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Panel 1

Tuesday, November 15, 2022
Mission Assurance in a Changing World

Tom Atkin,
Managing Principal, The Atkin Group

Marine transportation is a major part of both the U.S. economy and national security. From the threat of nation state adversaries to weather events, both the public and private sectors must partner to address these areas of concern. Without these partnerships, threats to our ports, civilians, military, and maritime transportation capabilities remain at risk.

This panel will look at the various aspects of mission assurance on waterways, from infrastructure and data analysis to mitigation and collaboration to ensure safety.

Captain Scott Calhoun, U.S. Coast Guard
Data Governance’s Role in Mission Assurance

The lifeblood of the U.S. economy is the Marine Transportation System (MTS) and the maritime commerce that it sustains. MTS safety is a matter of national security and a high priority for the USCG, which is charged to protect it. In performing this mission, the USCG leverages data and analytics to gain insight about the ever-increasing complexity of the MTS and to enhance its understanding of the safety-related effects brought about by the evolving interconnectedness of global trade. Operationalizing this data-driven approach is essential to ensuring the USCG’s ability to safeguard the MTS, for which it relies on a key enabler for mission assurance: data governance. This presentation outlines an overview of the USCG’s role in data governance within the context of novel uses of the nation’s waterways, such as offshore renewable energy installations, launch and recovery of space vehicles in the maritime domain, autonomous vessel operations, etc.; specifically, it highlights how various USCG waterway risk assessment methodologies use data and information to support decision makers responsible for maritime safety, security, and environmental stewardship.

Dr. Anu Narayan, Associate Director, Forces and Logistics Program, RAND Arroyo Center, RAND

Infrastructure is a key enabler of mission assurance, but it can be difficult to isolate the effect of degraded infrastructure on mission performance, and in turn, to appropriately value investments in infrastructure resilience. Anu will share highlights of research RAND has conducted over the past several years (primarily for the Department of the Air Force) on assessing the exposure of installations to threats such as extreme weather events, translating that exposure into mission impacts, and setting priorities for investments in infrastructure and resilience through available funding mechanisms.

Rear Admiral Sean P. Regan, Deputy Director of Operations, NORTHCOM

In a rapidly changing environment where strategic competitors possess the capability and intent to increasingly place the homeland at risk, USNORTHCOM stands ready to defend the homeland. The importance of protecting critical infrastructure and maintaining the ability to project power across the globe is rapidly evolving as kinetic and non-kinetic threats hold our homeland at risk through multiple domains. Only through a determined and focused whole of nation effort alongside our allies and partners can we assure the mission to protect the homeland, maintain the capability to deploy the joint force and sustain the fight forward. Multiple efforts across the whole-of-government align strategic seaports and related intermodal system security and readiness, establish support agreements for response preparedness of maritime systems, and synchronize maritime homeland defense against all hazard threats. USNORTHCOM continues to deter strategic competitors through campaigning in order to maintain power projection capabilities and defense of the homeland.

Ms. Theresa Whelan

The threat environment we face today is much more dynamic, multi-faceted and complex than ever before.  The ubiquity of powerful 21st century technologies has enabled a wide range of potential actors—from nation states to non-state actors—to pose potentially significant asymmetric threats to the US homeland, especially our critical infrastructure.  Additionally, nation state adversaries are increasingly looking for ways to leverage the private commercial sector to gain, not only day to day economic strategic advantage, but also potential advantage in conflict by controlling or influencing the production of key materials and/or the availability of labor and transportation.  These types of threats are particularly relevant to US maritime security, potentially impacting our ports and civilian, as well as military, maritime transportation capabilities.  The first step to mitigating these non-traditional threats is to recognize and acknowledge them, and to understand and prioritize for mitigation the systemic vulnerabilities that could be exploited.  The next step is to recognize that these threats cannot be addressed by one entity in the USG or the private sector but rather require equally non-traditional public/private sector partnerships and collaboration to defeat.

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