Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks said today that the Pentagon will be rolling out a new AI and Data Accelerator Initiative (AIDA Initiative) within the next 90 days as part of the Defense Department’s (DoD) Joint All Domain Command and Control (JADC2) strategy.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin signed and approved the JADC2 strategy document last month, but it has not been made public yet. An unclassified version of the data strategy is still being worked on and can be expected soon, but Hicks said the new AIDA Initiative is one new advancement that will be coming out of JADC2.

“We’re initiating a new approach called the AIDA Initiative, which is the AI and Data Accelerator Initiative. And that acceleration initiative is going to have teams that go out within the next 90 days to every single combatant command and start to tie in their data,” Hicks said today during the Defense One Tech Summit. “And they’ll also have technical expert teams on AI, and they’ll start looking at how to bring AI and data to the tactical edge in support of the warfighter.”

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Hicks said DoD plans to “continue to lead on AI by demonstrating that we have an approach that’s all of workforce, so it’s not focused just on the technical workforce, but everyone throughout the department.”

According to Hicks, AI and data will be a big part of the DoD’s modernization approach, and the agency aims to “move toward future capabilities from the boardroom to the battlefield,” in those areas.

“The ability to share data – that is a key piece of how we think about decision advantage in the future, and that involves also how we work with our industry partners,” Hicks said. “So, we know we’re on a common ground about the need to make sure that data can be – maybe platform agnostic might be a little strong – but can be easily transmitted across different platforms and different approaches and allow us to move much more easily through platform modernization and software focus.”

Although Hicks did not offer a specific timeline as to when the AIDA Initiative will be made public in the data strategy, she did say the DoD is “still building that [AIDA] out, it’s part of our JADC2 strategy and part of the requirements processes.”

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Grace Dille
Grace Dille
Grace Dille is MeriTalk's Assistant Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.