Defense Operations Blog

A Lack of Major Movement Toward Human-Machine Teaming

September 2, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
Robert Work (c), the former 32nd deputy secretary of defense, and moderator Troy Schneider (l) discuss how the military can better champion artificial intelligence during the AFCEA Washington, D.C. Chapter's AI/ML Tech Summit on September 2.

An expert questions the Department of Defense’s commitment to build artificial intelligence capabilities at scale.

General Kelly Takes Command of ACC

August 28, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
Gen. Mark Kelly, USAF, is now the new commander of Air Combat Command. Credit: U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Heather Salazar, Gen. Mike Holmes, USAF, retires as Air Combat Commander on August 28. Credit: Air Combat Command

General Mike Holmes retires as leader of Air Combat Command after 39 years of Air Force service.

Army Seeks Small Business Innovators for 'Fire Faster'

August 27, 2020
Posted by: Julianne Simpson
M109A6 Paladin self-propelled howitzers from Battery B, 1st Battalion, 9th Field Artillery Regiment “Battlekings,” 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, sit ready to fire at Fort Stewart, Georgia, September 11, 2014. Credit: U.S. Army/Staff Sgt. Richard Wrigley

A first-of-its-kind Army Small Business Innovation Research pilot seeks to leverage small business innovators to help increase the rate of fire of self-propelled howitzer systems.

Space Force Aims to Double Anti-Jamming Capability

August 26, 2020
Posted by: Kimberly Underwood
The Space and Missile Systems Center’s (SMC's) Wideband Global Satellite-10 (WGS-10) is encapsulated in the Delta IV rocket for its launch in March 2019 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. SMC just completed a test of a key anti-jamming technology that it plans to add to satellites WGS 1 through WGS 10. Credit: Van Ha, SMC Public Affairs.

The U.S. Space Force announced that its Space and Missile Systems Center has successfully completed a key test of an anti-jamming capability.

Digitization Propels Headway on Dual Fronts

August 27, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
The U.S. Navy’s PEO C4I and Space Systems is focusing on parallel development of digital assets and capabilities to speed innovation to the fleet. Credit: U.S. Navy

The U.S. Navy has opted for concurrence as its main tool for implementing both upgrades and innovations.

DARPA’s Gremlins Pass Second Flight Test

August 25, 2020
Posted by: George I. Seffers
The X-61A unmanned aerial system successfully completed its second series of flight tests in July. The system is being developed by a Dynetics-led team under the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's Gremlins program. Photo courtesy of DARPA

The Gremlins program aims to launch groups of unmanned aerial systems from multiple types of military aircraft while out of range from adversary defenses. 

Army Names Component Command for U.S. Space Command

August 21, 2020
The U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command (USMDC) Technical Center launches a Pathfinder Zombie target at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, June 25 for a foreign military sales customer. The USMDC has been named a service component command to U.S. Space Command while continuing to serve the same role for U.S. Strategic Command. (U.S. Army photo)

Naming USASMDC as the service component command to both Space Command and Strategic Command will strengthen integration and synchronization of these vital operations.

New Leader Takes Over Space Command

August 21, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
Army Gen. James Dickinson accepts command of the U.S. Space Command on August 20, 2020 at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado. Credit: DOD Photo by Lewis Carlyle

Gen. James Dickinson, USA, has stepped into the role as commander of the U.S. Space Command.

Crafting the Base of the Future

August 3, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
Gen. Patrice A. Melançon (USAF), executive director, Tyndall Air Force Base Reconstruction Program Management Office, U.S. Air Force, speaking at the AFWERX Fusion2020 event last week, highlights the steps the service is taking to rebuild the base. Credit: AFWERX

AFWERX and the Air Force leverage innovation for future installations, as well as for rebuilding Tyndall.

DISA’s Fourth Estate Network Optimization is on Track

July 29, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
The Defense Information Systems Agency, located at Fort Meade, is spearheading a multiyear, comprehensive information technology advancement effort, which runs through fiscal year 2025 and will bring improved network capabilities, connectivity, cybersecurity and user assistance. Credit: DOD photo by Thomas L. Burton

Despite the interference of a global pandemic, a DOD information technology modernization project led by the agency advances.

China’s Hong Kong Crackdown Spurs Indo-Pacific Distress

July 22, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
U.S., Australian and Japanese forces participate in a trilateral exercise dedicated to a free and open Pacific. These and other nations are worried about China's aggression in the wake of the Middle Kingdom reneging on its 50-year promise of economic and political autonomy to Hong Kong. Credit: U.S. Navy photo

China's crackdown on Hong Kong has sent shock waves throughout the nations of the Indo-Pacific region, says the U.S. commander tasked with ensuring peace and security in that area.

U.S. Army Officials Aim to Win the War for Talent

July 15, 2020
By George I. Seffers
A U.S. Army specialist tracks and monitors flight hours for an RQ-11 Raven unmanned aerial vehicle. Multiple Army initiatives aim to better attract and retain a talented workforce, including those with technical skills. Credit: U.S. Army

U.S. Army initiatives aim to better attract and retain talented personnel, including those in the technology arena.

