Communications in Multi-Domain Operations: What Does the BACN Bring?

Communications are an important element of any military operation. A lack of infrastructure and rough terrain have hindered U.S. military operations in Afghanistan (2001-Present) and Iraq (2003-Present). The difficulties encountered in both countries initially led to several different ad hoc solutions for overcoming poor communications. Eventually a long-term solution emerged, known as BACN (Battlefield Airborne Communications Node) with two dedicated platforms, an E-11A and EQ-4B. This article provides new insights on the BACN program and its history, and considers the importance of E-11s providing BACN for future multi-domain warfighting environments. Finally, it encourages new ways of thinking on how to operate in a contested environment, proposing a “BACN-mesh” concept as a way of overcoming such a vulnerability with an adversary jamming the electromagnetic spectrum.

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Human-led Machine Learning & Advanced Threats: Case Method Inquiry and Visual Analytics Applied to COVID-19

In a pervasive and complex information environment, analytics are vital to understanding advanced threats. As we rely more on machine-learnt results, asking the right questions and visualizing deep analysis are key to grasping and solving problems. These skills are also vital 21st century leadership tools that can forge a common focus among otherwise stove-piped specialists.

The COVID-19 pandemic presents an urgent threat that requires both scientific understanding and decisive leadership. The cause of the disease is SARS CoV-2, a mutating virus that thrives in conditions difficult to control at scale. To counter this threat, this article demonstrates in detail the potential of human-led case method and machine-provided visual analytics.

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Artificial Intelligence in the Operational Information Environment: The Need for Proactive Doctrine

Joint operations doctrine omits the agency of artificial intelligence (AI) in the operational information environment, which is a problem. This commentary discusses why, and recommends effective changes. Key points are as follows. AI is becoming an autonomous cause of unanticipated effects. Humans are not the most effectively intelligent actors in all environments, yet our doctrine draws lessons from the past rather than anticipating emergent futures. Machines currently excel in experience-based learning and can discover relationships in data that we cannot discern. Humans can intuit, deceive, somewhat control, and manufacture and destroy machines. In time, AI will be able to perform those cognitive, informational and physical functions as well. As out-thought becomes out-fought, we need proactive doctrine now.

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Using Prizes to Harness the Power of the Population

By: Michael Carlson Estimated reading time: 5 minutes The United States (US) Air Force proudly proclaims it has been “breaking

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A Bomber for the Navy

Rather that sending the B-1 Lancer into early retirement, the Department of Defense could transfer it to the Navy for duty as a land-based ship-killer.

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Future Wars: A Look at the Air Force’s Ability in a 21st Century Fight

The Air Force is not ready to deter or prevail against a near-peer adversary, to remain competitive in the 21st century fight the service must have a paradigm shift to give maneuverability back to the warfighter.

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Speed is Life: Why Mach and Maneuverability Dominate in 2030

Next-gen fighters should emphasize speed, maneuverability, and directed energy weapons to preserve US dominance in the air domain.

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Igniting a Cultural Insurgency in the Acquisition Community: Part II

A cultural reform in DOD acquisitions and USAF professional development is critical to timely delivery of capability to the warfighter.

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Igniting a Cultural Insurgency in the Acquisition Community: Part I

A cultural reform in DOD acquisitions is critical to timely delivery of capability to the warfighter.

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OTH Video: Interview with General William “Willie” Shelton (Retired)

Space is foundational to every military operation and yet we have not postured to adequately defend our satellites.

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Podcast: Unpacking Defense Acquisition Policy the Laird-Packard Way

Lessons learned from the study of David Packard, Deputy Secretary of Defense from 1969 to 1971, may influence present day acquisition policy.

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The Laird-Packard Way: Unpacking Defense Acquisition Policy

Exploring David Packard’s leadership in defense acquisitions may help guide the path for present day acquisition reform.

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The Cyber (EMS) Offset

Cognitive computing may have significant implications for future cyber and multi-domain operations.

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Interview with Lieutenant General Jack Shanahan: Part 2

Excerpt: In an interview, Lt Gen Jack Shanahan shares his vision for the role of artificial intelligence and machine learning

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An Acquisition Offset: Exploiting the Time Dimension

Accepting increased product and process risk is necessary to facilitate the faster acquisitions timelines the future operating environment demands.

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Defense Acquisition: The System Is Our Battlefield

The acquisition process is built for peacetime and is hindering US ability to rapidly develop and deliver technologies to the warfighter.

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