Eye on Future ISR

After the Air Force recently completed a year-long intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance review, Secretary Michael Donley came up with at least five tasks that required further study, said Lt. Gen. Larry James, ISR deputy on the Air Staff. First, Air Force Space Command was tasked with sorting out a communications architecture through 2025-30, James told attendees of his Air Force Association-sponsored Air Force Breakfast Program speech in Arlington, Va., on April 26. Second, the need was identified to define a path to bring the Distributed Common Ground System into the future, said James. Third, Donley directed the service to come up with another roadmap for intelligence processing, exploitation, and dissemination tools, including what investment opportunities may exist in the future. Fourth, Donley engaged Air Combat Command to study how non-traditional ISR, such as Sniper pods and sensors on the F-22 and F-35, could best collect battlefield intelligence. Fifth, the service is working to rebuild its targeting capability, which James said has atrophied over the last 10 years. He said the Air Force expects to see progress on these fronts by early next year, “with the goal of influencing the Fiscal 2015 [program objective memorandum].”