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Ken Peterman

Ken Peterman

President Government Systems at Viasat

President of Government Systems for Viasat, Inc.

Prior to joining Viasat, Ken served as President, CEO, and Founder of The SpyGlass Group, and also as President of Exelis Communications, Force Protection Systems, and President of ITT Communications Systems.

A recognized thought leader, innovator and aerospace & defense executive, Ken continues to help shape the global strategic defense agenda and technology trajectory in satellite communications, mobile networking and cybersecurity - recognized globally as a ‘Game Changer’ and as ‘Businessman of the Year’ in the international A&D market.

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  • Let’s take a moment and applaud the bold courage of a pioneer who helped us see things differently and contributed to making the world a better place:

    “When I resolved to become a physician,” Elizabeth Blackwell told a crowd at the New York Infirmary in 1863, “six eminent physicians…united in dissuading me, stating, ‘That it was an utter impossibility for a woman to obtain a medical education; that the idea though good in itself, was eccentric and utopian, utterly impracticable!’ It was only by

    Let’s take a moment and applaud the bold courage of a pioneer who helped us see things differently and contributed to making the world a better place:

    “When I resolved to become a physician,” Elizabeth Blackwell told a crowd at the New York Infirmary in 1863, “six eminent physicians…united in dissuading me, stating, ‘That it was an utter impossibility for a woman to obtain a medical education; that the idea though good in itself, was eccentric and utopian, utterly impracticable!’ It was only by long-continued searching through all the colleges of the country, that one was at last found willing to grant admission. When I entered college in 1847, the ladies of the town pronounced the undertaking crazy, or worse, and declared they would die rather than employ a woman as a physician.”

    Hooray for women like Elizabeth Blackwell!! 👍👍

  • Amid budget cuts to the military and government, the UK is facing defence budget shortfalls over the next decade of up to £20 billion. However, these may be mitigated by the Modernising Defence initiative, which has set a series of new, positive emphases: speed of acquisition; a willingness to consider approaches which put modest capability into the hands of users; and an emphasis on new and innovative contracting methods.

    I am grateful to Defence Online for publishing my perspectives on how collaboration

    Amid budget cuts to the military and government, the UK is facing defence budget shortfalls over the next decade of up to £20 billion. However, these may be mitigated by the Modernising Defence initiative, which has set a series of new, positive emphases: speed of acquisition; a willingness to consider approaches which put modest capability into the hands of users; and an emphasis on new and innovative contracting methods. 

    I am grateful to Defence Online for publishing my perspectives on how collaboration can accelerate our ability to bring innovative, cutting edge technology, assured connectivity and cloud empowerment to our soldiers more rapidly and affordably than ever before.

  • While the MoD finds itself facing new challenges as it moves toward the Skynet-6 programme, it also has an enormous opportunity to make the most of new capabilities being driven by private sector satellite communications (SATCOM) providers. I’m grateful to Computer Business Review for publishing my perspective on this unprecedented opportunity.

  • In a move that surprised many in the Department of Defense (DoD), Congress added $600 million to the Air Force FY18 budget for two Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) satellites — WGS 11 and 12 that the US Air Force did not ask for and does not need.

    Further, the $600 million doesn’t include funding for launch or operations, creating significant budget challenges for the Air Force over the long term.

    What’s more, these WGS 11 and 12 technologies are several generations old - far behind modern satellites

    In a move that surprised many in the Department of Defense (DoD), Congress added $600 million to the Air Force FY18 budget for two Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) satellites — WGS 11 and 12 that the US Air Force did not ask for and does not need.

    Further, the $600 million doesn’t include funding for launch or operations, creating significant budget challenges for the Air Force over the long term.

    What’s more, these WGS 11 and 12 technologies are several generations old - far behind modern satellites being deployed by the private sector. This leaves our warfighters disadvantaged and underserved on the battlefield - even putting them in harm’s way. This is wrong.

  • Great to see the bold leadership across our Army, including LTG Crawford’s “Enterprise IT As-a-Service” initiative.

    This is a much-needed step in the right direction to leverage accelerating private sector technology development and address the fact that current DoD acquisition and fielding timelines fail to keep pace with technology trajectories that evolve a new technology generation every 18-30 months.

    There is a compelling mandate for transformational change in DoD technology-related acquisition

    Great to see the bold leadership across our Army, including LTG Crawford’s “Enterprise IT As-a-Service” initiative.

    This is a much-needed step in the right direction to leverage accelerating private sector technology development and address the fact that current DoD acquisition and fielding timelines fail to keep pace with technology trajectories that evolve a new technology generation every 18-30 months.

    There is a compelling mandate for transformational change in DoD technology-related acquisition policy and practice - particularly in technology sectors like IT, mobile networking, satellite communications and cybersecurity - and I applaud the Army leadership’s efforts to utilize “As-a-Service” business models.

  • Fantastic that the Army's fiscal year 2020 budget request will include 186 canceled or reduced programs. It is time we recognize the crossover in technology leadership from defense to the private sector - particularly in technologies like mobile networking, satellite communications and cybersecurity where commercially proven agile development practice & investment are accelerating technology trajectories so fast that DoD’s outdated acquisition practice can’t possibly keep pace.

