In this news round-up, we’ve found some amazing stories of innovation in research, implementation and career creation, as government agencies, along with the military, blaze a path in IT innovation in virtual training, autonomous systems, and application program interfaces.
A recent innovation by Army aviation leaders is the utilization of gaming technology to enable more realistic aviation training.
An article on Army’s website discusses their adoption of cutting-edge training platforms that enable combat training in virtual environments that are more realistic than ever, utilizing gaming software. These new training technologies allow for soldiers to embody the Army adage, “train the way we fight,” by helping them maintain readiness to be able to employ aviation maneuver forces throughout the range of military operations.
Some of the training techniques include “live, virtual, constructive, gaming and mission control,” (LVCG-MC). What these new gaming technologies enable within the armed forces is the capability to put soldiers in “increasingly complex scenarios.” And, by putting soldiers in a more realistic training environment, they are able to cultivate readiness and agility.
Major Beau Tibbitts, Doctrine Branch Chief at the Directorate of Training and Doctrine (DOTD) said:
“LVCG-MC is a critical tool that allows leaders to evaluate and assess training on a consistent basis in order to determine readiness of their soldiers and the unit’s ability to conduct its mission essential tasks.”
A primary benefit from these training technologies is the increased level of readiness that soldiers embody as a result and the agility that goes hand in hand with utilizing such technological capabilities to their fullest.
In addition to Army, Navy is also spurring on and utilizing great advancements in tech as the Office of Naval Research (ONR) looks to autonomous, unmanned systems to keep service men and women out of dangerous disaster areas, but to also encourage increased agility in public service.
In an article on FedTech Magazine, Rear Admiral Mathias Winter, Chief of Naval Research released ONR’s new, ongoing technology strategy that includes nine focus areas, one of which is autonomous unmanned systems.
While at the Naval Future Force Science and Technology Expo, Adm. Winter said, “In science and technology we are focused on the here and now, but also setting goalposts for 5, 10, 20 years down the line for what the innovations of the future will look like. Our goal is to be able to answer the questions no one has asked yet.”
While military branches are looking to advanced technologies to enable more agile training and deployment, federal agencies are following suit by also looking for increased agility and readiness.
For example, a recent FedScoop article discusses the question of whether or not application program interfaces (API) is the answer to government IT agility and streamlining. Currently, the government has over 6,000 APIs that the public can build on.
According to Gray Brooks, a General Services Administration’s 18-F Senior Strategist, “Too often talk of APIs is bundled up in talk of open government and open data…that’s really a loss…the greatest beneficiaries of APIs are the [creators] and the efficiencies they accrue internally.”
Brooks contends that the “mission was best served by allowing third-party integration.”
He went on to say- “We started to let go of being the end-all be-all for the user experience. Trying to be everything to everybody doesn’t work…As we started to let go of that, we became kind of this layer underneath where third-party apps could go on top of our APIs, and that I think is the role the government has to play in the Internet of Things — taking the things that only they can provide and making sure they’re available to everybody else.”
Data is so top-of-mind lately that on February 18th the first Chief Data Scientist was appointed, demonstrating that not only is data at the forefront of innovation for government agencies and military branches, but it is also of top concern within the White House.
A recent article featured on The Hill reported that DJ Patil, whose past experience includes working with such private sector companies as PayPal, eBay and LinkedIn, was appointed the first chief data scientist. He comes into the position with at least one specific focus- to utilize data systems in order to offer medical treatment to patients with greater efficiency- making the overall system more agile.
Megan Smith, Chief Technology Officer was quoted saying that the position was created to “maximize the nation’s return on its investment in data.”
To learn more about how government agencies are blazing the path in IT innovation, click here.