Defense Operations

July 27, 2021
By Maj. James Torrence, USA
While some tout the idea that U.S. forces could pre-emptively degrade their own technological capabilities in a peer, or near-peer conflict, doing so would lead to losing, says an Army signal officer. Credit: Andy Gin/Shutterstock

The novel 2034 by James Stavridis and Elliot Ackerman perpetuates a fundamental misunderstanding of how technology should be employed and managed in future conflicts.

The continuing narrative is that we should purposely degrade our systems in a conflict with a peer competitor because of the possibility of a degraded spectrum, cyber attacks, space-based detection and jamming. But if we preemptively degrade our technology in a peer conflict, we will lose.

In the novel, after a conflict with the Chinese Navy in which the U.S. technical systems were incapacitated, U.S. ships preemptively disabled “any interface with a computer, a GPS or [any interface] that could conceivably be accessed online.”

July 16, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
The U.S. Army’s Combat Capabilities Development Command C5ISR Center and other Army partners prepare for the Network Modernization Experiment 21 event by readying vehicles and equipment for the event held at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey in May. Credit: Jasmyne Douglas, Joint Base McGuire Dix Lakehurst PAO Office

The U.S. Army is employing blockchain-related capabilities to provide information trust on the future battlefield. The advanced solution, being developed in support of to be part of the Program Executive Office Command Control Communications-Tactical, or PEO C3T, Capability Sets 25 and 27, also relies on machine learning and zero trust applications. Computer engineers at the service’s tactical communications research and development arm, the Combat Capabilities Development Command C5ISR Center, at Aberdeen, Maryland, tested the solution in May during the Network Modernization Experiment 21 (NetModX 21), held at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey.

July 1, 2021
By Lt. Col. Christopher M. Richardson, USA, Sgt. Maj. Willie Allen, USA, and Capt. Dallas R. Villareal, USA
Lot 9 Satellite Transportable Terminal (Increment 2) faces backward in an attempt to lock onto the satellite due to the malfunctioning of the sensor and encoder assembly. Capt. Dallas R. Villarreal, USA

Officials with the 2nd Cavalry Regiment have found a unique solution to a software challenge while fielding the Warfighter Information Network-Tactical Increment 2. The validation of the process could pave the way for other units to implement the fix if they encounter a similar issue.

Mission command is the critical component in ensuring success under a large-scale combat operation. As the senior sustainment commander and sustainment coordinator within the Army’s only forward-stationed Stryker Brigade, the 2nd Cavalry Regiment, unfettered access to all elements within the regiment is required.

July 15, 2021
Interview by Mark Senell
Credit: Shutterstock/Olivier Le Moal

The digital transformation is no longer simply an enabler—it’s the “trunk of the tree” that provides the foundational structure for everything we do, according to Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, USA (Ret.). “It shapes what we are and how we operate.”

June 30, 2021
By Sandra Jontz and Kimberly Underwood
In this image from December 2020, former Secretary of the U.S. Air Force, Barbara Barrett, walks with Air Force Chief of Staff, Gen. Charles Brown, before a ceremony unveiling the newly decorated Space Force hallway at the Pentagon. Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force

The U.S. Space Force (USSF) this week plans to announce the first transfer to its ranks of 50 sister-service members who are leaving the Army, Navy and Marine Corps to become Space Force guardians, said Lt. Gen. Nina M. Armagno, USSF, director of staff of the Office of the Chief of Space Operations of the Space Force

“It’s important to know that as we grow, we’re bringing over missions, systems and personnel from our sister services, and this week, we’re going to announce the first 50 interservice transfers,” she said during an interview this week.  

June 30, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
Following her tenure as commander of Office of Naval Intelligence, Vice Adm. Kelly Aeschbach, USN, stepped into the role of commander of Naval Information Forces in May. Here the vice admiral is pictured speaking during a ceremony in May 2021 with now-retired Vice Adm. Brian Brown, USN, looking on. Credit: U.S. Navy/Robert Fluegel

Three years ago, the Navy established its Information Warfare Enterprise and took steps to bolster its information warfare, or IW, given rising threats from adversaries. To support persistent surveillance of the maritime and information battle space, the service is now supplying IW expertise within meteorology, oceanography, intelligence, cyber, cryptology, network, space and electromagnetic spectrum operations, reported Vice Adm. Kelly Aeschbach, USN, commander, Naval Information Forces.

