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‘We’re not moving fast enough,’ Air Force leader says

Published: Monday, January 29, 2018 @ 8:57 AM

Air Force seeking ideas for 2030 technology

The Air Force will launch a nationwide listening tour to find out what technology it may target in the future in the face of adversaries gaining technological advances faster, a top Air Force Research Laboratory leader says.

Air Force researchers have in recent years focused top priorities on developing aircraft and missiles that travel at hypersonic speeds, autonomy in machines like drones, and directed-energy weapons such as airborne lasers and microwave-zapping missiles, but AFRL Chief Technology Officer Morley O. Stone said the goal is to go beyond that.

“We are not moving fast enough, not only with the world around us, but we’re not moving fast enough with the way potential adversaries are looking at and adopting technology,” Stone said.

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AFRL is leading the study ordered by the Air Force’s top leaders: Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson and Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein. “There’s no part of this study that we’re not driving here from this locale,” Stone said in an interview at AFRL headquarters at Wright-Patterson.

Starting in March and through July, the tour will travel to 14 sites — a number that could grow larger if more institutions show interest by the end of next month in hosting an event, he said.

AFRL has a website — afresearchlab.com/2030 — where ideas can be submitted by anyone.

RELATED: Drones, lasers, hypersonic weapons will be ‘game-changers’

“In a world where far more innovation is happening outside the government than inside it, connecting to the broader scientific enterprise is vital,” Wilson said in a statement.

The tour is scheduled to make stops from coast to coast, though none are in Ohio. The closest stops to Dayton are in Indianapolis between May 6-11 in a forum hosted by the National Defense Industrial Association; and in Cincinnati between July 9-11 in a session partnered with the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

“We do so much with the institutions here … that the feeling was let’s go out and listen to those parts of the country where they don’t often interact with the Air Force,” Stone said.

RELATED: Air Force research hits commercial market

Todd Harrison, director of the Aerospace Security Project at the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Strategic and International Studies, said the Air Force must focus not only on technology, but how quickly it can be added to the force.

“Space is a prime example because so much of the innovation right now is coming from outside the government,” he said in an email. “The Air Force needs to develop a better approach to identify new commercial space technologies and services that can benefit the military, rapidly incorporate these technologies and data products into the force (in months rather than years), and adapt its operational concepts and training to take full advantage of them.”

One technology showing future potential is in the emerging area of quantum sciences, Stone said.

RELATED: Report: Air Force has microwave weapon to zap NK’s missiles

“Countries around the world are making huge investments in that area,” the chief researcher said. “There are advancements occurring in that area almost daily so (we’re) trying to figure out how do we stay on top of that … and incorporate some of those advancements into our portfolio as quickly as possible.”

Advances in quantum sciences, which for example studies how matter interacts at the atomic level, could led to more secure encryption of communications “impervious to eavesdropping” and more advanced sensors, he said.

Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. David Deptula, an architect of the air war against Iraq in Operation Desert Storm in 1991, emphasized the importance of technology to advance military strategy.

“Advanced technologies drive new concepts of operation that enable advantages over potential adversaries – that is what happened during Desert Storm,” he said in an email to this newspaper.

RELATED: Threats will drive BRAC strategy, Air Force leader says

Deptula, dean of the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies, noted the impact of stealth and precision strike led to an operational plan “that paralyzed and then shut down the fourth largest military in the world. That can happen again by capitalizing on advanced technologies in a similar fashion.”

The retired three-star general added while technology advancements are required, “new warfighting capability will only be realized through a paradigm shift in the manner in which we think about warfare more than simply applying new technologies to old ways of conducting warfare.”

AFRL will turn in its findings to the Air Force’s top leadership later this year.

The Air Force Research Laboratory will launch a workshop and listening tour across the country to gain ideas of what new ‘gamer changer’ technologies the Air Force should pursue through 2030 and beyond.

* Here’s a look at the cities and dates of the events hosted by universities, government agencies and professional societies:

March 11-15, 2018: Minerals, Metals & Materials Society hosted session, Phoenix, Ariz.

March 22, 2018: University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Neb.

March 29-30, 2018: Best Practices from State and Federal Government Organizations, Washington, D.C.

April 22-26, 2018: American Institute of Chemical Engineers, Orlando, Fla.

April 26, 2018: University of South Florida, Tampa, Fla.

May 6-11, 2018: National Defense Industrial Association, Indianapolis, Ind.

May 10, 2018: Indiana University, Bloomington, Ind.

May 21-24, 2018: Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering, Long Beach, Calif.

May 22, 2018: University of Washington, Seattle, Wash.

June 21-22, 2018: Best Practices from Industry and International Organizations, Washington, D.C.

June 25-29, 2018: American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Atlanta, Ga.

June 27, 2018: Texas A&M, College Station, Texas

July 9-11, 2018: American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics hosted session, Cincinnati, Ohio

July 26, 2018: University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah

(* An AFRL spokesman says not every event is open to the public.)

