By Yolanda R. Arrington
DoD News, Defense Media Activity
Secretary of Defense Ash Carter heads to Silicon Valley today to drive home a message of how vital technology is to the future of the Department of Defense. Carter’s trip West marks the first visit by a Secretary of Defense to the region in nearly 20 years.
During the two-day stop in California, Carter is scheduled to deliver a speech at Stanford University, visit Facebook’s headquarters and meet with venture capital leaders. The Secretary will focus on three major goals during the trip: improving the way the Pentagon partners on innovation, building relationships that will drive change, and outlining the Department of Defense’s approach to cyber security.
Today, Carter will deliver the “Drell Lecture” at Stanford where he is expected to announce new initiatives focusing on how the DoD does business in the Valley. Carter will also unveil the department’s first Cyber Strategy update since 2011 during the lecture.
Secretary Carter has often repeated since taking the helm in February, “We must look outside of our five-sided box.” In October, the Department launched a program that calls for technology and innovative ideas from the brightest minds in industry, small business, academia, start-ups and the public.
This program and the initiatives Secretary Carter will announce in his speech today builds upon the ongoing innovation already happening in the Department. Here are some examples of the latest cutting edge technology the military is developing:
The Navy is currently working on laser communications to improve data and information transfers so that warfighters may make better decisions in undersea environments.
Marines are training with a robotic mule capable of tackling rugged terrain and carrying heavy loads.
The Army is developing technology to create synthetic training to help soldiers prepare for various environments.
Air Force researchers are testing sensors to store and analyze sweat with the help of smartphones. This bandage-sized innovation would track the body’s biomarkers to keep airmen safe during training and missions.
Carter’s trip will further highlight the ways the military is adapting to advance the nation’s status as a global leader in technology.