June 29, 2021
By George I. Seffers
Navy SEALs conduct dive operations training in the Atlantic Ocean, May 29, 2019. A proposed reserve force of combat-ready, active-duty special operators could allow the Navy Special Warfare Command the agility it needs to respond to the full spectrum of missions around the globe while experimenting with new tactics, techniques and procedures. Credit: Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer Jayme Pastoric

Rear Adm Hugh Wyman Howard III, USN, commander, Navy Special Warfare Command, made the case today that keeping a combat-ready active-duty force in reserve for combat or contingency operations around the world will provide opportunities for greater experimentation with tactics, techniques and procedures.

June 29, 2021
By Robert K. Ackerman
Marines and sailors aboard the amphibious assault ship USS New Orleans execute small boat drills in the Philippine Sea. Greater integration between the Navy and Marine Corps is leading to more joint operations in support of maritime security. Credit: Lance Cpl. Grace Gerlach, USMC

The U.S. Marine Corps is shifting its emphasis to become more of a force integrated with that of the U.S. Navy, leaders of both services said. The two services will focus more on coordinated rather than complementary operations that will be supported by advanced communications and networking technologies.

These were among the points discussed in the opening panel session at West 2021, the two-day virtual conference cosponsored by AFCEA International and USNI. Being held June 29-30, the event’s focus is on the promise and progress of naval integration.

June 23, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
Space X’s Falcon 9 first stage rocket returns to Earth on June 21, landing on the Just Read the Instructions droneship after launch of the military’s GPS III-5. Space X is preparing for a June 25 launch of key satellite and experimental equipment for the Space Development Agency, as part of a greater Transporter 2 mission set. Credit: SpaceX

The Space Development Agency is progressing in its promise to quickly build and operate advanced space systems that address urgent communication and mission needs for the military. The agency, known as SDA, has a plan as part of its Tranche 0 effort to provide proliferated low-earth-orbit constellation of satellites and sensors that will connect to the military’s tactical legacy datalinks and weapons systems to deter against advanced threats. As part of this effort, SDA is ready on June 25 to launch via Space X's Falcon 9 rocket three optical communication-based experiments across multiple satellites.

June 17, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
Lt. Gen. James C. Slife, USAF, (c), commander, Air Force Special Operations Command, explains AFSOC history and capabilities to Lt. Gen. Timothy D. Haugh, USAF, commander 16th Air Force during a visit in April at Hurlburt Field, Florida. The Air Combat Command and 16th Air Force are working to further evolve the Air Force’s information warfare approach, now that it has successfully integrated capabilities into the two-year old Numbered Air Force. Credit: U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Ai

The U.S. Air Force’s Air Combat Command and the 16th Air Force are taking further steps to advance the service’s information warfare operations. Championed by Air Combat Command’s (ACC’s) so-called A2-6 leaders, the “accelerate information warfare” approach requires the correct data management strategy, the right teams and problem-centric operations, officers say.

June 17, 2021
By Julianne Simpson
Credit: dotshock/Shutterstock

The idea of responsible artificial intelligence (AI) is spreading far and wide across the U.S. Department of Defense and its surrounding ecosystem.

June 7, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
The new strategy for Joint All-Domain Command and Control will bring together the “disparate communities within DoD to work together for a common cause,” says Lt. Gen. Dennis Crall, USMC, director, Command, Control, Communications and Computers/Cyber; and chief information officer, The Joint Staff (J-6), on Friday during a press conference at the Pentagon.

The U.S. military’s sweeping effort to build a common command and control system to unite warfighting across all domains—sea, land, air, space and cyberspace—now has a formal policy to guide its further development. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has officially signed off on the Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) strategy, reported Lt. Gen. Dennis Crall, USMC, director, Command, Control, Communications and Computers/Cyber; and chief information officer, The Joint Staff (J-6), on Friday during a press conference at the Pentagon.

