Aligned with Third Offset

The Air Force is participating in a series of technology development committees supporting Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work’s new “Third Offset” strategy, which is looking for leap-ahead capabilities that can put the US well ahead of its military adversaries again, said Air Force Research Lab chief Maj. Gen. Thomas Masiello in a Wednesday interview with Air Force Magazine. “We’re fully engaged in the appropriate ones,” Masiello said. “One of them’s undersea warfare, which we’re not necessarily part of, but the other ones, we are.” These include hypersonics, directed energy, automation, autonomy, robotics, remotely operated vehicles, and others. “There’s no doubt about it, there’s definitely a sense of urgency” in the work, Masiello said, but AFRL’s focus is to meet the requirements and “gaps” in capability identified by USAF’s major command chiefs. These “align very nicely” (with) where OSD .. or the [Deputy Secretary of Defense] wants to take us.” The “game-changer” technologies USAF is working on aren’t necessarily near-term but “could play significantly in that Third Offset strategy.” AFRL is working alongside the tech development divisions of all the services, but what the “product” of the studies will be is not yet clear, he said.