SOURCE: U.S. Air Force

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Top Gun pilot to speak at film screening

Published: Wednesday, February 14, 2018 @ 6:04 PM


            The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. BARRIE BARBER/STAFF
The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. BARRIE BARBER/STAFF

A real-life Top Gun is scheduled to be at a screening of Top Gun 3D at the Air Force Museum Theatre.

Retired Navy Capt. Ken Ginader, a former Top Gun instructor and F-14 pilot, was set to speak at the screening of film, set for 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 15. Doors open at 6 p.m.

Ginader is the first speaker in the 2018 Living History Film Series at the museum.

Tickets cost $12 for audience members, or $10 for members of Friends of the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.

For more information, click onto http://www.afmuseum.com/livinghistory .

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Wright-Patt training exercise sets off booms

Published: Wednesday, February 21, 2018 @ 3:22 PM


            Wright-Patterson Air Force Base
            STAFF/File
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base(STAFF/File)

If you heard a loud noise today at Wright-Patterson, it was all part of training, a base spokesman says.

The Dayton Daily News and News Center 7 were contacted by residents inquiring what was the cause of the explosion.

A Wright-Patterson Explosive Ordnance Disposal bomb squad was scheduled to set off three explosions between noon and 4 p.m. Wednesday, according to base spokesman Daryl Mayer.

The unit periodically sets off explosions in training which are often heard outside the base.

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Book chronicles heroism of war correspondents like OSU’s Cecil Brown

Published: Friday, February 16, 2018 @ 4:49 PM

As he scanned the names of the past winners of the Peabody award for broadcast journalism, Reed Smith, a professor of journalism at Georgia Southern University, came across the name Cecil Brown of CBS and admitted he “had never heard of him before.”

It began a four-year effort by Smith that culminated last November in the release of his book, “Cecil Brown: The Murrow Boy Who Became Broadcasting’s Crusader for Truth.” It’s the story of an Ohio State University student from 1929 who reached the pinnacle of broadcast journalism during World War II and the era of Joseph McCarthy in the 1950s.

Smith became fascinated with Brown’s story and it is easy to see why. As a CBS Radio broadcaster in Singapore in December 1941 he nearly lost his life when Japanese torpedo bombers sank the British battlecruiser Repulse in the South China Sea. Brown was a correspondent on the Repulse.

His gripping minute-by-minute account of the disaster for CBS, which also included the destruction of the British battleship Prince of Wales, earned him the Peabody award and transformed him into one of the best-known correspondents of World War II.

“There were upwards of a thousand sailors who died during that attack,” Smith said. “He was not wounded during attack and fortunately was able to get off the ship. A British sailor reached out in the water off a Carley Float and grabbed him. Cecil thought he had just about had it. It was pretty miraculous.”

Brown also was known for his legendary battles with Italian and British censors in World II as they tried to block or alter his broadcasts, prompting Smith to describe Brown as “very feisty. He was a big First Amendment guy and he became quite exasperated when anybody tried to curtail his freedom of the press.”

RELATED: Cecil Brown’s obituary

For Smith, 68, it was a case of one Ohio man meeting another. Smith, a graduate of Ohio University who earned an M.A. from Bowling Green and then a Ph.D from Ohio University, grew up in New Concord. Brown, who died in 1987, was raised in Warren, married a woman from Columbus who is still alive in Los Angeles at age 104.

He left Ohio State nine hours short of a degree in 1929 and worked as a reporter for a number of years before Edward R. Murrow hired him at CBS Radio in 1940 and assigned him to cover the war from Rome.

Brown reported in an entirely different era than today when journalists are under relentless attacks from President Donald Trump and many conservatives.

“It tells us the public view of journalism has changed drastically over the past 70 years,” Smith said. “Murrow and Cecil were seen as heroes. They were brave men in the war zone telling the truth for what was going on and continuing to get in trouble for telling the truth.”

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Work to start next month on $10.5 million Wright-Patt gateway

Published: Thursday, February 15, 2018 @ 5:30 PM


            Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Gate 16A, a commercial truck screening checkpoint, will be consolidated with a new Gate 26A in 2019 in a $10.5 million construction project. JIM WITMER | 2011 STAFF FILE PHOTO
            Jim Witmer
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Gate 16A, a commercial truck screening checkpoint, will be consolidated with a new Gate 26A in 2019 in a $10.5 million construction project. JIM WITMER | 2011 STAFF FILE PHOTO(Jim Witmer)

A new $10.5 million gateway that will consolidate two Wright-Patterson entrances into one is set to begin construction next month, a base spokesman says.

A new Gate 26A, a few hundred yards from the current one, would replace a commercial delivery entrance at Gate 16A off Ohio 444, and the existing Gate 26A off Ohio 235 near the entrance to the 445th Airlift Wing headquarters.

The new entrance way off Ohio 235 will be sited between Sandhill Road and Circle Drive, according to Wright-Patterson spokesman Daryl Mayer.

Work was scheduled for completion at the end of next year, the base said.

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