Do We Still Have a Coalition of the Willing? Reinforcing National Security through Dedicated Cultural Training

The U.S. has been working with collation partners for decades to address matters of global and national security. Alongside over 80 partner nations, the U.S. has accomplished milestones in the Global Fight against ISIS, which would not have been possible without such a combined front. Part of these successes are due to the DoD’s shift a decade ago to incorporate partner nations in our military processes to fuse holistic intelligence for decisionmakers through multiple coalition intelligence cells around the world. As the battlespace continues to shift from years of counterinsurgency to face revisionist powers and rogue states, the personnel identified to fill critical positions that interact with coalition members will determine the successes of future conflicts. This essay will describe some recent advances the US Air Force has made toward improving coalition intelligence operations and recommend ways to improve selection and training programs in the future.

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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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Air Force Decision Making Training

Dichotomous, black or white, answers are sufficient for initial qualification training, but are rarely the case in the real time battlespace. Just as the United States Air Force (USAF) changed its training philosophy after Vietnam, the USAF must update the current real time battlespace decision-making education to the Recognition Primed Decision-Making (RPDM) model and deliberately train its personnel in situations that require rapid decision making.

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Preparing for the Unpredictable: Accident Management in Great Power Competition

This article identifies the potential of international accidents across domains and identifies factors decision makers must consider before/after an accident.

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Decision Maneuver: the Next Revolution in Military Affairs

The next major arena of military competition will likely be information and decision-making, and the U.S. must harness future technology.

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Changing change while it changes: The rise of disruptive military thinking (Part 3 of 3)

Militaries need to introduce design education as early as possible; cadets and privates need to experience design.

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Changing change while it changes: The rise of disruptive military thinking (Part 2 of 3)

Military design is about constantly changing, transforming, challenging, and disrupting.

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Changing change while it changes: The rise of disruptive military thinking (Part 1 of 3)

Many of the seemingly successful mechanical planning processes of the last two centuries are now holding us back

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Modernizing C2 of ISR – Part 2: Breaking ISR’s Industrial Age Chains

Theater-level ISR C2 must be modernized to ensure the Joint Force is prepared for a complex future and can achieve multi-domain success.

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Command & Control of Tomorrow’s War: Why Decisive Mission Commanders are Key to Multi-Domain Operations

As tactical-level warfare evolves, the emerging security environment will likely drive a level of chaos and friction that has not happened in recent conflicts. To effectively execute MDO in a contested environment, preparing Mission Commanders to act decisively will be essential.

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Avoiding the Early Bird– Innovation in the US Air Force

“The early bird gets the worm. The early worm… gets eaten” – Norm Augustine With support from the highest levels

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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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Lt Gen Deptula Remarks – OTH Speaker Series – Aerospace Power in an Age of Uncertainty

Retired Lt Gen David Deptula shares his thoughts on the future of warfare-in particular, aerospace power in an age of uncertainty.

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FIFTH GENERATION WARFARE: EMERGING NAVAL COMBAT CLOUDS

Peter Layton explores how future warfighting concepts and network/combat cloud design are now interdependent – with the actual platform design of more secondary importance. He notes how, in moving to a fifth-generation force, networks and combat clouds are the fundamental building blocks and we need to get them right.

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Interview with Lt Gen (Ret.) David Deptula: Part 3

In an interview, Lt Gen David Deptula (Ret) shares his perspective on current and future challenges for USAF leaders and joint operations.

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Interview with Lt Gen (Ret.) David Deptula: Part 2

Lt Gen David Deptula (Ret) shares his perspective on the Combat Cloud, ISR, and the need for airmen to serve as joint warfighting commanders.

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OTH Interview of Lt Gen David Deptula, USAF (Ret): Part 1

In an interview, Lt Gen David Deptula (Ret) shares his perspective on current and future challenges for the USAF leaders and the Joint Force.

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Drop Zone: OTH Interview with Lt Gen David Deptula, USAF (Ret.)

In a candid interview, retired Lt Gen David Deptula, shares his perspective on current and future challenges for USAF leaders and the Joint Force.

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Combat Cloud: A High Tech Solution to a Low Tech Problem

Building a common operating picture from data stored in a cloud environment and creating the illusion of the availability of perfect information creates three large risks: joint forces become more vulnerable to Electromagnetic Spectrum (EMS) attacks and reflexive control strategies; command, control, and execution become increasingly centralized; and an information-denied environment causes decision paralysis.
By Katrina Schweiker

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DROP ZONE: Decision Making

Innovation continues the quest to provide more perfect information and decrease the risk of making an incorrect decision.

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