Goldfein: USAF Must Think About Space Superiority Like It Thinks About Air Superiority

The Air Force needs to change the way it thinks about operations in space, and make it the highest priority it can because wars in that domain are coming, USAF Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein said Friday. The service must “embrace space superiority with the same passion and sense of ownership as we apply today to air superiority,” he said. Read the full story by Brian Everstine

USAF Announces Funding for Wings to Innovate New Ways to Address Immediate Needs

The Air Force has created a $64 million fund for wing and squadron commanders to help them find innovative ways to address their most pressing needs. USAF Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein announced the fund at AWS18, where he said it is aimed at kickstarting “squadron-level innovation at the tactical edge.” Read the full story by Brian Everstine.

F-35 Fleet Unlikely to Reach a Common Configuration

The Air Force has found that about 48 F-35s a year is “the balance point” between the desire to modernize the fighter force and USAF’s other modernization needs, Air Combat Command chief Gen. Mike Holmes told reporters at AWS18. He added that the expense of modification will likely rule out ever getting the fleet to a common configuration. Read the full story by John A. Tirpak.

New World Means New Air Force

The return of “great power competition” means big changes for the Air Force, which will have to be even smarter and more innovative to counter the formidable array of threats now confronting the nation, Air Combat Command chief Gen. Mike Holmes said in wrapping up AWS18. Read the full story by John A. Tirpak.

Proposal for New Platform for KC-135 Boom Instructors Takes Spark Tank Cup

MSgt. Bartek Bachleda, an aircraft boom instructor with 22nd Air Refueling Wing at McConnell AFB, Kan., walked away with the first Air Force Spark Tank competition cup Thursday during AWS18 for a KC-135 aircraft boom instructor platform proposal aimed at solving back and neck issues. Although there was only one winner, all the ideas will get funding or other support. Read the full story by Steve Hirsch.

Innovation is Not Possible Without Diversity

Innovation doesn’t have to be about starting something new. It could actually be about stopping something old. “Over time an innovation becomes the anti-innovation,” said Jeff DeGraff, a professor at the University of Michigan who is known as the “dean of innovation.” Read the full story by Amy McCullough.

CACI Executive: Unknown Unknowns in Information War “Slightly Scary”

Lani Kass, a CACI senior vice president and corporate strategic advisor, says after the Russians “mucked up” the US election process, she’s concerned with the “things we don’t know.” In the new information domain, Kass said she’s unsure the “perfectly clear” picture USAF sees and acts upon is accurate. Does it reflect the truth or the whims and fancies of an operator who “adjusted” that data to get its beholder to modify their behavior, she asked during AWS18 . Despite USAF’s drive to connect all of its nodes and sensors into one holistic pool of information, Kass echoes herself in saying it’s ultimately down to the human operator to act upon data. Even if the military is able to completely lift the fog war, it comes down to “what humans do with what the machines provide.” Kass added she believes the next space race will be an AI race, saying she thinks “we’re about to face a Sputnik moment.” The US’s strategic advantage, Kass said, is the “apeshit factor,” by which American got real excited (or “went apeshit”) after Russians sent canines into space and, in reaction, sent a man to the moon. —Gideon Grudo