, having human analysts wade through full-motion video, for example, looking for that needle in a haystack -- we're now looking for the needle in the needle stack. This has become even more challenging. And, most importantly, at speed.

So if you think about, whether it's the Russian-Ukraine conflict or any conflict or even how we spend our money in the department for exercising, testing, it's about making the smartest decision at speed, and that's the difference.

If the clock wasn't on us, this might be a different -- a different pursuit, meaning you could take your time, you could make a lot of mistakes, you'll eventually get to the answer. And if it didn't matter when you got to the answer, then I guess that process would be good enough but a -- an answer good enough or a perfect answer delivered too late isn't good enough, and that's really our dilemma.

So we've talked about, you know, in a lot of our war colleges, this idea of Boyd's OODA Loop, being able to operate in a decision cycle faster than your adversary. What you described in that multi-domain, multi-battle -- the power of information has never been stronger, the machine-human interface, the need has never been greater, and JADC2 is attempting to leverage that so that we can deliver that -- the best decision to the warfighter in the fastest time.

So I think it's as relevant as ever and will be more so going forward.

Q: Thank you so much for that. And then just a really quick follow up -- we understand that the implementation plan was on Deputy Secretary Hicks' desk for at least a couple of weeks. The plan is classified but can you speak at all to any of the revisions or additions that you or she contributed broadly to it?

GEN. CRALL: I can. I -- I think we can talk, at least in some broad terms. One, this took a little bit of time because, I'll -- I'll be honest, I have never been involved in a product or a process in my 35 years of commission service where I had so much leadership support and personal involvement.

And I will say that the Deputy Secretary Dr. Hicks understands this extremely well, she knows where she wants to go, and knows some of the pitfalls in the past of what has prevented us from getting there. She has partnered very well with the Vice Chairman, both the previous one and the current one, and they are intimately involved in the details of delivery.

So that takes a little bit of time, and I'll tell you right now, I call that welcomed time. That's where your leadership rolls up sleeves and really works with you to ensure that there's a common understanding, the challenge is properly scoped and set.

And I think, you know, if I look at what Dr. Hicks was really looking at, was making sure that the I-Plan really, in that forensic decomposition of working our way from delivery all the way to assignments, had all the pieces in it, that we weren't overlooking parts that would be critical, again, to informing how we prioritize, how we budget, what policy, either, you know, limitations or empowerments, were already in place. So that was, again, phenomenally welcomed interaction with leadership to get there.

And -- and you think about the other aspect of the players involved in this. This isn't a single service, it's not just one program office, it's the entire DOD. So the -- the vastness of this. We also have DOD efforts underway, as -- as I'm sure most of you know -- Project Overmatch, Project Convergence, ABMS.

They're all alive and well, and while many of them are kind of in their nascent areas in expertise and what they're looking for service and COCOM acumen and prowess, they feed into this. So that had to be considered, as well, not stopping those activities but harnessing their energy and direction, but making sure that we're not getting, you know, divergent or working at cross-purposes.

All of those culminated in taking just a little more time to make sure we got this right. And I'm also very reassured that by keeping the back half of this electronic, we're not locked into what we knew on the day of signature.

Q: Thank you so much, and thanks, Russ.

MR. GOEMAERE: Thank you, General, and thank you, Brandi.

Next question goes to Angus with Military Technology.

Q: Hello. Thanks, Russ. Thanks, General.

I was struck, reading the summary document, that under line of effort two there's a -- a huge task there of education and training. It mentions educating leaders within Defense and also the -- the DOD workforce must be proficient in identifying institutional changes that you're going to have to implement in order to get this through and working. But I'm also thinking that -- that it must go way beyond that because you've got intelligence agencies who we know have had their own journey over the last 20 years of whether they're sharing too much or whether they're not sharing enough, and allies as well, who'll have their own bespoke processes in place already. How are you going to make that all work together? And -- and what are the consequences of -- of not getting everyone on the same page?

GEN. CRALL: Well, we live the consequences of not getting everyone on the same page. That's what status quo is. So I -- I think, you know, the risk is continuing the current trajectory apart from JADC2. That would be a risk.

