HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – Defense and industry leaders discussed their roles supporting the Secretary of the Air Force’s operational imperatives and the Advanced Battle Management System during the second week of New Horizons 2022.
Sponsored by the Lexington-Concord chapter of AFCEA, the virtual presentations included panel discussions and briefings featuring Maj. Gen. Michael Schmidt, program executive officer, Command, Control, Communications, Intelligence and Networks, and Scott Hardiman, program executive officer, Nuclear Command, Control and Communications, among others.
Lt. Gen. Duke Richardson, Military Deputy, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics, also participated. During an innovation panel on April 12, he spoke at length on the topic of enabling leaders.
“Our non-supervisory personnel are curious and excited to innovate and try new things, as are our more senior leaders, but for different reasons,” he said. “What is common between these two groups on the ends is that they’re less professionally threatened by change than the first and second layers of leadership. We need to show the first and second layers that change is necessary, they will professionally benefit from being the enablers, and it won’t happen without them leading the way.”
During a C3I&N briefing featuring senior materiel leaders from multiple divisions in the directorate, Schmidt provided program updates and detailed business opportunities in his portfolio. He also spoke at length about C3I&N’s role in developing capabilities for the ABMS, the Air Force component of Joint All-Domain Command and Control, or JADC2.
“We cannot afford to throw everything out and start new,” Schmidt said. “With ABMS, there is a focus on a high-end environment where we must connect systems not originally designed to be connected. We can’t go back and redesign our legacy systems, but with our future programs we must develop a clear set of standards, and through our industry partnerships, we can get these systems talking to each other.”
Schmidt also expressed enthusiasm at the direction of numerous cyber programs in his portfolio, like Joint Cyber Command and Control, or JCC2, Unified Platform, and Level Up. He also discussed how nearly 4,000 coders are utilizing PlatformOne for C3I&N programs and how CloudOne is successfully moving weapons systems and business and logistics applications into the cloud at all security levels.
“Operators expect us to deliver capabilities daily, which doesn’t fit a traditional acquisition model,” he said. “We’ve gotten some acquisition constructs to help us realize what it is to do DevSecOps and deliver meaningful capabilities on a regular basis. I’m excited because the construct in which we operate our programs has caught up to recognizing that a lot of these programs have different requirements.”
Schmidt also noted that the Enterprise IT and Cyberspace Infrastructure Division released a request for quote for the Enterprise-IT-as-a-Service Wave 1 effort, which focuses on end user-services for the Air Force network.
Hardiman also provided program updates and discussed business opportunities. During his briefing, he detailed modernizations underway in his portfolio, citing the LGM-35A Sentinel, a ground-based strategic deterrent, the upcoming Colombia class of nuclear submarine, and the B-21 Raider as examples of ongoing efforts.
“NC3 is vital to national security,” he said. “Both the National Defense Strategy 2022 and the 2022 Nuclear Posture Review that were just issued reiterate and reaffirm the importance that NC3 plays in underpinning our nuclear deterrent policy and posture. There is a lot of attention being paid to this area by the most senior leaders of the Department of Defense, and we are excited about our progress.”
The C3I&N and NC3 PEOs are both headquartered here. NC3 is a component of the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center, headquartered at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico.
Arsenio Gumahad, director of the Command, Control, Communications, Computers/Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Division of the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, discussed new airborne ISR data transport capabilities as well as his unit’s role in supporting 5G and JADC2.
During the first week of New Horizons, Air Force and industry leaders discussed operational imperatives, digital engineering, acquisition, ABMS, and other topics. Briefings and panels featured Steven Wert, program executive officer, Digital; Christopher Garrett, technical advisor, systems engineering, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center; and Dr. George Ka’iliwai, director of requirements and resources, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, among others. Click here to read more about it.