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CRUSER Hosts Annual Warfare Innovation Continuum Workshop
U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Michael Ehrlich

CRUSER Hosts Annual Warfare Innovation Continuum Workshop

By MC2 Michael Ehrlich

Director of the Consortium for Robotics and Unmanned Systems Education and Research (CRUSER) Dr. Ray Buettner, engages an open discussion with NPS students, faculty and staff in Glasgow Hall, Sept. 20, part of CRUSER’s latest Warfare Innovation Continuum workshop. The workshop explores a hypothetical war in the year 2030 where military planners are faced with the challenge of how to ethically and effectively utilize autonomous warfare systems in an urban, littoral environment.

“[Google Cars] have no understanding of good, bad or evil … Do we consider them autonomous?” Buettner asked. “It’s actually driving out there with every other system; whenever it’s connected to the network, it’s sharing information back and forth. That’s the model we are going to, not the individual weapon systems.”

The workshop pits small teams of junior officers from NPS and the fleet, and early career engineers from Navy labs, academia and industry, in a competition of sorts to brainstorm, propose technologies, and offer an employment concept based on the given urban, littoral, autonomous warfare scenario. Retired Navy Capt. Jeff Kline, Professor of Practice in NPS’ Department of Operations Research, however, reminded participants that the scenario is abstract, and is only intended to stimulate thought in how emerging technologies can be applied to shape the modern battlefield.

“The thing I remind you about the scenario is to not tie yourself to it,” said Kline. “That’s a backdrop for mission identification, and for complexity. Urban, littoral type of warfare, in a sense, is the most demanding when it comes to command, control, and communication, and provides both the maritime and urban type of environments.”
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September 2016

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