• The Air Force is conducting a new program, called Air Force Explore, to find “remarkable” ideas to apply to persistent awareness, resilient information sharing and rapid, effective decision-making, among other areas. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Janweb B. Lagazo
     The Air Force is conducting a new program, called Air Force Explore, to find “remarkable” ideas to apply to persistent awareness, resilient information sharing and rapid, effective decision-making, among other areas. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Janweb B. Lagazo

Air Force Seeks Disruptive Solutions

September 26, 2019
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
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New Air Force program is looking for “remarkable” new capabilities for future warfighters.


Calling it a unique new call to action, the U.S. Air Force is searching for transformational solutions that advance the principles of its Science and Technology 2030 strategy. The service’s effort, called Air Force Explore, is soliciting solutions from interested parties nationwide, according to an Air Force statement.

As part of Air Force Explore, the service plans to distribute four to seven awards, each ranging from $1 million to $2 million. Interested parties are encouraged to submit ideas “that have transformational potential, operational viability, cost and technical feasibility,” in order to compete for the awards, the service noted. Partnerships are encouraged, the Air Force said. Teams may include a mixture of government, industry and academic organizations.

The strategic capability areas identified by the Science and Technology 2030 strategy include: global persistent awareness; resilient information sharing; rapid, effective decision-making; complexity, unpredictability and mass; and speed and reach of disruption and lethality.

Submissions should advance one of these S&T strategies, as well as address one of three functional challenges: in-flight re-arming and refueling; personnel recovery kit delivery; and vehicle tracking in commercial imagery.

Various Air Force stakeholders will review each submitted idea and choose several to advance to the selection process.

“This call is intended as a catalyst to transform our capabilities to become the Air Force we need,” said Maj. Gen. William Cooley, Air Force Research Laboratory commander. “We will focus first on transformational capabilities and then identify how technology fuels them,” Gen. Cooley said.

Air Force Explore is a coordinated effort of the Air Force Acquisition Executive, Air Force Warfighter Integration Capability and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), the service said.

“Our goal is to establish partnerships that develop capability ideas and mature them into opportunity spaces for the Air Force,” said Reid Melville, AFRL’s lead for Air Force Explore.

Submissions are due by November 11, 2019. The Air Force will release funding invitations by March of 2020.

For more information, visit www.AFResearchLab.com.

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