This is actually designed as an attempt to bring those entities together so that we can look at this problem holistically, and the reason that line of effort is important is that we -- we say frequently that we are pursuing data-centricity. Years ago, the idea was really network. In fact, many of the writers in these technical forums have written a lot on network centricity and at the time, that was really the buzzword. We were going to mesh ourselves to make sure information had a pathway. And then we realized that really was an element -- was not an element on the periodic table of C2, but more of a compound. It had other parts you could break apart. And then we started getting focused on application centricity. It was all about the application, and that went on for a few years, and we realized, we've got to -- there's something else to this.

And finally, the latent discovery for us was data. Data is the element that we're pursuing, and data-centricity has three parts to it. The first, really, is people. We hardly ever speak of this because we are so focused on the second tenet, which is technology. And then the third piece is process or policy. If you want to capture data-centricity, you've got to line all three of those up.

I am confident that we will solve the technical pieces of JADC2. There is a way to do this. I also believe that process and policy, under the right pressures, will form around the needs of the department and we will find ways to do things in an efficient and safe way.

I am less optimistic on the people side if we don't take some pretty strong action. It's really the people that are our strongest asset, and I -- and really, as a department, as a government, even beyond DOD, while there is value with our people, we don't really have the best roadmap. We don't really know what it means to recruit the right market. We don't really know what it means to train and develop the kind of workforce we need not only today, but in the future. And for those who don't stick around, this retention issue is one that we need to -- to get a grasp of and figure out why. And we know that working in the government can be challenging, things like onboarding delays, security clearances, some of the educational requirements that are in place, and you know, the -- the pay in some cases, where the pay may not be commensurate with industry. But I'll be honest: The people that we talk to love to work in this field because they can do something that they can't do anywhere else, and they're patriots at heart and they want to give back to their country, still very much alive.

So I really appreciate the question in the sense that we've got to take a look at people as strongly as we do technology otherwise this enterprise, the JADC2 experiment that we're going through now in attempt to delivery will not be successful.

I'm encouraged that it made the cut and it's a -- it's got a strong voice in every forum that we're in front of. So I believe we've got it right. I believe there's clearly the right amount of attention to this. But we haven't cashed that check yet. We now have to do what we recognize are our shortfalls.

To the second part of your question, how do we bring in all the people to do this? That's precisely what JADC2 is leveraging. Not just for the U.S. entities and not just for our letter agencies that support our efforts, which we already have processes in-place. We are revigorating some of the forums we have with our international partners.

We know that Five Eyes sit at the table in many of these but the table is spread pretty wide with our coalition partners as well who have helped us develop the pieces that we can share.

So inclusion is the solution to ensuring that we get a better outcome and that we're not leaving some really good ideas out of the room.

MR. GOEMAERE: Angus, did you have a follow-up?

Q: I sort of have like about seven follow-ups. But I'll just stick to one little bit. Which is are you therefore saying that recruitment and retention will be in-scope for JADC2 line of effort too?

GEN. CRALL: Yes, I'm saying that exactly. We have a vested interest. Those OPRs, those -- the principles who will be responsible for that come from lots of different places. But it's a collective responsibility to make sure that we look at our work force. I mean I've talked about -- I even testified on this. That our work force needs are different than they were 15 or 20 years ago.

The people that we really need as part of our organization want a different work environment, they want a different structure. I don't think we'll have any problem recruiting the people we need but we've got to listen to what their needs are. And we've got to be flexible as an organization that has historically functioned with a very firm and rigid hierarchy.

With a lot of people who get into this business of recent like more shared space at the table where you don't have to work through 17 layers of seniority to get an idea to the forefront. They want to live where they want to live and work in those places where they want to live.

So is it necessary, for example, to have everyone live in a place that if it had cyber in front of it also has the word fort in front of it. Maybe you don't have to live on a fort in order to do some of the work that we're talking about. Maybe the educational requirements it's better focused on your credentials and your competency rather than just formal courses et cetera.

There's a whole smattering of things that we need to look at that would attract the right work force and recruitment is a key piece of this because it directly impacts our ability to execute JADC2.

Q: That's brilliant. Thank you very much.

MR. GOEMAERE: Thank you, Angus. Let's move to Theresa Hitchens with Breaking Defense.

Q: Thanks, Russ and thank you, General Crall, it's nice to see you again. As we've learned from in-school strategy encompasses goals, ways and means I take it it's fair to say that the strategy document that you just released a summary of is the goals, the implementation plan is the ways. But the means, the budget, those are actually in the hands of the services.

