Navy preps new strategic ‘blueprint’ for its ever-changing information architecture

"Having quality data is going to be as useful as having the right missile or the right bullet,” CNO Deputy Navy Data Officer Nathan Hagan said.
U.S. Navy Operations Specialist 1st Class Frederick Robinson, from Abbeville, Louisiana, stands tactical data coordinator (TDC) in the combat information center (CIC) during sea and anchor detail as the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Carney (DDG 64) departs Azores, Portugal after a brief stop for fuel, October 5, 2023. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Aaron Lau)

Officials within the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations are developing a new conceptual blueprint that’s envisioned to reflect the many, often-shifting elements of their organization’s sprawling information architecture, CNO Deputy Navy Data Officer Nathan Hagan confirmed on Friday.

During a panel at the AFCEA NOVA Naval IT Day conference, Hagan briefly spotlighted this new in-the-works plan, which he said is being designed for continuous updates in the future. It’s inspired by the Marine Corps Information Environment Blueprint from 2018.

“Now, in the Navy, we’ve worked in the same approach [as the Marine Corps’ prior guide]. And this blueprint is our strategic document. It’s a work in progress. It’s a living document, right, because it’s ever-changing and ever-evolving with the introduction of new technologies. But it outlines what an enterprise architectural view looks like, which is really the key for us as [chief data officers] is to define the big-picture architecture — and from that, define the requirements that then get deployed to the individual systems and are researched effectively,” he said. 

The Marine Corps blueprint, produced around five years ago, was created to help guide and inform capabilities for the Marine Expeditionary Force Information Groups, or MIGs. Those forces, formed in 2017, support each MEF and integrate electronic warfare with intelligence, communications, military information support operations, space, cyber and communication strategies to provide MEF commanders with an information advantage.


At the AFCEA event, Hagan noted that the new blueprint is being drafted as officials are “refactoring the entire architecture of Naval information systems,” and while they’re also working to establish more sustainable and enduring investments in associated technologies and the enterprise’s underpinning data infrastructure.

“We don’t know what the next military conflicts — or current military conflicts — are going to look like fully. I can tell you that they’re going to involve information, they’re going to involve targets upon information systems. And I can tell you that having quality data is going to be as useful as having the right missile or the right bullet,” he said.

How similar the Navy’s blueprint will be to the Marine Corps’ that preceded it, remains to be seen. Hagan did not provide any information regarding when the first iteration of the document will be completed.

Editor’s note: Mark Pomerleau contributed to this article.

Brandi Vincent

Written by Brandi Vincent

Brandi Vincent is DefenseScoop's Pentagon correspondent. She reports on emerging and disruptive technologies, and associated policies, impacting the Defense Department and its personnel. Prior to joining Scoop News Group, Brandi produced a long-form documentary and worked as a journalist at Nextgov, Snapchat and NBC Network. She was named a 2021 Paul Miller Washington Fellow by the National Press Foundation and was awarded SIIA’s 2020 Jesse H. Neal Award for Best News Coverage. Brandi grew up in Louisiana and received a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Maryland.

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