[C3I EXCERPTS]Posture Statement
5 Mar 97
Space Launches and Operations Space is an essential element of U.S. military operations. A combination of military and commercial systems provide our forces with the command and control, communications, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, weather and navigational capabilities necessary for success in all aspects of modern military operations.
During 1996, our Service supported 33 successful space launches using Air Force launch, range, and support facilities. The Eastern Range, headquartered at Patrick AFB, Florida, supported 25 space launches while the Western Range, headquartered at Vandenberg AFB, California, supported another eight. Of particular note, we launched five Titan IV heavy-lift vehicles, all on the first attempt; all achieved successful orbital entry. Two of these launches were three weeks apart, demonstrating improved turn-around capability of the launch facility. The Delta II launch vehicle continued its string of successful launches with another 10 in 1996. This brings the total number of Delta launches from October 1977 to February 1997 to 107, with only two failures that destroyed the launch vehicle.
The Air Force Satellite Control Network (AFSCN) controls over 95 satellites daily with greater than 400 individual contacts with satellites per day, totaling approximately 148,000 contacts per year. Aside from routine communications with our satellites, the AFSCN, along with Air Force Space Command, have kept our space assets flying while providing uninterrupted service to the user.
The Global Broadcast System recently demonstrated critically needed, increased global situational awareness capability during operations in Bosnia when direct satellite feeds were used to transmit live Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) images to theater commanders and supporting forces via the Joint Broadcast Service. Efforts are currently underway to provide a nearly identical capability, globally, using military satellites.
In the area of survivable military satellite communications, we increased our on-orbit capability by launching the second MILSTAR satellite. This satellite is providing commanders in the East Atlantic and European theaters with nuclear survivable, jam-resistant, communications connectivity between subordinate combat forces in the field, key military leaders, and national-level authorities residing in the United States.
We have also expanded our space support to our allies. The Air Force and the DoD began providing missile early warning data to NATO and Japan, and we have extended this service to other nations as well.................
Finally, we have taken steps to strengthen some portions of our force which are facing particularly heavy demands. As an example, we established a reserve associate unit for our AWACS wing at Tinker AFB to reduce personnel tempo in that highly tasked system. We have also begun the procurement of two additional RC-135 RIVET JOINT aircraft along with some of the manning for the additional airframes to help lessen the worldwide TDY mission load on the current fleet of 14 airframes. Using AEFs offers the potential to help relieve the heavy PERSTEMPO load as well. Through the careful use of AEFs, we will be able to provide a rapid response capability anywhere in the world, while reducing the need for standing deployments..................
THE AIR FORCE AND JOINT VISION 2010
Joint Vision 2010
Perhaps the most exciting movement in today's military is our progress toward a joint vision--a vision that will meld the Services' contributions in the decades to come in order to meet America's security needs. General Shalikashvili's JV 2010 provides exactly that. It creates a broad framework for understanding joint warfare in the future, and for shaping Service programs and capabilities to fill our role within that framework. JV 2010 defines four operational concepts--Precision Engagement, Dominant Maneuver, Focused Logistics, and Full Dimensional Protection. These combine to ensure American forces can secure Full Spectrum Dominance--the capability to dominate an opponent across the range of military operations. Furthermore, Full Spectrum Dominance requires Information Superiority, the capability to collect, process, analyze, and disseminate information while denying an adversary the ability to do the same.
The Air Force has long believed in the concept of operations articulated in JV 2010. Over the past fifty years, we have continued to optimize the use of air and space mediums which naturally support these operational concepts. Our core competencies are based on the unique characteristics of air and space power and are essential to the success of the goals outlined in JV 2010.
Air Force Core Competencies
It is the Air Force's central responsibility to develop, organize, train, equip, sustain, and integrate the elements of air and space power to maximize the effectiveness of our unique core competencies and meet the needs of the Nation. As a result, we have formed a clear vision for the future so we can continue to provide the full range of air and space capabilities for our combatant commanders. Each Service has certain core competencies which naturally flow from the medium in which it operates and enable it to execute its missions.
The Air Force's core competencies--Air and Space Superiority; Information Superiority; Global Attack; Precision Engagement; Rapid Global Mobility; and Agile Combat Support--stem from the unique characteristics associated with operations in the air and space mediums. It bears repeating that these core competencies are not proprietary. For example, each Service will need to build forces capable of providing information superiority for operations within its own medium.
