Will Rowe is principal at Booz Allen Hamilton.
On Base: What are the most promising trends you see coming for the base of the future?
Rowe: There are three that come to mind. Joint planning – willingness of installations and communities to engage in joint short-term and long-term planning to address threat vectors (e.g., compatibility, constrained funding, cyber, climate) and lay out what resilient futures might look like within a specific geographic region.
Expanded partnerships – increased recognition that military-community partnerships create mutual benefits through shared services and asset optimization, and that more incentives and authorities will create new possibilities. (3) Technology – innovative applications of technology to improve installation management, quality of life and mission.
On Base: What are some specific real-world applications of technology driving innovation on the ground?
Rowe: There are many varied applications that come to mind. Technology-enhanced systems for accelerated facility condition assessments, roof inspections, pavement evaluation. Rapid data collection and visualization technologies that integrate big data, remote sensing and artificial intelligence capability within a highly visualized and interactive system for environmental and infrastructure and mission decision-making. Test beds for autonomous transportation solutions on installations.
On Base: How can we make the most out of tight defense budgets to help our installations evolve?
Rowe: At the headquarters level in each of the military services, continue to develop and apply portfolio investment strategies that maximize improvements to most important assets for the mission. At the installation level, continue to foster community partnerships to share assets and services, and apply resources to critical needs.