So you said that this implementation plan has some funding, I guess, guidance in it. Can you talk about what that is given that actually the Joint Staff doesn't have funding authority? That's in the hands of the services, so can you explain how you intend to match the means to the ways that are in this implementation plan?

GEN. CRALL: You bet, and this is the beauty of the organization. Because the Cross-Functional Team, even though it sits where it sits as, you know, being executed or chaired with the Joint Staff J6 it's not a Joint Staff J6 entity. We have two feeders right now that come out of that Cross-Functional Team, and the power of the money that moves through that is married very well with the power of requirements through the Joint Staff.

So to answer your question directly and the reason that that partnership between the Vice Chairman and the Deputy Secretary is so critical, you are right. The power of the purse in the -- in really DOD flows through the DMAG from the Deputy Secretary, and that DMAG channel is very much alive in that Cross-Functional Team output and it works hand-in-hand with the Joint Staff requirement of validated requirements through the JROC.

And those two things should never be separated. You don't want to put funding against things that are not valid requirements, and you certainly don't have the power in the Joint Staff to direct service budgets, never intended nor is it being sought.

So the way this machine actually functions is the Vice Chairman has really reinvigorated the JROC and the JROC community to make sure that when things are postured inside of that Cross-Functional Team if they're already in play and it's a funding matter, a milestone matter, a timing matter, they get fed directly into the DMAG for direction from the Deputy Secretary to the services. And if these are new starts, good ideas, et cetera that need to have requirements associated with them first, those collectives are gathered, brought through the JROC, validated and then pushed over to the DMAG.

And, of course, you know, the Deputy Secretary has a whole host of things, of funding mechanisms to get after everything in near-term through reprogramming all the way to outyears of formal POMing and then things like the Rapid Defense Experimentation Reserve or RDER fund that allows some level of innovation to take place.

So that's how we accomplish that balance between the requirements piece on the Joint side and the true funding piece and the authorities that rest with the Deputy Secretary through the DMAG.

Q: Okay, can I follow up then? You've been working on this for -- as you've said, for about a year, and you and General Parker have in the past talked about minimum viable products. Can you talk about what the priorities are for actual delivery in this year -- in this next coming year now that this is a formal document and a formal plan?

GEN. CRALL: Yes, I can. So, you know, to answer your question, you know, very bluntly and honestly, while we have seven MVPs that are out there, and they range from -- you know, you can actually do the number count a little bit differently depending on how you aggregate them, but they're largely around identity, credential and management, cloud, our transport layer, zero-trust environment, mission-partner environment, DevSecOps, which could be broken up into a couple different things. Basically platform writ large, and things like cloud. You know, things like that.

And there's all work involved in all of those, and in some cases there are statutory authorities that, you know, rest with like the CIO for some of that selection with our -- our data enterprise in the building and services have some roles in that. So not stepping on those toes at all but there are two areas that we picked of those that we are looking to accelerate and that -- it really -- our focus this year -- and I mean delivery soonest.

And the first one is DevSecOps. And to give you the use case, because we could spend a lot of time going through, you know, what a -- is there a benefit in selecting a platform, what would the platform look like, don't we already have a couple of those platforms, do you need to be so specific with big standards or are you going to have little standards, how do you prevent so much divergence that they start working at cross-purposes and no longer become affordable? All good questions.

But what we're really focused on this year is a use case where I cannot recall the department doing this. I could be -- I could stand corrected if someone comes up with an example but, you know, our teams that are working on this don't have one.

And to some of you, it may sound modest or even small, but I want you to think about what hasn't existed before and what we're trying to accomplish -- that is to take an application. Since applications rule our environments and they crush us in budgets, they don't have APIs on the backside, I can't exchange data the way that I need to exchange data.

They're locked up going in, they're locked up coming out, and they misbehave on the network. Almost impossible to manage on the network, either chatty, unsecure, or I can't share them with others at a time that I need to share them and forget about patching. The patching protocol is so problematic that we don't do this in the times that are necessary. That's the present environment.

So what we're attempting to do in DevSecOps this year is to take a series of applications -- we've let the services come forward with the ones that they want to create first -- and this environment, on a common platform with a common developer's toolkit, will create a secure application that comes directly out of the developmental environment -- environment with an authority to operate, placed directly on the network with a reciprocity agreement and shared by the other services literally in minutes.

