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Strategy drills: Air Force maps out future, with an eye on the present.



Air Force strategists preparing for an upcoming war game are setting their sights on 2025, mapping out scenarios for how the service will organize, equip and train its forces two decades from now.

Current events, however, also will play a leading role.

Although the tabletop and computer-simulation drills, called Title X war games, are routine annual events in the military services, this year's exercise takes on added significance for the Air Force, as it will occur in the midst Adv. 1. in the midst - the middle or central part or point; "in the midst of the forest"; "could he walk out in the midst of his piece?"
midmost
 of a swirling debate on the value of air power in U.S. military operations This is a list of missions, operations, and projects. Missions in support of other missions are not listed independently. World War I
''See also List of military engagements of World War I
  • Albion (1917)
.

In a departure from previous war games, the June 2005 event, called "Future Capabilities Game," will not only assess the Air Force's tactics and weapons, but also commanders' abilities to transition from traditional to unconventional combat scenarios.

Burning issues such as the U.S. war on terrorism Terrorist acts and the threat of Terrorism have occupied the various law enforcement agencies in the U.S. government for many years. The Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, as amended by the usa patriot act  and the expansion of the military's role in homeland defense are dominating the discussions within the Air Force about future strategies, officials tell National Defense. The debate is occurring as the Pentagon prepares the congressionally mandated Quadrennial Defense Review
"QDR" redirects here. For the computer technology called QDR, see Quad Data Rate SRAM.


The Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) is a report by the United States Department of Defense that analyzes strategic objectives and potential military
 of military capabilities and strategy. The QDR QDR Quadrennial Defense Review (US DoD)
QDR Quad Data Rate (Memory Technology)
QDR Quality Deficiency Report
QDR Quality, Durability and Reliability (Toyota Motor Company) 
 also serves as conceptual groundwork for the Pentagon to make spending decisions.

The service's head of strategic planning Strategic planning is an organization's process of defining its strategy, or direction, and making decisions on allocating its resources to pursue this strategy, including its capital and people. , Maj. Gen. Ronald J. Bath Maj. Gen. Ronald J. Bath directs U.S. Air Force Strategic Planning for the service's Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans and Programs at service headquarters in the Pentagon.

Bath's prior assignment was as Director, Quadrennial Defense Review and Defense Integration.
, says his job is to think about "2025 and beyond." Nevertheless, he adds, the QDR compels the Air Force and the other services to take into account immediate priorities that the Defense Department must address in the next three to five years.

"What makes this QDR different is that we are in the middle of a war," says Bath.

Unlike the 2001 QDR, when emphasis on "air power" was at the core of the nation's military strategy, the ongoing review is about supporting ground forces. "We have a joint responsibility to make sure troops on the ground are taken care of," Bath says.

Against that backdrop, officials anticipate the upcoming war game to be dominated by "joint" concepts and tactics.

"We'll find there is a lot of common ground among the services," he says. "My job is to talk to other players to find out what their positions are. There is going to be communication back and forth."

Although the QDR work is just getting under way, and will continue for at least six more months, the Air Force already has articulated its posture in terms of how it assists troops on the ground.

"Everybody sees things from their own organizational culture This article or section is written like an .
Please help [ rewrite this article] from a neutral point of view.
Mark blatant advertising for , using .
," says Bath. "We see things from an airman's culture. We need to articulate what we bring to the table, why we bring it, what we think we should do in the future."

In the next 20 years, the Years, The

the seven decades of Eleanor Pargiter’s life. [Br. Lit.: Benét, 1109]

See : Time
 Air Force's ambitious agenda involves two major goals: shifting more procurement spending towards systems that benefit all the services, and being better prepared to fight unconventional wars, explains Christopher J. Bowie, deputy director for strategic planning.

He says that by 2025, at least half of all procurement dollars will go to "joint" systems, which Bowie describes as those that contribute to the success of a combined air-ground-sea military force. Examples include advanced communications and intelligence-gathering satellites, improved cargo and aerial-refueling aircraft, and airborne surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities.

The ability to gather timely information is key to combating the "irregular" enemies that the Pentagon worries about, Bowie says. "The irregular challenges were present all along before 9/11. We really missed them." In the future, "You don't want to get caught flat-footed by potential regional threats, the rise of a military peer, armies with nuclear weapons or failed states with nuclear weapons Nations that are known or believed to possess nuclear weapons are sometimes referred to the nuclear club. There are currently eight states that have successfully detonated nuclear weapons. ."

Another prevailing theme throughout these discussions is a new approach to managing people, Bath says.

The intent is to "use our people in new and creative ways," he adds. With plans to downsize Downsize

Reducing the size of a company by eliminating workers and/or divisions within the company.

