Tackling Bureaucracy While Still Being Innovative

21 February 2022
Coast Guard pavilion at WEST '22

The WEST ‘22 final morning keynote speaker was the Honorable Carlos Del Toro – Secretary of the Navy.  He is responsible for over 900,000 Sailors, Marines, reservists, and civilian personnel plus an annual budget exceeding $210 Billion. His priorities include securing the training and equipment successful naval operations demand and addressing the most pressing challenges confronting the US Navy and Marine Corps – China’s naval ambitions, climate instability, Covid’s ongoing impact, and strengthening a naval culture of inclusiveness and respect.  

The final Warfighter Panel focused on the theme: Are We Moving Rapidly Enough on Directed Energy Weapons and Hypersonics?  The panel was led by: 
ADM James Winnefeld Jr. (Ret.)  – Former Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Douglas Blake Ph. D – Executive Director Aviation Forces, Office of Naval Research
Rick Cordaro – VP for Advanced Product Solutions, Lockheed Martin
VADM Scott Conn – Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Warfighting Requirements 

Each day, AFCEA hosted an Innovation Seminar on various subjects.  One Innovation Seminar focused on the use-case application for the AI &ML capabilities of TBCO Spotfire to address cybersecurity challenges identified by Federal Agency Cyber Leadership.

Abaco Systems met with the US Coast Guard at their Pavilion to identify potential future programs and applications for our SOSA-aigned embedded computing products.  The Coast Guard will be deploying both manned and unmanned surface vessels and was interested in our AI related computing products. It was especially rewarding to see them demonstrating the micro-trans-SPEC, battery-powered HPGe Gamma Spectrometer made by our parent company, Ametek.

The Acquisition Panel consisted of flag officer level and senior military representatives from all branches. They discussed tackling bureaucracy while moving in innovation. As it fields more advanced capabilities, the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard are making changes to their acquisition processes, but the efforts are not without difficulties--system commanders from the services reported. Long-range fire missile systems, artificial intelligence, autonomy, 5G and C5I technologies require technical know-how as part of the acquisition process, and not just at the technical and engineering levels but also in the finance, contracting and human resource divisions, leaders said at WEST ‘22.

Abaco wrapped up an extremely productive conference in beautiful California. We enjoyed connecting with Sea Service leadership, warfighters, our customers, fellow companies that support our Sea Service warfighters and many others. Our SOSA/MOSA-aligned products fit perfectly into the SPEIR, SEWIP, and DMO programs of the Navy, and we are proud to be a valued partner in their mission success. Learn more about the solutions we demonstrated at WEST '22 here

Looking forward to next year’s WEST ’23 on February 14-16th, 2023. “Sea” you there! 

If you enjoyed this blog, check out our blogs from Day One at WEST '22  "Abaco Goes West" or Day Two: "U.S. Must Stand Firm With Allies Against Growing Aggressions Says Admiral at WEST '22" 


Michael Mohawk

Mike joined Abaco as the Director of Business Development in May 2021. Previously, he was the Sr. Manager Business Development at L3Harris. Prior to L3Harris, he had positions at Sekai Electronics and e2V/Teledyne. Mike also spent 23 years at Northrop Grumman and was an Electronic Warfare Specialist in the US Air Force. Mike graduated with a BA degree in Business Management/Engineering Technology and an MBA in Marketing.