And so we went out to customers -- and again, if you're in industry, you would look at this and probably yawn and say "do that every day," right? Every Fortune 500 company iterates like this, you know, hundreds of API adjustments every day. We don't, for a host of reasons.

So that -- from start to finish, from developing to publishing to hosting to using, and then real time, patching, to ensure that's secure, and then giving this homework between the services to let them test drive their developmental environments developed by others or to grade each other's homework, will start soon. Pieces of that are already underway. That's kind of element number one.

Element number two in DevSecOps is to take some of our most misbehaving applications in the environment, which I would prefer not to mention right now, and put them through the redevelopment gauntlet and have them reformatted into this viable application that I just described, so that it can behave properly on the network and we can share data.

This really came to light in some of the crisis actions that we went through for things like Afghanistan and even what we're seeing now in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, looking at just simply trying to pull information out of systems that just do not behave right. We can't live this way any longer.

So DevSecOps, as I've just described it, is really one of the areas that we're looking to accomplish this year and we've got a tremendous head start. We are not starting from cold steel, we've got lots of those elements.

Every service has a viable means and we now have a bake-off, of sorts, as they test drive each other's products. And to be honest, I've never seen a level of cooperation between the services to get after what looks right.

Break, on the other side, mission partner environment is an area that we need to tame. This is more ethereal right now, meaning I don't have such a concrete example.

But we've done a lot of testing with partners on data exchange, what wave forms are best, what security elements, where data is stored, how to do this is an austere or a denied environment, and there hasn't been an order to what we've done. But what we're focused on right now are some of the challenges we have in our current fielded systems.

We've got at the secret level and below a very wonky, problematic array right now with the way that we exchange data with our partners and it's not sustainable. It's expensive, it doesn't work well, and almost every country has some level of bespoke configuration that makes it really hard to manage.

And so we're taking that on as to how do you take what you've got and put it in a repeatable, recognizable, affordable order? And we have two combatant commands, central command, and INDOPACOM Command that have done phenomenal work to that end.

And rather than creating all of that here in D.C., we have turned to our combatant commands who have shown progress and we are helping them organize this in the cross-functional team to see if we can replicate that as a standard. So those are the two areas that are receiving a disproportional amount of attention up front.

Q: Thank you so much.

MR. GOEMAERE: Thank you, Theresa. Let's move on to Jared.

Q: Thanks, Russ and thanks, General, for doing this.

I apologize if you addressed this, I had to step away for a second. But I was hoping you could elaborate a little bit more on the -- what you said is going to need to be strong action on the people's side. How detailed and specific does the implementation plan get on the concrete actions you need to take to handle some of the people issues? Are you mostly still at the problem identification stage, or do you know what you need to do on the people's side?

GEN. CRALL: Yes, we're far more developed there. And unfortunately it's not because of our wisdom, and somehow we dedicated more time to it. The reason that we're so developed on that end is we haven't -- we've known about these problems for a long time and haven't fixed them.

So this is really something that we should have done 5, 7, 10 years ago. What the implementation plan finally does is really put that accountability and measurable steps against each one of those discreet parts that we've discovered. I've kind of outlined a little bit of that on what we're trying to tackle.

But the workforce is evolving, there's different needs, there's different skill sets, there are certain people we'd actually need on staff to do the work belonging to us and there's others that could be contracted out to do that as a service. But we've got to ensure -- for example, I'll just give you a few examples that we've known about.

When it comes to recruitment people don't just fall out of the sky and decide I'm going to come over and join the government. And it's tough to find where those jobs are, it's difficult to onboard, it's timely, there's security concerns.

I mean, we make it difficult, and in many cases maybe it's necessary because we want to be thorough, but in many cases it's not. We've just got to get better at it, we've got to understand our market better. We've got to understand if you're part of the team what's your developmental pathway?

One of the biggest disappointments I've had is that there are certain career paths in these technical fields that it's unclear how you advance, what schools you attend, how you progress, what the expectations are. These are reasonable things for people to want to know when they join an organization of our size.

