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News | Aug. 14, 2018

DIA kicks off 2018 DoDIIS Worldwide Conference

By Chasen Thoennes Defense Intelligence Agency

The 2018 Department of Defense Intelligence Information System Worldwide Conference, hosted by the Defense Intelligence Agency began with keynote speeches by DIA Chief Information Officer Jack Gumtow and DIA Director Lt. Gen. Robert Ashley, Jr.


In his opening remarks, Gumtow addressed the theme of this year’s conference, Data as a Weapons System, and emphasized the benefits and challenges of big data to the intelligence community.


“Like cyber security, data presents a myriad of challenges as we struggle to make sense of the expanding quantities of information,” Gumtow stated. “In addition to the challenges this presents, data also affords us a unique set of opportunities to discern more precise and timely intelligence about our adversaries that would not have been possible only a few years ago.”


Gumtow challenged conference attendees to explore and develop systems that enhance DIA and the intelligence community’s ability to make data more discoverable by people and machines. He stressed the value of data to allow analysts and senior leaders to make faster decisions and predictive analysis. 


Ashley then provided the morning keynote address and further emphasized the importance of technology and harnessing data for future national security and military dominance.   


“The competitive military advantage that we have had since World War II is eroding,” said Ashley. “It’s not about building more of what we already have, it’s about building new capability because right now we’re seeing the gap closing in every war fighting domain.”


The nations that best integrate technology into their operational domain will be the ones who dominate the future, Ashley noted. He also underscored the need to share new technology and capabilities with allies before going to war to ensure all nations are able to operate together seamlessly and quickly.


While Ashley acknowledged data and technology in and of itself won’t guarantee victory on the battlefield, he stated they should enable people to react faster and more decisively, ensuring a competitive advantage.


Ashley added, “We’ll never be able to fully penetrate the fog of war, but what we will be able to do is—what we need to be able to do—is see in it faster and more complete than our adversary.”