February 1, 2021
By Robert K. Ackerman
A U.S. Navy operations specialist communicates with bridge wing watchstanders aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Sterett. The Navy is moving full speed ahead on its modernization efforts, but it needs more rapid insertion of information technologies into the fleet and ashore.  U.S. Navy photo

The U.S. Navy is looking for speed—not speed of platforms or vehicles, but of innovation. Introducing new capabilities into the force rapidly is vitally important to maintain the combat edge necessary to deter or defeat adversaries that are building up steam in their efforts to confront the U.S. military.

This will require tapping industry for innovative information technology advances. Ensuring that speed of capability may require working with the commercial sector to steer it into the right areas to suit naval needs. Ultimately, software-defined systems may hold the key to keeping ahead of the deployment curve in technology-based systems.

June 1, 2021
By Robert K. Ackerman
The USS John Finn launches a missile during the U.S. Pacific Fleet’s Unmanned Systems Integrated Battle Problem 21 in April. Integrating unmanned systems into the fleet is one of the challenges facing the Navy as it modernizes to meet growing adversarial threats.  U.S. Navy photo

Back to basics may be the mantra for integrating innovation into the U.S. Navy. The long-held goal of network-centric warfare is more important than ever, and standards definition may hold the key for successful naval innovation.

The need for innovation is emphasized by advances by peer adversaries around the world. To keep up with ever-increasing challenges, the Navy is looking toward new weapons, unmanned systems and advanced dataflow to unify its operations against potential foes’ growing capabilities.

June 2, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
At Fort Carson, Colorado, modified Bradley Fighting Vehicles, known as Mission Enabling Technologies Demonstrators, and modified M113 tracked armored personnel carriers, or Robotic Combat Vehicles, were used for the Soldier Operational Experimentation (SOE) Phase 1 to further develop learning objectives for the Manned Unmanned Teaming (MUM-T) concept. Credit: Jerome Aliotta, CCDC Ground Vehicle Systems Center

The U.S. Army released its annual budget last Friday, requesting $173 billion for fiscal year 2022. The amount reflects $3.6 billion in cuts from the service’s enacted FY2021 budget. The need to reduce expenditures had Army officials evaluating which priorities to continue to pursue and which efforts to drop. Funding for the service’s six modernization priorities and its so-called 31+4 signature efforts were not included in the cuts.

June 1, 2021
By Lt. Gen. Robert M. Shea, USMC (Ret.)

The sea services have issued a coordinated strategy for U.S. maritime dominance on the high seas. Titled “Advantage at Sea,” the strategy outlines much needed highly desirable goals to ensure freedom of navigation and international security over three-quarters of the Earth’s surface with a rightfully dominating focus on China. It serves as a high-level naval strategy under which is tucked the respective service strategies. Pursuing it comes at a cost, and one blunt question is whether the United States and its allies are prepared to pay that cost, politically and financially. 

May 21, 2021
By Sandra Jontz
Lt. Gen. Robert Skinner, USAF, director of the Defense Information Systems Agency and the Joint Force Headquarters Department of Defense Information Network, highlights agency priorities and focus areas during a virtual luncheon session hosted Thursday by AFCEA's Central Maryland Chapter.

Lt. Gen. Robert Skinner, USAF, director of the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) and the Joint Force Headquarters Department of Defense Information Network, (JFHQ-DODIN), highlighted agency priorities and focus areas that could provide a peek into his much-anticipated new action plan to further modernize the Defense Department.

Now a few months into his new role as DISA/JFHQ-DODIN commander, Gen. Skinner is looking to 2022 and beyond with a focus on data centricity, he said Thursday during the AFCEA Central Maryland chapter’s May virtual luncheon.

May 19, 2021
By George I. Seffers
Data science and management are the first priorities when adopting artificial intelligence and machine learning, says the commander of U.S. Army Network Enterprise Technology Command. Credit: agsandrew/Shutterstock

If the United States is going to use artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to maintain a technological advantage, data science capabilities are a must, says Maj. Gen. Maria Barrett, USA, commander, U.S. Army Network Enterprise Technology Command (NETCOM).

Gen. Barrett made the remarks while serving on a panel of women cyber leaders on the final day of the AFCEA TechNet August Virtual Event Series, held May 18-19.

