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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Cognitive Electronic Warfare: A Move Towards EMS Maneuver Warfare

In multi-domain operations (MDO), control of the electromagnetic spectrum is of paramount importance. By leveraging machine learning technologies coupled to advanced Electronic Warfare techniques, a key first step will be taken in enabling maneuver warfare within the spectrum.

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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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Defense Of The Homeland In A New Age, Part III

Editor’s note: The following article is the third of a three-part series discussing necessary advancements which will best enable the Department of Defense to continue to lead during current and future periods of competition. Part I focused on the history of the current threats, Part II outlined areas of defense and civilian research which must be pursued, and Part III delves into the path forward for cohesive, joint application of technology and research.

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Defense Of The Homeland In A New Age, Part II

Editor’s note: The following article is the second of a three-part series discussing necessary advancements which will best enable the Department of Defense to continue to lead during current and future periods of competition. Part I focused on the history of the current threats, Part II outlines areas of defense and civilian research which must be pursued, and Part III delves into the path forward for cohesive, joint application of technology and research.

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Defense Of The Homeland In A New Age, Part I

Editor’s note: The following article is the first of a three-part series discussing necessary advancements which will best enable the Department of Defense to continue to lead during current and future periods of competition. Part I briefly reviews threats America has faced thru history and those which it currently faces across all domains. Part II outlines areas of defense and civilian research which must be pursued, and Part III delves into the path forward for cohesive, joint application of technology and research.

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The Evolution of the Air Aggressor

Current USAF Aggressor airframes lack the capability to effectively replicate the operational advanced fighter weapon systems fielded by near-peer adversaries China and Russia. Additionally, with only two Air Aggressor squadrons across the USAF, there is a lack of requisite capacity to fully support the advanced air-to-air training requirements of the Combat Air Force. Despite initiatives such as the Air Combat Command Advanced Adversary Air contract awarded in October of 2019 and plans to establish an F-35A Aggressor Squadron at Nellis Air Force Base, the Aggressors will likely still lack the necessary capacity to support a routine and robust advanced air-to-air training environment. These issues highlight a need to not only modernize the current fleet of Aggressor F-16Cs, but to also seek an innovative approach to acquire an affordable, indigenous, advanced replication capability within the USAF. Procurement of a 5th generation fighter-type unmanned aerial system, the Aggressor UAS, developed to augment manned Aggressors with advanced adversary replication would not only solve current capability and capacity shortfalls, but also posture the USAF Aggressors to satisfy future adversary replication requirements.

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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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Leading the Waveform: Evolving Spectrum Leadership for Future Wars

Electromagnetic spectrum operations (EMSO) incorporate a vast array of capabilities from space control to cyberspace operations, as well as the atmospheric effects traditionally known as electronic warfare (EW). These capabilities require the development of experts and leaders that integrate each niche mission set into robust EMSO that support multi-domain operations. Brig Gen Gaedecke stated that “the Air Force should deliberately refocus efforts on electronic warfare and the EMS as a whole.” This renewed focus must begin with the development of EMS leadership from tactical to senior levels to effectively advocate for solutions. Recognizing the EMS as a domain enables the joint force by highlighting its need for expertise, which then supports the critical problem solving and tactics development required to compete in future conflicts.

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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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Multi-Domain Operations: Everyone’s Doing It, Just Not Together

The military services are continuing to forge the way in MDO, but what progress has been made and will they be able to achieve joint efficiency?

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An Approachable Look at the Human Domain and Why We Should Care

Within the context of multi-domain operations, the human domain is arguably the most important domain, but it is often the most overlooked. This article proposes implementation of the domain through the use of planning for desired behaviors prior to conflict. It also discusses how Russia views information warfare, their practices, and a case study of its importance in the Crimean Annexation.

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The “Little Friends” of 2030?: The Future of Air Superiority

By: Dr. Heather Venable Estimated Reading Time: 4 Minutes At the beginning of World War II, the Army Air Forces

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Fight Tonight: A Look at the USAF’s Ability to Prevail

The Air Force is ready to deter, and if necessary prevail against a growing near-peer adversary willing to disrupt the international order.

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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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Reflecting on Air Force Leadership & Diversity – Three Years Later

The Air Force must become more diverse in its highest leadership positions to overcome the challenges of modern warfare.

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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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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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The Case for Dispersed Basing

There are compelling reasons for implementing dispersed basing, including survivability and the capacity to execute multi-domain operations. There are also significant challenges to overcome, including building partnerships; sustainment; restructuring personnel and training requirements; ensuring command, control, communications, and computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR) connectivity; and base defense.
By Aaron Sick

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Deterrence in a Complex Nuclear Future

As the United States Air Force prepares itself for the future, it must look critically at the manner in which it achieves nuclear deterrence. The world in which we live and the adversaries whom we strive to deter are far different, and so our deterrence method must also evolve. In order to defeat our adversaries in the future, we must prepare now.
By Mary Yelnicker

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