DCGS Next Generation: Accelerating Change to Deliver Decision Advantage

By Kelly Borukhovich and Tyler Morton Approximate reading time: 11 minutes Abstract: The DCGS Next Generation (DCGS Next Gen) delivers

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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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OODA Point: The Requirement for an Airman’s Approach to Operational Design (Part II)

The ability to make and execute timely and effective decisions has been the foundation of military success for millennia. In the next decade, however, Combined Force Air Component Commanders (CFACC) planning, decision, and execution (PDE) cycles will be confronted by unprecedented challenges emerging in the constantly evolving digital ecosystem. The era of unrivaled access to the electromagnetic spectrum and dominance in multiple domains is rapidly coming to a close for the US airpower. As more and more state and non-state actors gain access to advanced technology, the CFACC’s PDE cycles will transition from an observe, orient, decide, act (OODA) loop to an OODA point. This phenomenon will also have a significant influence on the command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR) measures necessary to shape and execute preplanned and emergent decisions in contested operational environments. One way of mitigating these nascent vulnerabilities is to develop a deliberate framework of operational design focused on airpower to provide a proactive form of vision for future CFACCs.

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OODA Point: The Requirement for an Airman’s Approach to Operational Design (Part I)

By: Dr. Jeffrey Reilly Approximate Reading Time: 15 Minutes Abstract: The ability to make and execute timely and effective decisions

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Tackling Tomorrow’s High Value Airborne Assets Anti-Access/Area-Denial Problem – Part Two

In Part One of a two-part series, the author describes the threat that Anti-Access/Area-Denial weapons pose to current Iron Triad operations. Part Two will discuss solutions that use current technology to overcome future capabilities.

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Tackling Tomorrow’s High Value Airborne Assets Anti-Access/Area-Denial Problem – Part One

In Part One of a two-part series, the author describes the threat that Anti-Access/Area-Denial weapons pose to current Iron Triad operations. Part Two will discuss solutions that use current technology to overcome future capabilities.

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Air Mobility Command’s Future Tanker Problem

The DoD faces a significant crisis in its power projection capability. The ability to execute missions in an A2/AD environment needs to be reevaluated in terms of AAR.

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Innovation Madness: Accepting Risk Today to Avoid Defeat Tomorrow

The United States Air Force (USAF) recognizes a need for future innovations as near-peer competitors make rapid advancements in military capabilities. However, the current USAF system does not facilitate keeping up with these competitors. Innovation requires a cultural shift regarding risk acceptability at all levels, starting with leaders. The USAF can facilitate this shift by further addressing regulatory guidance and Professional Military Education programs. Until the USAF as an organization is willing to accept risks and ultimately failures to achieve success, mission impacting innovations will continue to be elusive.

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Vulnerabilities of Multi-Domain Command and Control (Part 2)

Part 2 of the series focuses on how a peer adversary may leverage cyber, space, and EW threats against command and control capabilities, and how these effects may be mitigated through the distribution of authorities to smaller teams.

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Vulnerabilities of Multi-Domain Command and Control (Part 1)

The concept of assured communications enabling an AOC’s continual SA during a peer fight might not be as easy as it sounds.

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Command & Control of ISR in a Contested, Degraded, and Operationally Limited Environment: Ensuring Support to Unit Level Intelligence (Part 2)

Fighting in a contested environment will force a change in how the US prioritizes intel requirements. Consolidating & prioritizing at the local level will the new mantra for success and lethality.

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Command & Control of ISR in a Contested, Degraded, and Operationally Limited Environment: Ensuring Support to Unit Level Intelligence (Part 1)

The modern operational environment will force a change in operations at all levels, to include C4ISR. You can’t command without control. You can’t control without communications.

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Modernizing ISR C2 Part I: Multi-Domain Maneuver as the Foundation

This is the first article in a multi-part series focused on modernizing Command and Control (C2) of Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR).

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Leading Distributed Teams: Theory and Practice (Part 1)

Air Force ISR is regularly executed by geographically-separated teams. New leadership models are required to optimize team performance.

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OTH Video: Interview with Lt Gen Jeff “Cobra” Harrigian

At the end of the day it’s about killing and surviving. To do that, we’ve got to go faster and think beyond just air, space, and cyber.

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The Future of The French Air Force: A Future Combat Air System as a Strategy to Counter Access Denial

By 2030, France is committed to design a Future Combat Air System (FCAS) to overcome the ever-growing contest of Western air supremacy around the world. Ultimately, the FCAS has no other ambition than to preserve France’s capability for ‘first entry’ options.

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C4ISR Concerns for Air Mobility Command

AMC C4ISR capability is dependent on deployment and sustainment capabilities provided by multiple organizations using a mixture of classified and unclassified systems. These systems have significant vulnerabilities in regards to operational security and potential cyber attacks.
By Isaiah Oppelaar

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