Breakout Sessions

ScheduleKeynotesRoundtable Luncheons Breakout SessionsFeatured SpeakersInnovation Challenge

Breakout Sessions

Designed for education and direct interaction, these new breakout sessions are smaller, intimate sessions created to facilitate a more interactive and engaging experience through shared interest in a topic.

Tuesday, August 20 | 1500 – 1630

Breakout 1: UAS Plans, Programs and Progress Across the Services

Join representatives from the Air Force, Navy, Army, DARPA and the U.S. Coast Guard as they discuss what’s next for the DoD’s unmanned aircraft for small, tactical and long endurance applications. Gain valuable insights into where the services are making investments, what technological challenges are being faced and when key leaders expect to see emerging capability developments affecting future programs and initiatives.

Moderator: Dyan Gibbens, CEO, Trumbull Unmanned

Opening Presentation:

Speaker: Brig. Gen. James "Cliffy" Cluff, Director, RPA/Airborne ISR, Headquarters Air Force A2

Panel Discussion

Pat Buckley, DPEO(U&W), UAS Programs and Director, Common Standards & Interoperability, U.S. Navy

Lt. Col. Philip Root, Deputy Director, Defense Sciences Office, DARPA

Lt. Col. David Griffin, Tactical Unmanned Aircraft Systems Product Manager, PM UAS, PEO Aviation, U.S. Army

Cmdr. Jeff Sullens, USCG Office of Aviation Acquisition

Breakout 2: Capability Advancements for Surface and Subsurface Unmanned Systems

This session explores developments in U.S. Navy unmanned maritime technologies including current and future technology initiatives for surface and undersea systems. Key areas of technology development will be discussed including hardware and software improvement, autonomy, navigation, communications advancements, batteries, energy, and opportunities for industry participation.  

Moderator: Tom Reynolds, Vice President, Business Development & Strategy, Hydroid, Inc.

Opening Presentation: Navy Battery Development Safety Enterprise

Speaker: John A. Moses, Navy Battery Development Safety Enterprise Program Manager, NAVSEA 05Z

Panel Discussion

Dr. Jason R. Stack, Portfolio Manager for Autonomy, ONR

Capt. Pete Small, Program Manager, PMS 406, Unmanned Maritime Systems PEO Unmanned and Small Combatants, U.S. Navy

Dr. Andrew Nuss, Program Manager, DARPA

Michael J. Alperi, Deputy Program Manager, PMS408, Expeditionary Missions Program Office, Naval Sea Systems Command

Charles Alexander, Chief, Planning and Performance Management Division, NOAA Office of Marine and Aviation Operations

Breakout 3: USDPS Innovation Challenge

The Innovation Challenge is an opportunity for small, start-up and early stage companies operating in the commercial, defense, and non-traditional unmanned systems or autonomous systems spheres to present their technology to government and industry representatives at USDPS. During the Innovation Challenge, five finalists will pitch their technology to the USDPS audience and an esteemed Advisory Panel.


Moderator: Bill Thomasmeyer, Consultant, National Advanced Mobility Consortium

Chris O'Donnell, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Platform and Weapon Portfolio Management, OUSD A&S

Reid F. McAllister, Director, Integrated Unmanned Maritime Mobility Systems, Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division and Co-Lead, NAVSEA WFC Unmanned Vehicles and Autonomous Systems Working Group

Paul Decker, Deputy Chief Roboticist, U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command, Ground Vehicle Systems Center

Kristen R. Hajduk, National Capital Regional Director, NSIN - National Security Innovation Network, Department of Defense

Wednesday, August 21 | 0900 – 1030

Breakout 1: UAS Threat Detection and Mitigation

The threat of the nefarious drone use continues to be a concern for the DoD overseas and security agencies here at home. Hear from defense leaders, homeland security professionals and industry experts as they discuss UAS mitigation. Session topics will cover the latest technologies available to counter drone threats, opportunities to engage with government agencies to develop new solutions and discussions on proactive measures to combat illicit drone use.


Moderator: Brian Wynne, President & CEO, AUVSI

Elizabeth Neumann, Assistant Secretary for Threat Prevention and Security Policy, DHS

Angela Stubblefield, Deputy Associate Administrator, FAA Security and Hazardous Materials Safety Office

Brendan Groves, Senior Counsel to the Deputy Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice

Brent Ingraham, Director of Unmanned Systems, Platform and Weapon Portfolio Management, OUSD A&S

Breakout 2: DoD Acquisition Innovation

The DoD is working to improve the acquisition process with a focus on attracting non-traditional companies, cutting down the acquisition timeline, encouraging innovation and saving money.  Join acquisition officials from across the services who are working to improve the process.


Moderator: Jim Thomsen, President, Seaborne Defense, LLC

Dr. James D. Moreland Jr., Executive Director, Mission Engineering and Integration, OUSD(Acquisition & Sustainment)/ASD(Acquisition)

Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Frank Kelley, Vice President, Defense Acquisition University

Ben McMartin, Chief of the Acquisition Management Office, CCDC, Ground Vehicle Systems Center

Jennifer Roberts, Branch Head, Undersea Influence in Chief of Naval Operations, Undersea Warfare Division (OPNAV N97), U.S. Navy

Breakout 3: Technology Developments Enabling Autonomy

As autonomous systems become more prevalent on the battlefield, numerous challenges must be overcome including how these technologies collaborate with humans, how they make decisions, interact with other unmanned assets and how they are tested and evaluated to ensure safety metrics are met. Join defense, industry and academic experts as they discuss the future of autonomy and its impact on DoD capabilities and missions.


Moderator: Stuart Hatfield, Robotics Branch Chief, FDD, Army G-8

Mark L. Bathrick, Director, Office of Aviation Services (OAS), Department of the Interior

Jean-Charles Ledé, AFRL Autonomy Technology Advisor, U.S. Air Force

Paul Decker, Deputy Chief Roboticist, U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command, Ground Vehicle Systems Center

Matt Dooley, Principal Consultant, JHNA, Inc.

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