NAVWAR Commander: Overmatch is ‘Imposing Risk over a Wider Expanse’

From left, Naval Information Warfare Systems Command (NAVWAR) commanding officer Rear Adm. Douglas Small, Navy Marine Mammal Program Director Mark Xitco, Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Harker, Naval Information Warfare Center (NIWC) Pacific commanding officer Capt. Andrew Gainer and NIWC Pacific Executive Director Bill Bonwit pose for a group photo during a recent visit to NAVWAR and NIWC Pacific locations in San Diego April 21, 2021. The visit allowed Navy leaders to discuss updates for a high priority initiative called Project Overmatch. U.S. NAVY / Aaron Lebsack

ARLINGTON, Va. — The admiral in charge of Project Overmatch said the Naval Operational Architecture (NOA) being developed by the Navy is necessary to preserve free access to the seas and hold adversaries at risk with fully netted, distributed force. 

Rear Adm. Douglas Small, commander, Naval Information Warfare Systems Command (NAVWAR), said the U.S. Navy, which enjoyed unfettered maritime supremacy since the Cold War, can no longer take that supremacy nor freedom of navigation for granted, especially with the rise of China and its navy which is rapidly improving in capability and capacity. 

He spoke May 7 at a webinar jointly conducted by the U.S. Naval Institute and the Center for Strategic and International Studies and sponsored by Huntington Ingalls Industries.  

Small said the Navy’s Project Overmatch is charged to “deliver the Naval Operational Architecture,” a capability to enhance distributed maritime operations by imposing “risk over a wider expanse.” 

Small said the goal of the architecture is for it to be the connective tissue for the Navy’s sensors, weapons, and command structure, to operate near and far, at every axis and in every domain, and synchronize those effects to form a widely distributive force. 

The admiral said the system of systems the Navy relies on for warfighting can be increasingly vulnerable to Chinese intrusion or countermeasures and the United States needs to maintain an overmatch to minimize such vulnerability, taking the system of systems “to a higher level.” 

That overmatch is not only necessary to put potential enemies at risk but to assure allies and partners, he said.   

NOA is the naval component of the Joint All-Domain Command and Control architecture.