May 19, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
Lt. Gen. Thomas Bostick, USA (Ret.), senior strategic advisor at Deloitte Consulting, stresses that diversity is important for the Army to pursue when recruiting younger soldiers as well as with leadership. “Soldiers want the leadership to be attuned to this,” he says. “They want the leadership to look like them, whether it's gender, ethnicity, you name it. They want a diverse workforce.” Credit: Shutterstock/travelview

The pandemic propelled an immediate shift to remote working, with the U.S. Army quickly adding to its digital infrastructure to support its personnel, with a 400 percent increase in remote network capabilities, reports Deloitte Consulting. Going forward, the service must now negotiate how to lead a workforce that in many cases wants to stay remote. The Army faces other challenges in recruiting and retaining soldiers and civilians, especially going into the era of multidomain operations, or MDO, the consultants say.

May 1, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
An F-16 Viper takes off at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, in March 2020. F-16 Vipers from the 20th Fighter Wing have played a primary role in demonstrating agile combat capabilities in joint all-domain command and control (JADC2) experiments. Leaders from the Joint All-Domain Strategist course visited Nellis in March to learn firshand from the military’s JADC2 efforts.  U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jacob Gutierrez

To prepare, operate and fight in joint warfare against near-peer adversaries across all domains will take adroit leaders who provide effective decisions in near or real time. The Air Command and Staff College, or ACSC, has set a course to do just that: prepare leaders to thrive and fight with joint operations in a contested environment on a global scale using joint all-domain command and control, or JADC2. Leaders in the class learn to plan and execute multidomain operations against possible threats on land, sea, air, space and cyberspace to lead through the challenges of the expected future operational environment in 2030 and beyond.

May 1, 2021
By Lt. Gen. Robert M. Shea, USMC (Ret.)

The focus in the U.S. military is on all-domain operations, in which U.S. forces will operate in a highly integrated manner in what previously were autonomous or semi-autonomous domains. This approach is evolving from a time when the individual services brought specific capabilities to their respective battlespace and often employed them in various concentrated roles.

May 1, 2021
By Shaun Waterman

To successfully overmatch near-peer adversaries in the 21st century, the U.S. military requires decision advantage. Multidomain operations coordinate and bring to bear assets across all five domains of land, air, sea, space, and cyberspace. Information dominance—getting the right information from the right sensors or systems to the right decision makers at the right time—is the key to victory on the multidomain battlefield of the future.

Joint All-Domain Command and Control, JADC2, is the path the Department of Defense has mapped out to achieve decision advantage.

April 21, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
Capt. Zachary Schofield (center), USA, assistant product manager with Wideband Enterprise Satellite Systems, demonstrates an inflatable satellite antenna (ISA) to soldiers at Camp Humphreys, South Korea in 2019. The Army’s Communications Electronics Command (CECOM) has a global support program in place to ensure communications equipment readiness. Credit: Amburr Reese, CECOM Public Affairs

The U.S. Army’s Communications and Electronics Command, or CECOM, located at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, is engaging in a robust asset management program to make sure command, control, communications, computing, cyber, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C5ISR) technologies are ready for troops around the world, said Maj. Gen. Mitchell Kilgo, USA, CECOM commander.

April 14, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
A Falcon 9 rocket carrying SpaceX’s Starlink L-23 payload launches from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida, April 7. As the United States increases its posture in space, it needs better space intelligence to support its missions, experts say. Credit: U.S. Space Force photo by Airman First Class Thomas Sjoberg

The United States military has to broaden its space-based intelligence capabilities, to provide astute situational awareness and analysis to conducting space-related missions, as the threats to the domain rise. Those in the sector have been warning that space had become a threatened domain for the last decade, said Lara Schmidt, principal director, Strategic and Global Awareness Directorate, The Aerospace Corporation. Today there are about 70 nations operating in space in one way or another.

April 13, 2021
Effective supply chain management with government customers requires clear communications, says Zach Conover, general manager for Akima LLC’s subsidiaries Truestone, Lynxnet and Aperture Federal. Credit: Shutterstock

The COVID-19 pandemic and the strains it put on the global supply chain is making businesses rethink how they supply their government customers, said Zach Conover, general manager for Akima LLC’s subsidiaries Truestone, Lynxnet and Aperture Federal. Akima is an Alaska native-owned government contractor providing services such as facilities maintenance and repair, information technology support, logistics and supply chain operations, and systems engineering.

