Thomas C. Irwin

United States of America

Mr. Thomas C. Irwin

Future Forces Forum Multi-domain Advanced Robotic Systems (MARS) Conference 2018 Future Forces Exhibition 2018

Executive Director, Joint Training Joint Force Development
Joint Chiefs of Staff, Joint Staff J7, US Department of Defense


Autonomous Systems

Strategic Implications and Force Development Initiatives

Increased complexity among emerging challenges in the strategic environment requires adjustments in how the United States’ prepares for these future challenges. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Dunford, recognizes not only the complexity of the environment, but also the challenges the Joint Force faces responding to them. A primary challenge, revealed in a brief examination of the Joint Force’s history, is creating a clear approach towards Joint Force global integration to enhance Department of Defense strategic planning and execution. Taking on this challenge, the Chairman is creating a Capstone Concept for Joint Operations (CCJO), which is the vision for the future joint force.  It describes how the future joint force will be required to operate, and specifically how the future US joint force will achieve global integration.

The Joint Concept for Robotics and Autonomous Systems supports the CCJO by providing a vision for future robotic and autonomous systems employment by 2035 to guide the development of the joint force, and implements US Department of Defense policy on autonomy in weapons systems.  In his 2018 National Defense Strategy, Secretary Mattis underscores the requirement for US forces to modernize key capabilities, and specifically highlights advanced autonomous systems. The US Department of Defense will invest broadly in military application of autonomy, artificial intelligence, and machine learning, including rapid application of commercial breakthroughs, to gain competitive military advantages.

Advances in robotic and autonomous systems will produce military capabilities to provide the future joint force with significant advantages.  In order to leverage these capabilities, the Joint Concept for Robotics and Autonomous Systems identifies 10 capabilities that the future joint force requires.  Developing these systems are essential to the joint force and its ability to employ global integration. Our joint warfighting concepts are the roadmap to develop the current force for future implications.  Leveraging this technology now will ensure that all of our forces for the future are able to leverage the asymmetric advantage over our future adversaries.

Curriculum Vitae

Mr. Irwin provides executive-level oversight of joint training and exercise policy including
program metrics, practices, and execution of joint training on a global basis, as well as technical
oversight of information technology and information management systems, the Global Joint
Training Infrastructure for Combatant Command and Service joint training events, development
of joint modeling and simulations systems, and the Joint Training Enterprise Network. He also
oversees the Joint Information Operations Range providing a secure environment for
cyberspace, electronic warfare, and information operations capability development, training,
exercises, and mission rehearsals.
Additionally, Mr. Irwin had a previous appointment as the Joint Staff Deputy Chief Information
Officer for Joint Force Development, overseeing the Joint Force Development IT Enterprise and
cyber security for Joint Staff J7.
  • Enterprise Director; U.S. Joint Forces Command J9, Joint Concept Development and Experimentation, Suffolk, VA
  • Product Group Director; Marine Air-Ground Task Force Command and Control; Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, VA
  • Extensive career in the NAVSEA Warfare Centers, holding various technical and management positions for Battle Force Interoperability, Aegis Combat Systems, Gunfire Control Systems, and Self Defense Missile Systems.
  • Ph.D, Candidate, Systems Engineering; Naval Postgraduate School; Monterey, CA; expected 2018
  • Master of Science, Systems Engineering Management; Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA; 2009
  • Bachelor of Science, Mechanical Engineering; North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC; 1983
  • Joint Flag Officer Warfighting Course
  • Senior Joint Information Operations Course
  • Department of the Navy Executive Leadership Program
  • Department of the Navy Executive Development Program for Strategic Thinking
  • APEX
  • Gartner CIO Academy
  • Lean Six Sigma Champion
  • Contracting Officers Technical Representative
  • Project Management Institute Project Management Professional
  • Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act Project Manager Level III
  • Systems Planning, Research, Development and Engineering Level III
  • System Design and Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Military Systems Engineering Integration, Naval Postgraduate School
  • Systems Engineering Product Development, Naval Postgraduate School
  • Principals of Acquisition and Program Management I & II, Naval Postgraduate School
  • Management of Advanced Systems Engineering, Naval Postgraduate School
  • Marine Corps Meritorious Civilian Service Award; 2009
  • Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award; 2004
  • Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award; 1999

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