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Why Shield AI? Bob Harward’s Perspective

My good friend, former Secretary of Defense and fellow professional warrior General Jim Mattis said, “America’s military has no pre-ordained right to victory on the battlefield.” The assumption that our military will always be dominant because of past successes is dangerous, and blatantly not true. China and Russia are developing increasingly impressive capabilities, and the U.S. and our allies lack credible deterrents in the face of these capabilities, which jeopardizes peace and global stability. I care deeply about the USA, our allies, and global security, which is why I decided to delay my retirement. Our efforts to enhance our state of competitiveness require an all-hands-on-deck approach.  

While great work on artificial intelligence (AI) for data collection and analysis has been accomplished, maneuver AI that enables aviation assets to autonomously and intelligently execute missions in teams – disconnected on the edge in high-threat electronic and kinetic environments  will fundamentally transform warfare and solve many of the threats that China and Russia present. Shield AI’s intense focus on, and development and deployment of, maneuver AI for aviation is what first caught my attention.

In my previous role and as a Vice Admiral, I had a great view of the national and global security landscape and market. I had the privilege of engaging with our allies and learning about their most concerning national security challenges. I also had the privilege of learning about state-of-the-art technologies for defense and where warfare and the marketplace were going.  I can confidently state that what we are doing here at Shield AI is transformational and unique, and I couldn’t be more excited to work alongside our allies, bring the value that Shield AI provides to the table, and learn how we can help solve their most strategic security challenges. In my view, Shield AI is the only company in the world deploying and operationalizing maneuver AI with haste, focus, scale, and resolve. But more importantly – and the major factor in why I joined – Shield AI is deeply committed to partnering with and helping customers and prospective customers, to include US and allied forces, solve their most pressing and strategic security challenges.    

The application of maneuver AI to all aspects of our deterrence and warfighting capabilities is inevitable. The future of warfare is intelligent unmanned systems operating independently, or together in teams (swarms) alongside human commanders to execute mission objectives. The technology and engineering exist to build AI-powered maneuver air platforms that will transform the battlefield, be it for NGAD (next generation air dominance), SCUD hunting, Maritime Domain Awareness, Joint Air Domain Dominance, or any other current, or emerging, operational need. And if we know this, our adversaries do as well.  

I am concerned by the pace and efficacy to which our adversaries operationalize emerging technologies. The US and our allies must work with a sense of urgency to ensure we maintain our competitive edge in this no-fail mission. Global instability will be the result if we fail. 

I joined Shield AI because the team truly understands these issues, and the path forward we must take. I believe we are the technology company best positioned to make a large impact on these strategic problems, alongside and in concert with our customers. As Shield AI’s Executive Vice President for International Business and Strategy, I am committed to help our allies and partners address their most pressing national security challenges with the urgency they require. I couldn’t be more excited to be in this new role, on a great new adventure, doing what I love – defense, national security, and supporting the heck out of our allies and partners.

To learn more about Bob, visit: Robert Harward – Wikipedia

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