April 13, 2021
Posted by: George I. Seffers
Army 1st Lt. Nancy Gomez fires an M777 howitzer during a direct-fire exercise at Grafenwoehr Training Area, Germany, Feb. 4, 2021. U.S. Army Europe and Africa will soon receive a new Multi-Domain Task Force and a Theater Fires Command, the Army has announced. Credit: Kevin Payne, Army

U.S. Army Europe and Africa will receive two new units—a Multi-Domain Task Force and Theater Fires Command—in the coming months and retain three sites previously scheduled to be returned to the German government due to growing operational requirements in the European theater.

The units will add approximately 500 Soldiers, 35 local national positions and 750 family members to U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden. The Theater Fires Command is expected to activate 16 Oct. 2021 and the Multi-Domain Task Force is expected to activate on 16 Sept. 2021. The sites that will be retained are Mainz Kastel Station and Mainz Kastel Housing in Mainz-Kastel, and Dagger Complex in Darmstadt.

April 7, 2021
By Robert K. Ackerman
Operations officers stand watch in the combat information center of the USS John S. McCain as the destroyer transits the Taiwan Strait. The U.S. Navy's contribution to the Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) system is a high priority for Adm. Michael M. Gilday, USN, the chief of naval operations. Credit: U.S. Navy photo

The U.S. Navy’s contribution to the Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) is one of the service’s three most important initiatives, according to the chief of naval operations (CNO). Adm. Michael M. Gilday, USN, said that Task Force Overmatch is essential for the Navy to put itself “in a position of advantage” for C2 of a hybrid fleet of manned and unmanned vehicles in the air, on the sea and under the sea as well as in decision-making against peer adversaries.

April 1, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
Gen. Glen Vanherck, commander, North American Aerospace Defense Command and commander, U.S. Northern Command speaks to reporters on March 31, emphasizing the need to increase the commands’ domain awareness by adding over-the-horizon radar capabilities, space assets and undersea capabilities to provide additional awareness of near-peer adversary threats.

Along with the other U.S. Combatant Commands, the Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command “achieved its objectives” in an experiment last week to improve joint all-domain operations and the related use of joint all-domain command and control, or JADC2, capabilities. The goal is to improve the integration of sensing and information capabilities to achieve information dominance and decision superiority, said the leader of the commands.

April 1, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood and Robert K. Ackerman
U.S. Marines with the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) 2nd Marine Regiment stationed in Kuwait perform live fire training. The 22nd MEU supports the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations in support of naval operations to ensure maritime stability and security in the Central Region, from the Mediterranean and the Pacific through the western Indian Ocean. On the Joint Staff, the J-6 leader is preparing a strategy to guide the necessary development of joint all domain command and control, for operations anywhe

The U.S. military services are meeting the challenge of upgrading without losing needed capabilities as they march toward the goal of a common command and control system. By focusing on this approach, they are positioning themselves for convergence under an all-encompassing strategy formulated by The Joint Staff. In effect, their efforts represent a devolution from multiple branches to a single outcome that will unify all elements of the military.

April 1, 2021
By Lt. Gen. Robert M. Shea, USMC (Ret.)

The U.S. military needs the Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) capability to maintain battlespace superiority against peer and near-peer competitors in the future operating environment. In its simplest form, JADC2 is about speed and information from any sensor to any shooter through any C2 node. A host of factors from innovative new capabilities to culture change and funding will play a significant role in determining the success of this vital endeavor.

April 1, 2021
By Henry S. Kenyon

Facing renewed challenges from peer and near-peer adversaries, the U.S. Department of Defense is returning to a command and control concept embracing joint and allied operations with the added domains of space and cyberspace adding to the mission space. But while this reorientation appears to revisit older Cold War-era strategies on the surface, it is the end result of careful analysis by the Pentagon to make up for operational deficiencies and neglected capabilities from two decades of counterinsurgency-oriented warfare.

March 29, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
Last July, pilots from the 1-229th Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, train on the newest version of the Apache AH-64 helicopter during training conducted by Apache Program Manager, Program Executive Office Aviation (PEO Aviation). The PEO is standing up a new office to leverage open architecture systems on its aviation platforms. Credit: PEO Aviation photo by Capt. Joshua Hughes, USA, 1-229 Attack Reconnaissance Battalion.