    These unprecedented

    Fantastic that the Army's fiscal year 2020 budget request will include 186 canceled or reduced programs. It is time we recognize the crossover in technology leadership from defense to the private sector - particularly in technologies like mobile networking, satellite communications and cybersecurity where commercially proven agile development practice & investment are accelerating technology trajectories so fast that DoD’s outdated acquisition practice can’t possibly keep pace.

    These unprecedented steps are vital if we are to modernize warfighter capabilities, address emergent threats, and drive change in DoD acquisition.

    We have the unprecedented opportunity to capture the enormous, and yet untapped ‘technology dividend’ offered by private sector technology leadership, while simultaneously modernizing warfighter capabilities faster and more affordably than ever before.

    So grateful for our sons and daughters who chose to serve - for their sake let’s get this done!

  • SECNAV Richard Spencer issues a compelling mandate for transformational change in DoD technology-related acquisition policy and practice - and yet untapped opportunities clearly exist, particularly in technology sectors like IT, mobile networking, satellite communications and cybersecurity - I applaud the SECNAV’s leadership to drive real change.

    We must address a deeply troubling trend in DoD acquisition - which is the fact that acquisition and deployment timelines are not keeping pace with technology

    SECNAV Richard Spencer issues a compelling mandate for transformational change in DoD technology-related acquisition policy and practice - and yet untapped opportunities clearly exist, particularly in technology sectors like IT, mobile networking, satellite communications and cybersecurity - I applaud the SECNAV’s leadership to drive real change.

    We must address a deeply troubling trend in DoD acquisition - which is the fact that acquisition and deployment timelines are not keeping pace with technology trajectories that evolve a new technology generation every 18-30 months.

    A recent Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA) report on Acquisition Timelines noted that the expected DoD development cycle for a new technology on average is “8-14 years – even if you do everything right”.

    That means that a newly fielded operational capability is already 3-7 technology generations behind - essentially obsolete upon initial deployment.

    The time to fix this is NOW.

  • This makes yet another argument for the DoD to harness the power of both the U.S. military AND innovative commercial SATCOM networks simultaneously by integrating these networks together into a Hybrid Adaptive Network (HAN) architecture.

    A HAN maximizes warfighter capabilities and resilience by providing simultaneous access to both commercial and DoD networks so that warfighters can seamlessly roam across this hybrid infrastructure.

    These networks may span multiple orbital regimes (LEO, MEO, and

    This makes yet another argument for the DoD to harness the power of both the U.S. military AND innovative commercial SATCOM networks simultaneously by integrating these networks together into a Hybrid Adaptive Network (HAN) architecture.

    A HAN maximizes warfighter capabilities and resilience by providing simultaneous access to both commercial and DoD networks so that warfighters can seamlessly roam across this hybrid infrastructure.

    These networks may span multiple orbital regimes (LEO, MEO, and GEO) and operate over multiple frequency bands (Ka, Ku, Mil-Ka, etc.); providing independent layers of resilient terrestrial infrastructure, and feature different network management, and cyber defense implementations. Together, this hybrid architecture provides inherent diversity while removing single points of failure and/or points of attack.

  • The Defense Department has received final recommendations from a special advisory panel on intellectual property rights and while reaching consensus on many issues, the panel was split on several critical issues that remain unresolved.

    With Private Sector technology accelerating rapidly, DoD must find new ways to effectively exploit these technologies to empower our warfighters. A modern IP policy enables that.

    Some national security threats are enabled by these same technology trajectories

    The Defense Department has received final recommendations from a special advisory panel on intellectual property rights and while reaching consensus on many issues, the panel was split on several critical issues that remain unresolved.

    With Private Sector technology accelerating rapidly, DoD must find new ways to effectively exploit these technologies to empower our warfighters. A modern IP policy enables that.

    Some national security threats are enabled by these same technology trajectories, which are transforming threat envelops and accelerating threat vectors at an increasingly alarming pace. 

    We can meet this challenge by exploiting these same private sector technology trajectories to quicken the DoD innovation cycle so that we maintain technology superiority by deploying advanced operational capabilities across the battlespace and continually evolving them in near real time. A modernized IP Policy provides a vital foundation for that.

  • An acquisition reform panel has put forth a series of "bold" recommendations - that DoD adopt "war footing" in the technological competition with China and Russia.

    Importantly, the goal is to find ways DOD can field better capabilities faster than near-peer competitors and non-state actors - largely by leveraging the rapid pace of technology development and the steep technology trajectories of the private sector.

    The recommendations include adopting a marketplace framework so DOD can rapidly purchase

    An acquisition reform panel has put forth a series of "bold" recommendations - that DoD adopt "war footing" in the technological competition with China and Russia.

    Importantly, the goal is to find ways DOD can field better capabilities faster than near-peer competitors and non-state actors - largely by leveraging the rapid pace of technology development and the steep technology trajectories of the private sector.

    The recommendations include adopting a marketplace framework so DOD can rapidly purchase products and services more like the private sector, shifting from program-centric management to a portfolio management framework and reforming IT procurement.

    A marketplace framework may be a good idea whose time has come. However, it will take strong leadership to transform longstanding DoD policy, practice and culture to genuinely improve our ability to rapidly empower and continually evolve our warfighter capabilities.

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