Goldfein: USAF, Navy Experimenting with Multi-Domain Operations

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein speaks with airmen as he tours the Kentucky Air National Guard base in Louisville, Ky., Aug. 10, 2019. Air National Guard photo by SSgt. Joshua Horton.?

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein told reporters Oct. 11 that his service and the Navy are trying to connect combat assets in new ways as the Defense Department ramps up its effort to improve joint, software-driven warfare.

“We’ve done some pretty neat experimentation of taking capabilities, tying them together, that currently are not tied together,” he said. “We did some pretty cool experimentation with space linked to [intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance] linked to [command and control] linked to shooter, and then wrote the algorithms, put the common architecture in place, and then worked the kill chain machine-to-machine, where the only human that was actually on the loop was the shooter.”

Goldfein said he and Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday think alike, and that can help the Air Force and Navy move forward faster. The Air Force’s top officer is optimistic that each military branch is starting to work toward the same vision of faster, multidomain combat powered by defense systems that can share more data and offer new targeting and attack options.

“You don’t [move the ball forward] until all the services lock arms and say, ‘OK, this is important enough to us for all of us to invest, and then at some point, I think we’ll all continue to mature our organizational structures so we can work better together,” Goldfein said.

The Air Force and Navy have both created “information warfare” organizations that will be part of that evolution, and Army Materiel Command is taking similar steps.