The U.S. Army has pursued the development of open architecture system standards for several years and now is increasingly fielding such systems across its programs, including amongst its aviation and communications capabilities. The service, which worked with tri-service partners, the Navy and Air Force, will benefit from the systems being on the battlefield, as they cut costs, improve software reuse and portability, bring greater ease of use, and increase size, weight and power, or SWAP, savings, said Brig. Gen. Robert Collins, U.S. Army Program Executive Officer for Command, Control, Communications-Tactical (PEO C3T).

March 26, 2021
By George I. Seffers
A soldier helps set up a tactical command post to test communications in Germany, July 8, 2019. The Army is releasing a flurry of documents, including a pending posture statement, outlining its modernization plans for 2035. Credit: Army Sgt. Patrick Jubrey

U.S. Army officials expect soon to release a multidomain operations (MDO) posture statement that will complement both the new MDO vision document released by the Army Chief of Staff and the posture statement from U.S. Cyber Command.

The MDO posture statement will detail how the Army intends to achieve its MDO vision for 2035. It will be released soon, possibly as early as April, according to Army officials conducting a March 26 telephonic media roundtable.

March 17, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
The United States already is losing positional advantage to China in the Western Hemisphere, in our own “neighborhood,” warns Adm. Craig S. Faller, USN, commander, U.S. Southern Command, testifying before Congress on March 16.

China is using the COVID-19 pandemic to progress its goal of global dominance. The adversary is using its vaccination program and assistance to poorer countries in the democratic Western Hemisphere to cement the use of China’s 5G communications and information technology, especially in the Caribbean and Central and South America, leaders say. The problem is that what starts as a veiled commercial interest ends with a significant military application and connection—given that the commercial companies, like Huawei, are all state owned, explained Adm. Craig S. Faller, USN, commander, U.S. Southern Command.

March 11, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
Speaking at the AFCEA Rocky Mountain Chapter’s Cyberspace Symposium on March 9, Maj. Gen. Kevin Huyck, director of operations, U.S. Northern Command, says the data-centric capabilities of Joint All Domain Command and Control, or JADC2, are a clear tool to not only defeat adversaries, but also to deter and deny actions before ever needing to engage in battle.

For the military commands that protect the United States on a 24/7 basis, the ability to have real-time information from a sophisticated sensor network is essential. Given the growing threats of U.S. adversaries to the homeland, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and the U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM) are already harnessing the capabilities that Joint All Domain Command and Control (JADC2) offers, including enhanced sensing, artificial intelligence, data integration and information convergence.

March 12, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
An F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft assigned to the 53rd Weapons Evaluation Group takes off June 18, 2019, from Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida. The First Air Force, based at Tyndall will now be providing command and control in support of the U.S. Space Command. U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Bailee A. Darbasie

The Office of the Secretary of the Air Force announced a reorganization plan today that will add duties to the First Air Force. In addition to its current role, the Numbered Air Force (NAF) also will be the air component to the U.S. Space Force Command.

Under Air Combat Command, the First Air Force, based at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, is responsible for protecting the continental United States, U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico by providing air component support to the North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command. Now the NAF will also be providing command and control over the Air Force efforts supporting U.S. Space Command.

March 8, 2021
By George I. Seffers
A soldier fires an FGM-148 Javelin during live-fire training in Jordan, Aug. 27, 2019, as part of Eager Lion, a major U.S. Central Command exercise that aims to integrate forces in a multilateral environment. The Joint Communications Support Element supports all of the combatant commands, special operations forces and other departments and agencies and is modernizing to meet the demands of multi-domain operations. Credit: Army Spc. Shadrach Hicks

The Joint Communications Support Element (Airborne), which stays on standby to deploy anytime and anywhere within 72 hours, is modernizing for multi-domain operations.

March 4, 2021
By George I. Seffers
China is often first in the information operations competition, keeping the United States and its allies and partners in the Asia Pacific on defense. Credit:

With its rapid-fire information operations campaign, China effectively outguns the United States and its partners and allies in the Indo-Pacific region, according to three military officers from the United States and Australia.

