Navy Reservists support for fleet design

Atlantic Test Ranges’ emitters provide the necessary capabilities for diverse testing and training scenarios.

The NAVAIR Reserve Program’s (NRP’s) Fleet Design team works to evaluate and support acquisition and development of new and existing technologies to realize the Chief of Naval Operation (CNO) goal of Distributed Maritime Operations (DMO). Fleet Design/DMO is a complex, rapidly evolving concept that crosses service components, domains, system commands, warfare centers, acquisition, and operational units and promotes maneuver, distribution and integration of the Carrier Strike Group into the fleet force.

Led by Cmdr. Jeremy DeYoung , from the Navy Reserve-Rapid Research and Development (NR-RRD) unit, the team has participated in several exercises, most recently the Naval Tactical Grid enabler in September 2019. Members were primarily assigned to the core data collection/analysis team operating out of Atlantic Test Range (ATR) and Surface Aviation Integration Laboratory (SAIL) at Patuxent River, with one NRP member assigned to E-2D support at Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 20 and another assigned to Surface Combat Services Center at NASA Flight Facility Wallops Island.

“Reservists were responsible for observing decision-making processes on watch floors as well as collecting qualitative and quantitative data regarding information flow throughout the targeting/kill-chain process, DeYoung said. “Additionally, we conducted pre- and post-flight crew debriefs with the aircrews involved to discover fleet desires and concerns that are not generally captured in raw numerical data. Our data gathering techniques are designed for follow-on Reserve support to be able to examine new and existing capabilities focused on improving fleet battlespace awareness, connectivity, and responsiveness through improvements to the Naval Operational Architecture.”

Although the pandemic curtailed reserve participation in planned fleet exercises in fiscal year 2020, NR-RRD unit members regularly participated in secure video teleconference meetings evaluating potential technologies and process improvements across the NAVAIR enterprise which address fleet capability gaps in the context of the CNO’s guidance for DMO. The primary outcome of these briefings and discussions was the recommendation to NAVAIR leadership on which efforts should receive financial and doctrinal support. Additionally, NR-RRD personnel routinely provided support to NAVAIR’s Integration and Interoperability Rapid/Non-standard Acquisition Team with Fleet Design tasking including data collection and analysis.

Fleet Design efforts support a five-year campaign plan of rapid acquisition and development of capabilities, such as weapons, sensors, networks, tactics, etc., in order to deliver full-spectrum naval superiority inside a contested environment by 2023.

The NRP will continue to provide support to the NAVAIR Systems Engineering Department and the Fleet Design Team with reserve support of all exercises through data collection and analysis. This includes support at major exercises such as NORTHERN EDGE 21, LSE 2021 and NTGe-21. Efforts will be synchronized to provide coherency across operational and acquisition organizations through Mission Level Assessment and Evaluation and will leverage Integration and Interoperability products to prioritize solutions and inform investment decisions.