Here Comes the Pitch

The new head of Air Combat Command, Gen. Mike Holmes, wants a little change in industry’s mindset. While industry leaders are “always telling your people, ‘don’t get in front of the customer,’”—meaning don’t try to sell the service on an idea for which there’s no stated requirement—Holmes said April 13, “I want you to get in front of the Air Force. … Pitch things to me.” Holmes, speaking at an AFA Langley Chapter symposium at JB Langley-Eustis, Va., said the service has pressing capacity and capability shortfalls in many areas, and he needs new ideas, particularly in the areas of knitting together sensors across many domains, such as air, space, cyber, and surface. His only caveat is that the ideas offered need to address a severe gap in capability, not simply a modest improvement in performance. His core function leaders, in a panel discussion, said the gaps are spelled out on classified websites, which they promised to make as accessible as possible to cleared recipients. Especially in the area of multi-domain command and control. “Yeah, we’re doing it … but we need to be better,” Holmes said.