March 3, 2021
By Robert K. Ackerman
The Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Ballarat sails alongside the USS Nimitz as a U.S. Navy helicopter lands on the flight deck. The United States and its Indo-Pacific allies are working to improve their communications interoperability as they face growing challenges in the vast region. Credit: U.S. Navy

The U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM) is placing a greater emphasis on communication, especially with allies and partners, as it faces growing threats across the vast region. The scope of those threats and the need to confront them in a coalition approach was described by three officers from the United States and Australia on the third day of TechNet Indo-Pacific, running virtually March 1-3.

March 2, 2021
By George I. Seffers
Paratroopers secure their location in preparation for the extraction of senior Afghan and coalition military leaders following a key leader engagement in southeastern Afghanistan, December 29, 2019. Complex policies for connecting networks and sharing data remains a significant barrier for working with allies and coalition partners, military officials say. Credit: Army Master Sgt. Alejandro Licea

With a new Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) strategy document wending its way through the Pentagon, multiple high-ranking officers indicate that complex networks and related policies related remain the top impediment to working with allies and partner nations.

The strategy is being spearheaded by Lt. Gen. Dennis Crall, the director of command, control, communications, computers/cyber, and the chief information officer for the Joint Staff, J-6. According to Brig. Gen. Robert Parker, USA, J-6 deputy director for the Joint Staff, the document has been sent to the chief of staff and vice chief of staff for approval and could land on the desk of the secretary of defense in the coming days or weeks.

March 3, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
Lt. Gen. Dennis Crall, USMC, director for Command, Control, Communications, and Computers/Cyber and chief information officer, the Joint Staff; J-6, pictured working at the Pentagon in December, sees allies and partners, and the associated Mission Partner Environment, as crucial aspects of joint all domain warfighting. Credit: Photo courtesy of The Joint Staff Public Affairs

The U.S. Department of Defense is progressing in its efforts to address how it will fight in a joint all-domain warfighting environment. At the center of that work is how to build a Joint All Domain Command and Control (JADC2) platform, and one in which allies and partners can effectively communicate and operate as well, explained Lt. Gen. Dennis Crall, USMC, director for Command, Control, Communications, and Computers/Cyber and chief information officer, the Joint Staff, J-6.

March 1, 2021
By Robert K. Ackerman
The USS Wilbur (l) conducts replenishment at sea with Japanese and French ships. The U.S. Indo-Pacific Command is expanding its exercise and training activities with allies and partners to boost its deterrent capabilities across the vast region.  U.S. Navy courtesy of Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force

“The erosion of conventional deterrence vis-à-vis China” is the greatest danger the United States faces in the Indo-Pacific region, says the head of the vast area’s command. Adm. Philip Davidson, USN, commander of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM), added that “without a valid and convincing conventional deterrent, China will be emboldened to take action to supplant the established rules-based international order.”

February 24, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
Gen. Joseph Lengyel (l), USAFG, chief of the National Guard Bureau, speaks with Col. Hall, USAG from the Louisiana National Guard during a 2020 tour of the state’s Public Safety warehouse supporting the COVID-19 response in Baton Rouge. The Space Force could have a guard component, but the Defense Department needs to complete a study on the viability. Credit: U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Toby Valadie

In the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), lawmakers asked the Department of Defense to study the personnel structure of the Space Force, including a possible guard component, similar to the other services’ National Guard forces. That study is still pending, explained Sen. Jack Reed, D-Rhode Island, chairman of the Senate’s Armed Services Committee, but the possibility remains for creation of a Space Force National Guard.

February 22, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
Another way specific joint warfighting roles and missions could be defined is through the Joint Requirements Oversight Council, says Air Force Chief Gen. Charles Brown (c). Gen. Brown recently visited Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, with David Foskey (r), 573rd Manufacturing Squadron director and Georgia Congressman Austin Scott (l) for an update on the base’s propeller overhaul for the C-130, a key aircraft for joint warfighting. Credit: U.S. Air Force photo by Tommie Horton

With the U.S. military’s push to be able to operate across all warfighting domains—sea, air, land, space and cyberspace—simultaneously with all of the services, the allocation of combat roles presents a potential sticking point. Top leaders at the Pentagon’s Joint Staff are optimistic, however, that the designation of each service’s roles and missions in Joint All Domain Operations, or JADO, can be resolved through several processes. The Joint Warfighting Concept, the budgetary process and top-level discussions with officials from the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), among other activities, will all help in that allocation decision-making.

