New office looks to shape future force

The Air Force of the future is taking greater focus as the new Air Force Strategic Development Planning and Execution Office is actively pursuing its mission and the experimentation campaigns that it has been chartered to execute.

The office will be responsible for supporting Air Force development planning efforts and conducting experimentation efforts that will result in planning choices for senior Air Force level resource decisions. 

Gen. Ellen Pawlikowski, the Air Force Materiel Command commander, drove the initiative to stand up the new office within Air Force Research Laboratory due to its flexibilities and multi-domain perspectives of air, space and cyber. The Air Force vision she said, was for a strategic development planning effort to “marry up” operational warfighters and doctrine experts from all Air Force domains with the acquisition and technology communities.

As a cross-cutting organization within AFRL, the office is postured to reach across disciplines to foster the necessary close relationship between operational, science and technology, acquisition, and requirement communities, according to Jack Blackhurst, the director of the Strategic Development Planning and Execution office. Their focus will be to reinvigorate development planning and execution at the Air Force enterprise level in order to build in agility and formulate truly innovative strategic choices. 

“The Air Force is aggressively pursuing a path toward strategic agility in our capability development activities,” Blackhurst said. “We are transforming into an agile enterprise to maintain and increase our edge in the emerging environment and leverage the full innovative potential in all our Airmen.”

The office will use live exercises, experiments, wargaming, modeling and simulation, and virtual/hardware proto-typing to understand and synthesize future warfighting needs and reconcile those with available and potential capabilities, concepts and emerging technologies.

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