So what we have is well-intentioned people who've got a laser focus on this, but now we've come together in a more holistic way, and we've committed to fixing this. So I'm incredibly -- for all -- everything that I've just said that sounds pessimistic, is that we're slow in doing it. I'm incredibly optimistic that we've finally got a bead on it and we understand what needs to be done, and I think the order of prosecution makes sense. And you know, our leadership in the building, from the secretary on down, support from Congress -- there's not a single entity that I interact with that isn't ahead of me right now spurring me, empowering us as an effort to get after this as our highest priority. People really are our strength, and our leadership is -- is -- is really committed to fixing it.

So yes, we have a head start. It's not nascent, and I would expect some pretty recognizable changes to that in the few months ahead.

Q: And -- and can you just say a little bit on which communities, for lack of a better word, are implicated by -- by the implementation plan? I mean, I'm -- I'm guessing it extends pretty far beyond just the traditional I.T. workforce.

GEN. CRALL: It does, but I think it's manifest more, right, and we -- in the I.T. workforce and really, in the technical side of it, not in the scientific and technology community. They're -- they've always been able to go out and really get, you know, the experts, the data scientists, the chief technicians and the -- you know, those who know how to do test and analysis. They've always been really good at that. I'm talking about the other organizations, especially even within services, in order for us to take our visions and implement them on day-to-day operations in how we do business. That's really what's been lacking. So I think you'll see this at the service level, certainly. I think you'll see this at the support level, where this'll be manifest.

And the very first question, I think, or question or two that opened up is -- is related to this, as well. In addition to the -- the right workforce to work some of this, the training and education responsibility for everybody needs to be raised, and that's addressed here, as well.

So this is about raising the competency of the user because you know, again, maybe 20 or 30 years ago someone might say, "You know what? That's someone else's problem to solve." But we're all dependent on technology, and there's got to be a level of understanding. We understand it's clear for our security, right? We do things -- I know we use the term cyber -- cyber hygiene, which is a terrible term, and I know that we've, you know, talked before that, you know, hygiene for some maybe is optional, so maybe cyber hygiene's a bad way to look at it. Cyber-security's not optional, so we've got to train and educate everybody who will use this space properly. So it -- it even affects the non-technical user of this.

So yes, I think you'll see this primarily focused on the professional cadre we need in the non-S&T community.

Q: Thank you, sir.

MR. GOEMAERE: Thank you, Jared. Next question goes to Briana Reilly with Inside Defense.

Q: Thanks so much for doing this. Back to Theresa's question on the MVPs, Mission Partner Environment has been in the -- the works for years. I'm wondering, is part of the reason you're prioritizing it now because of Russia's aggressions in Ukraine? Or can you shed further light on why it ranks so highly among your priorities. And then beyond that, what's the timeline look like for delivering capabilities here? Thank you.

GEN. CRALL: Sure. Well, I would say that, you know, to answer your question directly, no, we didn't spur it on or elevate it as result of the Russian-Ukraine conflict. MPE, as you've said, has been in the work a long -- you know, quite some time ago, and we made this a priority formally, you know, in the strategy which was written over a year ago, it made the cut as a line of effort because of one real principal: We're never going to fight alone. We're always going to rely on partners. We need partners. There's not an operation or activity, especially at scale that we can think of that we'll -- we'll do this by ourselves. We need our partners and our allies, and so we need to get better at it.

You are correct, this has gone on for some time. There's been pockets of -- of success in areas that -- what was lacking, to be fair, is, you know, if you asked me the question five years ago what's your operational design, forget the priorities, where are you going, what you want to accomplish? I don't think we could've -- we could've said, yet we were very busy, lots of action, lots of testing, lot of sharing, but to what point?

This puts a fine point on delivery. And really since we're talking about data exchange, our number one MPE priority is in the system and systems that provide that information exchange at the COCOM level, which is why I -- I listed CENTCOM and INDOPACOM. They struggle in their environments, like all combatant commands do, to make sure that we have the right apparatus technically in place.

We can always put filters on. We know it -- what information can and cannot be shared. But if you don' have the transport apparatus, if you can't share data, if there's no common repository, how do our partners do JADC2 and how do they look at their own decision-making cycle if we can't connect at the data level, and that's really why MPE is so important.

Timelines for the second part of your question, this gets a little trickier. Right now, not all the budget decisions have been made. So I'm -- I'm guessing as I look at this, our ask, you know, the deputy secretary has a very tough job ahead of her because we've asked for everything.

