Greg Allen, chief of strategy and communications at the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC), told C4ISRNET in an interview published Monday that the fiscal year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), if signed into law, would provide JAIC acquisition authority and enable it to move faster.
“If you have your own acquisition authority, then you are probably your own top priority,” Allen said. He said the NDAA would allow JAIC to secure contract vehicles that are relevant to AI initiatives across the Pentagon and an example of that is a vehicle related to testing and evaluation.
“The nice thing is that if you can get these testing and evaluation functions specified in contract performance of work statements. Then [because of] what the JAIC has learned by executing its projects over the past two years, we can actually codify that and contract vehicles that reflect our contracting best practices,” Allen said.
Allen also mentioned JAIC’s progress in the joint warfighting initiative, including the award of a potential $800 million contract in May and advances related to the Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) concept.
When asked about metrics for JAIC’s individual programs, Allen cited aircraft uptime in the predictive maintenance effort. He also shared his insights on the center’s transformation to JAIC 2.0 and discussed what the move means for DOD.