Army Suggests Adding Five Eyes Nation Allies in JADC2

July 14, 2020
By George I. Seffers
A Polish army officer talks with village elders in the Ghazni province of Afghanistan. U.S. Army officials are discussing the need to include international partners and allies in the Joint All-Domain Command and Control concept, which is expected to dramatically improve interoperability. U.S. Army photo by Spc. Micah E. Clare

"We’re going to add ‘C’ in front of JADC2.”—James McPherson, undersecretary of the Army

LTG Crawford: COVID-19 Likely Affects Army's Future

July 14, 2020
By George I. Seffers
Soldiers stationed at Camp Casey conduct pre-screening processes on individuals awaiting entry to the base in South Korea, Feb. 26, 2020. The Army likely will see permanent changes to tactics, techniques and procedures due to the pandemic, says Lt. Gen. Bruce Crawford, USA, the service’s retiring CIO/G-6. Credit: Sgt. Amber Smith

The COVID-19 pandemic likely will result in an array of permanent changes for the Army, affecting a number of areas, including training, teleworking and medicine.

Army Futures Command Builds Software Factory

July 14, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
A U.S. Army M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System sits during a demonstration at the Grafenwoehr Training Area in Germany in February. The Army Futures Command is creating a software factory to train warfighters to code on the spot. Credit: U.S. Army photo by Spc. Denice Lopez

The command's new center aims to churn out adroit coders that can thrive in multidomain warfare.

Advice for the Pacific Region

July 8, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
Air Force Lt. Gen. Ken Wilsbach performs preflight procedures in his F-22 Raptor before his final flight as commander of the Alaskan Command, Alaskan North American Aerospace Defense Region and Eleventh Air Force, at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, in August 2018. Gen. Wilsbach takes the helm as commander of the Pacific Air Forces, succeeding Gen. Charles Brown, who is moving to be the next chief of the Air Force. Credit: U.S. Air Force photo by Alejandro Peña

Outgoing Pacific Air Forces commander warns of growing Chinese operations.

Access to Data is Key for Indo-Pacific Operations

July 2, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
Speaking to the AFCEA Hawaii Chapter on June 30 during a virtual luncheon, Gen. Charles Brown, USAF, who is the outgoing commander, Pacific Air Forces; air component commander, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command; and executive director, Pacific Air Combat Operations Staff, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, advises the industry to help quickly field capabilities to the warfighter, rather than delivering a solution "late to need.", Lt. Gen. Ken Wilsbach, USAF, commander of 7th Air Force, speaks with U.S. Army Soldiers during a base visit at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea in May. Gen. Wilsbach, who is awaiting U.S. Senate confirmation and his fourth star, will be taking over as the commander of Pacific Air Forces. Credit: U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Anthony Hetlage, Air chiefs from countries across the Indo-Pacific region join Commander of Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) Gen. Charles Brown, USAF, (c, in white shirt) at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, in December for the 2019 Pacific Air Chiefs Symposium hosted by PACAF Headquarters. During his role as PACAF commander, the general made building relationships with allies and international partners across the region a priority, as a deterrence against adversaries. Credit: U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Hailey Haux

Pacific Air Forces leaders call for improved communications and information in a challenging region.

Space Force Sends Additional GPS Capability into Space

July 1, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
The successful launch of the GPS III Space Vehicle 03 and the recovery of the Falcon 9 rocket booster represents another step in innovation. Credit: SpaceX, The GPS III SV03 is the third launch by the 6-month old U.S. Space Force, and the second National Security Space mission launched by Space X's Falcon 9 rocket, according to the Force's Space and Missile Systems Center, which is leading the effort in conjunction with industry partners and the 45th Space Wing, Florida. Credit: Space X, The payload faring, which contains the military's GPS III SV 03 satellite system, is connected to Space X's Falcon 9 rocket in preparation for a June 30 launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force station. Credit: Space X

The third launch of the GPS III system adds performance and protection.

Hypersonic Cruise Missiles Pose Greatest Area Defense Threat

June 25, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
A Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) interceptor is launched from the Reagan Test Site in Kwajalein Atoll. THAAD is one component of a layered missile defense system being configured to stop incoming missile attacks. (Credit: Missile Defense Agency)

Combining hypersonic technologies with cruise missile capabilities offers a serious threat to U.S. forces as well as the homeland.

Moving Forward with Agile Combat

June 18, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 31st Fighter Wing perform a preflight inspection of an F-16 Fighting Falcon before takeoff during exercise Agile Buzzard at Decimomannu Air Base, Italy, in January. The Air Force is expanding its concept of Agile Combat Employment to apply to Europe. Credit: U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Heidi Goodsell

The Air Force is taking its force generation concept to provide a more lean, agile and lethal force in Europe.