Notes:
When a company downsizes, it is attempting to find ways to improve efficiency and increase profitability.

It is sometimes referred to as trimming the fat.
 the active-duty ranks by 20,000, the Air Force is adopting a new strategy for employing Reserve and Air Guard personnel.

A case in point is the growing number of Guard and Reserve officers on the Air Staff, some of whom are getting assigned to influential jobs that in the past bad been off limits. In Bath's organization, for example, two division chiefs are reservists, and a senior deputy is an air national guardsman. "We didn't see organizations like that before," Bath says. The changes came in response to specific directions from Chief of Staff Gen. John Jumper to make better use of the skills that reservists and guardsmen bring from the private sector.

Increasingly, the Air Force is creating "associate" air wings that mix active-duty, Reserve and Air Guard pilots and maintenance crews.

Jumper, who is slated to retire later this summer, will host the war game at Maxwell Air Force Base Coordinates:

“Maxwell Field” redirects here. For other uses, see Maxwell Field (disambiguation).

Maxwell Air Force Base (IATA: MXF, ICAO: KMXF, FAA LID: MXF), officially known as
, Ala.

From a technology standpoint, the Future Capabilities Game will focus on four broad areas that, according to according to
prep.
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.

2. In keeping with: according to instructions.

3.
 Air Force officials, the service needs to bolster between now and 2025:

* Persistent Dominance: This includes the use of radar-equipped satellites and long-endurance unmanned aircraft Unmanned Aircraft (UA) is a term used in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) definition of Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS). UA refers to the aircraft portion of the system required to operate it, also known as Unmanned Aerial Vehicle.  for reconnaissance and surveillance missions.

* Dynamic Re-supply: This would involve the use of strategic and tactical airlift to support ground forces in remote, austere aus·tere  
adj. aus·ter·er, aus·ter·est
1. Severe or stern in disposition or appearance; somber and grave: the austere figure of a Puritan minister.

2.
 combat zones.

* Near-Space Systems: These would be lighter-than-air vehicles deployed at altitudes above 65,000 feet, but below 300 kilometers. These aerostats would be equipped with advanced sensors.

* Homeland Defense: The Air Force plans to step up its role in homeland security Noun 1. Homeland Security - the federal department that administers all matters relating to homeland security
Department of Homeland Security

executive department - a federal department in the executive branch of the government of the United States
 missions, particularly by improving global command-and-control technologies that can help shorten the time it takes to respond to a terrorist attack or catastrophic event.

RELATED ARTICLE: Pentagon strategists ponder Ponder - A non-strict polymorphic, functional language by Jon Fairbairn <jf@cl.cam.ac.uk>.

Ponder's type system is unusual. It is more powerful than the Hindley-Milner type system used by ML and Miranda and extended by Haskell.
 value of high-tech weapons.

The Pentagon's sweeping review of strategy and programs is expected to bolster investments in sensors, networks, information technology and precision-guided munitions A weapon that uses a seeker to detect electromagnetic energy reflected from a target or reference point and, through processing, provides guidance commands to a control system that guides the weapon to the target. Also called PGM. See also munitions. .

Although the Defense Department and Congress will be focusing their attention on issues of immediate impact in the months ahead, such as the soaring costs of military operations in Iraq, officials and analysts caution that a discussion on long-term investments should be key component of the debate over the Pentagon's Quadrennial Defense Review, which is scheduled to be sent to Congress in February 2006.

"Technology for the military is the critically important issue," Rep. Curt Weldon Curtis "Curt" Weldon (born July 22, 1947) is an American politician. He served as a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives from 1987 to 2007, representing the 7th district of Pennsylvania. , R-Pa., told National Defense. Information systems and real-time intelligence are crucial technologies that need to be developed, said the senior House Armed Services Committee The term Armed Services Committee could refer to:
  • U.S. House Committee on Armed Services
  • U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services
 member.

The military should foster technology breakthroughs that can do "things smarter, faster and cheaper, and, if possible, save the taxpayer money from the cost of a $ 200-million fighter plane, or a multi-billion dollar vessel," he said in an interview during a recent Precision Strike Association conference.

His comments came against the backdrop of a shrinking Navy shipbuilding budget, and impending im·pend  
intr.v. im·pend·ed, im·pend·ing, im·pends
1. To be about to occur: Her retirement is impending.

2.
 cutbacks in the Air Force's F/A-22 Raptor and C-130J aircraft programs.

The caveat of relying on sensors and networks is that the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area.  will need to develop technology associated with information dominance. China and North Korea, Weldon explained, "know that they can't match us plane for plane, tank for tank, ship for ship, and they know that we have smart weapons. But they also know that the smart technology is based on computers." Therefore, these adversaries would focus on "ways to neutralize neutralize

to render neutral.
 that smart capability," he said.

