Freedom of Action Alone Is Not Enough

Hitting on the theme of AFA’s Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Fla., Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz said there are two important aspects to achieving cross domain integration between air, space, and cyberspace: USAF’s efforts within its ranks and with the joint force and interagency partners. Dominance of air, space, and cyberspace are of little use unless we achieve “integrated domain control,” Schwartz emphasized, saying, too, that is why scalable command and control capabilities across the spectrum of conflict is so important. “Freedom of action alone is not sufficient,” Schwartz told the crowd at the symposium Thursday afternoon, challenging the audience to think of better and more effective ways to achieve this kind of scalable C2. From humanitarian missions to aeromedical evacuation to intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, scalable and interoperable command and control is the key to success, said USAF’s top uniformed official. He acknowledged that achieving this C2 mastery is essential despite new and greater constraints on resources that challenge the service even as the demands placed on equipment and personnel grow. But many of history’s greatest inventions were borne out of hard times and scant resources, Schwartz noted. “All of us … have a duty to promote innovation,” Schwartz added.