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Tuesday, November 28, 2023

AUVSI Launches Unmanned Maritime Systems Advocacy Committee

The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, the world’s largest non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of unmanned systems and robotics, has formed an Unmanned Maritime Systems (UMS) Advocacy Committee to focus on the development of policy positions to support the advancement of the industry.

“Unmanned maritime systems allow military and commercial operators alike to go farther and deeper than ever before,” said Brian Wynne, president and CEO of AUVSI. “The input provided by the UMS Advocacy Committee will help us speak with a unified voice and enable all our members to advocate for the growth of the industry.”

The UMS Advocacy Committee will be chaired by Thomas Reynolds, vice president of Business Development for Hydroid Inc./Kongsberg Maritime. Reynolds, who currently leads all Kongsberg Maritime business with the U.S. government, previously served as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Navy, where he served as commander of the Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) Task Group, U.S. Fifth Fleet, among other roles. He holds a bachelor of science degree from the U.S. Naval Academy and an executive master of business administration from Benedictine College.

Wayne Prender, vice president for Applied Technology and Advance Programs at Textron Systems, will be the committee’s vice chair. In his role at Textron, Prender is responsible for engineering development programs, advancing areas such as the Common Unmanned Surface Vehicle and Cased-Telescoped Weapons and Ammunition, as well as emerging capabilities and development programs. He is a former commissioned officer in the U.S. Army, where he was deployed to Iraq and awarded the Bronze Star. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from St. Louis University, a master’s degree in technology management and a master of business administration from the University of Maryland University College.

The committee also include representatives from BAE Systems, L3 Technologies, Leidos, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Seaborn Defense.

The UMS Advocacy Committee recently formalized a set of Policy Priorities to help guide the committee’s legislative and regulatory actions. The priorities state that the UMS Advocacy Committee shall:

  • Establish the UMS Advocacy Committee as the preeminent industry voice influencing acquisition and regulatory policies and processes.
  • Facilitate the growth of UMS through active engagement with the government and commercial sectors.
  • Collaborate with ship owners, operators, shipyards, ports, federal maritime agencies, technology developers, classification societies and academia to further integrate advanced automation for maritime platforms into the domestic market.
  • Develop the future of the UMS workforce through technology-focused education.
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