Autonomous systems provide additional warfighting capability and capacity to augment our traditional combatant force, allowing the option to take on greater operational risk while maintaining a tactical and strategic advantage. The Navy and Marine Corps are already operating unmanned systems, and going forward will seek to achieve a seamlessly integrated manned-unmanned force across all domains. The question is not “if” the Naval force will prioritize and leverage unmanned platforms and systems, but how quickly and efficiently, in resource-constrained environments.
New technologies have changed society and the character of war. Many technological developments are sourced in the commercial sector which means competitors and non-state actors can access them. Maintaining the Department’s technological advantage will require deeper understanding of and integration with industry culture, better leveraging of unique investment sources, and enhanced protection across the National Security Innovation Base. In order for the Department to deliver unmanned capability at the speed of technology in an environment of competing budget priorities, the DoN has created an Unmanned Campaign Plan that will create a collaborative and actionable effort, focused on delivering and sustaining manned-unmanned teaming for the future maritime fight. This campaign plan is comprised of two elements, the framework which contains overall concepts and strategies, and the execution plan of action and milestones (POA&M) that ensures collaboration across Naval Forces to determine how unmanned systems will fit into the future fleet, and maximizes the value that they will provide for national security.