The Air Force is now using a unique Internet-based process to build, update, and modify its plans to equip and field future intelligence-surveillance-reconnaissance capabilities, senior Air Force leadership told reporters Monday at the Pentagon. Encompassing the entire process from strategy to tasking, the process is now online and helping inform budgeting decisions for the upcoming program objective memorandum, said Brig. Gen. VeraLinn Jamieson, the director of strategy integration and doctrine for the Air Staff’s ISR shop. For the past few years, USAF has revamped its ISR portfolio, but needed to create a means to resource and field the strategy. This has given birth to the Air Force ISR flight plan (see below), which was unveiled for the first time on Monday. The result is a service-wide effort to equip the force through capabilities-based planning and not just platforms. “This is not the way we did things [in the past],” Jamieson said. For years, the service has talked about capabilities-based planning, and the new flight plan is an effort to institutionalize the approach. The database used for the flight plan will encompass all aspects of the ISR mission, from fielded capabilities such as MQ-1 Predators and MC-12 Liberty aircraft to future efforts in development. It also includes what academia and industry are thinking about. “We’re going to try and bring all those segments together,” Jamieson said.
Boeing’s receipt of the 10th lot contract award for the KC-46 Pegasus this week leaves just three lots left to complete the Air Force’s buy of the tanker, although a further buy of 75 additional aircraft as a “bridge” to the Next-Generation Aerial-refueling System (NGAS) seems increasingly likely.