The Fastest Wins

In the world of multi-domain command and control, victory goes to whomever is quickest, the Air Force’s top information officers said at an AFCEA event in Arlington, Va. The development of next-generation C2 that fuses operations in air, space, and cyber is one of three key initiatives for Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein. On Thursday, the service’s information chiefs focused the multi-domain C2 conversation on the question of speed. In the evolving battlefield of the 21st century, “The fastest OODA loop wins,” said Brig. Gen. Kevin Kennedy, director of cyberspace operations and warfighting integration, citing an AFA Mitchell Institute forum paper co-written by Maj. Gen. VeraLinn Jamieson. Col. Douglas DeMaio, chief of future operations, agreed, saying that in successful multi-domain C2, “that loop is so fast that [adversaries] can’t even get inside it anymore.” DeMaio also said the key to achieving this greater speed is “culture,” not hardware. “There’s always this desire to build a thing to solve a problem,” he said, but speeding up multi-domain operations requires changing DOD doctrine, where “heretofore space and cyber have not been looked at as warfighting elements” capable of receiving support from other elements. DeMaio said the US is “only a few policy decisions away from actually supporting space and supporting cyber as an operation,” which would greatly accelerate cross-domain collaboration in the battlespace.