February 16, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
The U.S. Army is in the process of building requirements for a broad portfolio of electronic warfare solutions, reports Col. Daniel Holland, USA, Army Capability Manager for Electronic Warfare, Cyber Center of Excellence, Fort Gordon, Georgia.

Over the last several years, the U.S. Army has worked pointedly to build up its electronic warfare capabilities. From the early days of only having small groups of electronic warfare soldiers that ventured to counter radio-controlled improvised explosive devices in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Army has since retooled its efforts. The service is pursuing a broad campaign of development, is continuing to identify capability gaps and has successfully fielded more advanced tools to operate and dominate in the electromagnetic spectrum.

February 8, 2021
By Robert K. Ackerman
Gen. John Raymond, USSF, chief of space operations, is seeing increased cooperation among the new U.S. Space Force and international partners.

The formation of the U.S. Space Force has led to more advanced cooperation in the space domain with existing and new partners, according to the force’s chief of space operations. Gen. John Raymond, USSF, noted that some nations even followed the U.S. example in giving space an increased priority as a warfighting domain.

Speaking at a Defense Writers Group media roundtable, Gen. Raymond stated that the United States is stronger as a nation with a stable and secure space domain. “The United States is a spacefaring nation, and we’ve long known that access to space and freedom to maneuver in space underpin all the instruments of our national power,” he declared.

February 3, 2021
By George I. Seffers
Military officials intend to counter-drone systems twice a year, with the first demonstration taking place in April, and fielding the first systems next year. Credit: Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock

The U.S. military should begin fielding low-cost, low-collateral counter-drone systems as early as next year, officials told reporters in a February 2 conference call.

The Army has been designated the lead service for deploying systems to counter small unmanned aerial system (C-sUAS) technologies across the department. The service recently released its C-sUAS strategy . The strategy provides the framework for addressing sUAS hazards and threats in a variety of operating environments, including the U.S. homeland, host nations and contingency locations.

February 2, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
Gen. Jacqueline Van Ovost (l), USAF, who is now the commander of Air Mobility Command, greets the since retired Gen. Paul Selva, USAF, who was vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, before they flew the third and fourth delivered KC-46A Pegasus refueling aircraft in January 2019, from Boeing at King County International Airport in Seattle. Credit: DOD Photo by U.S. Army Sgt. James McCann

The U.S. Air Force plays a vital role to the rest of the U.S. military in providing airlift response, mid-air refueling, aero-medical evacuation and global air mobility support for military operations, as well as during humanitarian crises. To perform these missions, the Air Force depends on a variety of tanker and cargo aircraft including the KC-135, KC-10 and KC-46. However, in addition to these more traditional roles for the air fleet, the service is employing the aircraft more and more as flying communications nodes for the growing and ever-important mission of enabling Joint All Domain Operations (JADO) and Joint All Domain Command and Control, or JADC2.

February 1, 2021
By Robert K. Ackerman
A sailor keeps watch aboard the USS John S. McCain as the guided missile destroyer asserts navigational rights and freedoms under international law in the South China Sea near the Spratly Islands. The U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM) routinely conducts freedom of navigation operations as part of its mission to ensure free and secure passage in the vast region.  7th Fleet

The push toward multidomain operations is geared toward meeting the multifaceted threat U.S. forces face worldwide, but its effects already are being felt in the Indo-Pacific region. Three nation-state adversaries, each with its own flavor of threat, are influencing U.S. efforts in that vast region to maintain peace and security.

February 1, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
An eight-ship joint coalition formation flies over Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, during exercise Cope North 2020 in February 2020. Guam is proving to be a strategic hub for the United States’ efforts in the Indo-Pacific region, the military’s priority theater.  U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Larry E. Reid Jr.

Always strategic, the island of Guam in the western Pacific Ocean in Micronesia is playing a growing role in the contested, troublesome, near-peer competition environment. The Defense Department is investing more into the military facilities of this U.S. territory, including adding networking and bandwidth solutions; joint all-domain command and control; and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance solutions as well as additional U.S. forces. The measures will add key communications and advanced capabilities to the island as well as increase the military’s power projection abilities.