By C. Todd Lopez
WASHINGTON (Dec. 02, 2021) -- Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen H. Hicks, Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security Ronald Moultrie, and representatives of the University of Maryland today officially launched the Applied Research Laboratory for Intelligence and Security, or ARLIS, at College Park, Maryland, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The event highlighted the partnership between the Defense Department and the university in furthering intelligence efforts, innovating in the national security arena and shaping future workplace development in the intelligence and national security career fields.
ARLIS is one of just 14 university-affiliated research centers, or UARC, in the U.S. for the Defense Department. The laboratory supports the department with both basic and applied research into human and sociotechnical systems; artificial intelligence, automation, and augmentation; and advanced computing and emerging technologies.
"ARLIS is the only UARC focused on the intelligence and security communities," said Hicks. "It is a flexible and responsive organization. It leverages technology and science to meet increasingly critical national security challenges. It could not have come at a better time."
The deputy secretary said the U.S. faces a challenging global security environment, including threats from Russia, Iran, and North Korea, as well as from transnational and non-state actors. The department has also identified China as a pacing challenge.
"Destabilizing actions threaten our critical infrastructure, undermine democratic institutions, and seek to erode our military readiness and competitive advantage," Hicks said. "This dynamic threat landscape requires the Department of Defense to conduct research, innovate, and undertake dynamic experimentation. ARLIS will enable us to do exactly this."
The office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security sponsors the ARLIS, and Moultrie said that partnership has paid off.
"Our partnership with the University of Maryland and the results we are achieving today are emblematic of one of our most critical intelligence and security needs: a UARC committed to evolving our capabilities by emphasizing a human-centered focus," Moultrie said. "The future of intelligence and security needs both advanced technology and advanced human understanding. We need human and technological capabilities, and we need to integrate them into our tradecraft. That is precisely what I see happening here at ARLIS."
Moultrie said one of his priorities within the department is the exploration of innovative new approaches to enhance the nation's security, including the reimagining and discovery of new ways of approaching, building, delivering and integrating new capabilities into the department's intelligence missions.
"Our goal is to identify, analyze and implement the technological advances that are vital to our nation's intelligence and security mission," he said. "ARLIS's applied research is already enabling our enterprise to determine how we can get new technologies into users' hands faster, use these advances to further our current mission needs and protect as well as modernize our technology so that we can anticipate and achieve future mission successes."