"That means that, besides focusing on integration of systems for precision capability, we have to equally focus on the protection of security of those systems, so that they cannot be defeated," he said.

From the Pentagon's perspective, the 2005 QDR has great potential to change the military's approach to everything from strategy to technology.

"Strategic circumstances tend to be a pre-cursor to major change;' said Ryan Henry, principal deputy under secretary of defense for policy The Undersecretary of Defense for Policy is the title of a high-level civilian official in the United States Department of Defense. The Undersecretary of Defense for Policy is the principal staff assistant and advisor to both the Secretary of Defense and the Deputy Secretary of . "It is a critical juncture junc·ture
n.
The point, line, or surface of union of two parts.
, and it is a good time to do a QDR."

The 2005 QDR also will be the first one tied to a base closure and a budgeting cycle, said Ryan, who noted that the completed QDR will be submitted to Congress next February. Decisions that will have significant implications for the budget will be done this May, so that they can influence construction of the 2007 budget.

That plays into the decision of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to have a "rolling QDR," with conclusions to be fed back into the programming or acquisition process, versus holding decisions until a final QDR report is released to Congress.

The review will be driven by the Pentagon leadership, rather than by issues proposed by service members, Ryan emphasized. Furthermore, the review will focus on broad "capabilities," and not on specific weapon systems, he said.

The underlying issue is that, while the U.S. military has capable fighter planes, ships and smart bombs, it lacks weapons and skills to fight unconventional wars, such as insurgencies.

The Pentagon attempted to take a capabilities-based approach back in 2001, said Henry, but it did not have the "tools and the intellectual foundation."

The Defense Department has to think about capabilities without necessarily tying them to a piece of hardware, he said. In his definition, a capability is the ability to generate a desired effect.

"The smaller the number of 'big issues' addressed in a QDR, the greater the chance of developing innovative approaches," he said. Past reviews tended to be "fire and forget" exercises.

The review will not produce one single assessment, as it did in previous years, but turn out a series of follow-on assessments for years to come, he said.

"We need to have a strategy associated with the QDR," he added. Current operational demands need to be balanced with long-term prospects. Lessons from the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq also should play a pivotal role, he said. Additionally, "we have to take into account fiscal realities and generate a resource-neutral QDR," he stressed.

The upcoming review will embrace everything that has changed since September 11, 2001, said Pierre Chao, an analyst with the Center for Strategic and International Studies The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) is a Washington, D.C.-based foreign policy think tank. The center was founded in 1964 by Admiral Arleigh Burke and historian David Manker Abshire, originally as part of Georgetown University. . But that also will prompt a series of questions on how to best deal with looming looming: see mirage.  threats. For example, the government will need to figure out whether irregular threats are best met through military solutions or whether there is a "broader battle to be fought," he said at the conference.

Going forward, however, the Defense Department is looking at an expanded U.S. Special Operations Command A subordinate unified or other joint command established by a joint force commander to plan, coordinate, conduct, and support joint special operations within the joint force commander's assigned operational area. Also called SOC. See also special operations. , non-lethal technologies, more precise and discriminating precision-strike technology and constabulary forces. Yet to be seen is whether the Defense Department will choose to assign constabulary units out of existing forces or create a new organization, Chao said.

The U.S. government, he argued, will have to invest in intelligence-gathering technology, knowledge management, cruise-missile defense, sensors for both wide and narrow areas, security technology--which will entail a great deal of low technology networked together-data-fusion technology, language translation and biological defense.

Meanwhile, the central question for lawmakers becomes how to allocate resources, Chao noted. "There are pressures on the defense budget from the inside, from operation and maintenance, and personnel costs, which are exploding out of control," he said.

Chao talked of an "embedded Inserted into. See embedded system.  crisis" in the defense budget, because the military equipment is becoming harder to maintain and the cost of keeping personnel at the operational tempo of the last four years is rising.

According to Chao, this is the first time in 80 years that the defense budget has gone up without a corresponding percentage increase for investment accounts.

The QDR will have a major impact on program funding, said a congressional insider. Weldon, in his turn, pointed out that the 2006 budget almost certainly would cut a host of acquisition programs, ranging from the F/A-22 to unmanned vehicles. Nevertheless, Congress will add to the president's request for overall defense spending, he said.

Even though the paramount concern will be focused on personnel costs, lawmakers will "make sure we don't cut the heart out of what we feel is the most critically important technology for the 21st century," Weldon said.

--ROXANA TIRON
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Title Annotation:Defense Review
Author:Erwin, Sandra I.
Publication:National Defense
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 1, 2005
Words:1984
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