I think we've prioritized fairly well, but if you add these up, I'm -- I'm confident it's more money than we have to do all of it right now, so we have to make the case. One of the prerequisites that have to be in place to take that next step, which things can be spread out, what things don't you want? Maybe there's, you know, wisdom in not spending so much money in certain areas because you want to see how they play out and develop rather than overinvesting in an area.

So we do need to make some tough choices in the department on which -- you know, which pieces of this get fielded at what -- what points, and we are prepared using the I plan to go through that DMAG and budgetary process.

We also have a close eye on budget on continuous resolutions. You know, some of this are new starts, and I think all of us know that new starts can be challenging in a CR environment. I'm not using that as an excuse. I'm not convinced that slowed where we have been right now. But in the future if that becomes a way of practice and it becomes more common, delivery of certain aspects, especially new start aspects of JADC2, will be hampered as other programs have been.

Q: Thank you. A quick follow-up on the funding elements. Can you speak ballpark figures about the level of funding the I plan has recommending -- recommending? And will any of those funding recommendations, you know, be reflected in the F.Y. '23 budget request? Thanks.

GEN. CRALL: I can answer the latter, the answer is yes, very clearly. We've already had placeholders in. You know, even though these -- this document, the I plan itself, was recently signed, we've been in constant battle rhythm events with our leadership on where we saw this forming up. So it's not as though it was just dropped in the environment and we're now trying to take a look at this for the first time.

We had a pretty strong understanding of where these would fall out. And so yes, we have a solid plan, I think, or at least a good -- a good recommendation maybe on -- on how that'll land for '23. As for how much money overall, I don't think I -- I fully have a -- you know, a reliable answer to give you. But even if I did, I probably wouldn't share it. I'm -- I'm not keen to get out ahead of, you know, the secretary and deputy secretary's battle space in that area.

Q: Thank you.

MR. GOEMAERE: Thank you, Breanna. Last question goes to Sangmin Lee with Radio Free Asia.

Q: Yes, I have a question about how to JADC2 apply to Korean Peninsula. So there is a discussion about (inaudible) ally to United State to JADC2. So do you thinking about Korean forces can be included in the JADC2, and how to apply that -- the North Korea threat in Korean Peninsula?

GEN. CRALL: No, thank -- that's a -- that's a great question. And the short answer is yes, completely included. And that's part of that combatant command roll-up that I described earlier.

And, you know, specifically to the Republic of Korea, the CENTRIX-K apparatus, you know, the very command-and-control system that it uses, is one of many that are out there for all of our partners, that we're trying to ensure stays modernized, viable and -- and, again, meets the needs of war fighters in that theater, and how the theater is fed with timely information.

That particular system itself is in the scope of JADC2 reformation, all designed to empower and increase that information-sharing end state.

So the answer is yes, absolutely included.

Q: My follow-up question, how about the -- the JADC2 related to the U.S. versus Korea against a North Korean threat?

GEN. CRALL: Yes, so I -- I look at it -- you know, all threats that combatant commands bring to the table are being tested against our JADC2 model, in very discrete parts.

So, yes, the threat on the Korean Peninsula gets the same treatment that we would get threats in other geographical areas. And what we're looking for in that analysis is where we come up short. And -- and, again, just being honest, there are many good ideas that are hatched in the CFT, that when they're put to the test, we find out we have gaps.

We might have been too focused on one particular threat stream, or we've not leveraged what, you know, an adversary could bring -- bring to the table. But the -- the threat on the peninsula itself and the threat, you know, regionally, is -- is considered in that combatant command planning and its vetting and testing against JADC2.

Q: Okay, thank you.

MR. GOEMAERE: Thank you, sir.

That concludes all the questions that we have, but let's turn it over to you for any closing comments.

GEN. CRALL: No, I -- I hope this is an ongoing dialogue. I really do appreciate the opportunity to interact. I think the questions are hard-hitting, and they should be. I've given you the most honest answer I can on where I'm optimistic and where we have work to do.

This will be a journey for us, but a journey that I hope is different than we've had in the past, meaning that, you know, if this was a factory, we have a conveyor belt. We are now focused, from, you know, our most senior leader on down, to delivery of a capability. And we're going to learn from it. It's not all going to be perfect, but we're going to learn by doing. And that time is already started.

I thank you for the opportunity.