by Patty Welsh
66th Air Base Group Public Affairs
12/22/2015 - HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. -- The
Chief Information Officer for the Department of Defense and the Chief
Information Officers for the Joint Staff, Air Force, Army, Navy and
Coast Guard, along with more than 20 senior representatives from DOD,
Cyber Command and the intelligence community, visited the local area
Dec. 10 and 11 to see how Massachusetts and its local tech companies and
military bases pursue technology innovation.
This visit was a part of a regular series of engagements to ensure DOD
senior leadership is informed by and connected to the cutting edge of
cyber and information technology activities.
Senior DOD officials who visited Massachusetts included Dave DeVries,
DOD principal deputy CIO; Army Lt. Gen. Mark Bowman, Joint Staff CIO;
Army Lt. Gen. Bob Ferrell, Army CIO; Air Force Lt. Gen. Bill Bender,
Air Force CIO; Rob Foster, Department of the Navy CIO; and Vice Adm. Ted
Branch, Navy deputy CIO.
"Partnerships across government and industry are vital to DOD's
success," said DeVries. "Visits like this help DOD CIO and other
Department senior leaders engage on important issues, like innovation,
technology transfer and collaborative acquisition strategies."
Numerous high-level Air Force officials from Hanscom participated in
many aspects of the visit, including Maj. Gen. Craig Olson, Command,
Control, Communications, Intelligence and Networks program executive
officer; Steve Wert, Battle Management PEO; Maj. Gen. L. Scott Rice,
Massachusetts adjutant general; and Dr. Tim Rudolph, Life Cycle
Management Center chief technology officer.
Topics ranged from information technology of the future and
cybersecurity to public-private partnerships and best practices, as well
as innovation opportunities and challenges. The visitors expressed
specific interest about the state's Military Asset and Security Strategy
Task Force, which Hanscom has partnered with on workforce development,
infrastructure and energy efficiency projects. Highlighted throughout
the presentations were the benefits of the area -- from world-class
educational institutions and high-tech corporations to the critical work
done for warfighters at Hanscom AFB and the U.S. Army Natick Soldier
During the two-day event, the visitors heard from myriad organizations
about how they address innovation. A meeting at the State House in
Boston with Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, Rice, state economic
development officials and staff from U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas' office
focused on economic development and strengths. The Massachusetts
National Guard provided a briefing on their cyber initiatives. The
delegation also learned about Hanscom's Collaboration and Innovation
Center, described as a "hub" that integrates efforts between various
During the event, Rudolph offered his take on partnerships and
encouraged the DOD CIO delegation to continue making these types of
"Massachusetts and the leading companies in emerging sectors housed near
Hanscom Air Force Base bring expertise and a history of innovation to
our efforts," he said.
And according to Hanscom personnel, collaboration is crucial.
"Collaboration among the DOD, the services, academia, labs and industry
represents a force multiplier for transformational change that
individual institutions cannot achieve on their own," said Adam
Freudberg, support contractor and senior advisor to the CTO for
innovation and collaboration. "Much of what we are trying to achieve at
Hanscom is being made easier and more effective by the partnerships we
Also during the visit, the representatives participated on a panel
discussion with industry, academic and government personnel about
leveraging existing partnerships. Panel participants were from the
University of Massachusetts, Northeastern University, Massachusetts Open
Cloud, and the Advanced Cyber Security Center.
Companies in the local area known for innovation were also on the
agenda. Personnel from IBM, State Street, Allied Minds, 406 Ventures and
EMC all shared their experience and expertise with the visitors.
The executive director of the ACSC said he believes the opportunity to
highlight the state's support for military missions along with
government-industry-university partnerships will provide benefits.
"Meeting in the Commonwealth was a valuable opportunity for the DOD CIO
delegation and our state thought leaders to share best practices on
critical cybersecurity issues," said Charlie Benway. "The Pentagon was
able to learn first-hand how our global companies and world-class
universities transform IT, institutionalize innovation, reduce costs and
develop talent. We hope that this engagement will lead to expanded
partnerships with the Pentagon to more broadly leverage the unique
intellectual capital that defines this region."
Rudolph said the visit went well, but he wished it could have been longer.
"My only disappointment is that the DOD CIO delegation's visit was too
short. We look forward to the opportunities this trip created to give us
the chance to continue to connect DOD to the breadth and depth of the
New England region's innovation economy and the mechanisms we at Hanscom
Air Force Base are working on, like Cyber PlugTest, in our pursuit to
get rapid capabilities and agile tools to the warfighter."