Air and Space Superiority Establishing control over the entire vertical dimension--the domain of air and space power--provides every member of the joint team the freedom to operate, freedom from attack, and freedom to attack. It allows friendly forces to take away enemy sanctuaries, strike enemy forces wherever they are located, and dictate to the enemy where they can and cannot move their forces. This level of control gives our military forces air dominance--the same kind of air dominance we enjoyed in Desert Storm and that saved so many lives. As General Chuck Horner noted about air superiority after the Gulf War in 1991, "Everything is possible if you have it; little is possible if you lose it." Simply put, air and space superiority enables us to achieve the level of air dominance that is the key to winning wars with the fewest casualties.
Air and space superiority is a fundamental requirement for all operational concepts in JV 2010 and is a prerequisite to achieving Full Spectrum Dominance. It diminishes the risks to all friendly military forces and shapes the battlefield so Dominant Maneuver can be used effectively by all members of the joint team to achieve war-winning advantages. This has always been the case. As Erwin Rommel noted in 1944, "Anyone who has to fight, even with the most modern weapons, against an enemy in complete command of the air, fights like a savage against modern European troops, under the same handicaps and with the same chances for success."
The JV 2010 requirement for Full Dimensional Protection recognizes that our adversaries command capabilities across the entire spectrum of military operations that pose a deadly threat to our people. Here again, air and space superiority is a prerequisite to secure this portion of the JV 2010 tenet.
The Air Force has executed its responsibility to control the air so effectively over the past decades that this superiority is often taken for granted as an American birthright. Unfortunately, this is not so. We must be prepared to win freedom of action in any arena--against any adversary. We have no intention of creating a fair fight.......................
To ensure our domination of the furthest reaches of the vertical dimension, the Air Force is now executing a transition of enormous importance: the transition from an air force to an air and space force, on an evolutionary path toward a space and air force. Space is already inextricably linked to military operations on the land, sea and in the air, and the capabilities provided by Air Force space-based assets have become essential to the success of operations conducted by all elements of America's joint forces.
The Air Force of the twenty-first century must be able to protect U.S. and allied space systems and assure their availability to national leaders and U.S. warfighters. In addition, we must be able to deny any adversary the use of space systems or services when used for hostile purposes, while ensuring freedom of action for our space forces. Toward that end, we will invest in key research and development technology areas that will enable space control capabilities.
Spacelift is fundamental to our achieving air and space superiority in the future. The Air Force is currently taking the necessary steps to move beyond the current family of Intercontinental Ballistic Missile-based vehicles for our launch capabilities, and we expect to reduce launch costs by 25 to 50 percent as a result. In December 1996, the Air Force downselected the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) program competitors from four to two, keeping the program on track for a 2001 first test launch for the medium launch system, and 2003 for the first heavy test launch. This program offers clear advantages not just for the Air Force, but for other national security users and for the commercial sector as well.
Another major continuing effort over the past year was the Space-Based Infrared System, or SBIRS. This system will replace the Defense Support Program early warning system and will provide more rapid detection and warning to theater forces of strategic launches, improved capability to detect and track theater ballistic missile launches, and a cueing capability for missile defense systems. Together, these Air Force assets are part of our "system of systems" that enables us to dominate the air and space medium in such a way that the joint team will be able to achieve JV 2010's overarching goal of Full Spectrum Dominance.
Information Superiority The ability to collect, control, exploit and defend information while denying the adversary the same is critical to ensuring successful military operations in the future. In no other area is the pace and extent of technological change as great as in the realm of information. Success on the battlefield demands we use and protect our own information as well as disrupt or eliminate the enemy's use of their information. While information superiority is not the Air Force's sole domain, it is, and will remain, an Air Force core competency. The strategic perspective and flexibility gained from operating in the air and space medium make airmen uniquely suited for information operations.
Information superiority is a keystone laid in the foundation of JV 2010's concept of Full Spectrum Dominance. Without it, operations grind to a halt, and success turns to failure. The absolute need for information superiority is a common thread through all military operations--this will remain as true in the future as it has for thousands of years. As Sun Tzu observed, "Know the enemy as you know yourself and in one hundred battles you will not be in peril." However, with the revolution in information technologies now in progress, the pace of operations has quickened to a point unimaginable only a few years ago--offering a huge advantage to the side ready to exploit these capabilities.
Providing Full Spectrum Dominance requires a truly interactive common battlespace picture. The Air Force is committed to providing an integrated global and theater air, space, surface and subsurface picture of the battlespace to the twenty-first century Joint Force Commander. We will ensure our systems enable real-time control and execution of all air and space missions and are fully interoperable for seamless integrated battlespace management.
The Air Force's contribution to joint force integration will be accomplished with the Theater Battle Management Core Systems (TBMCS). As the designated C4I architecture for Air Operation Centers and combat flying units, TBMCS will provide: command and control and Air Tasking Order generation (including weather information) through the Contingency Theater Air Planning System; situational awareness and current intelligence data using the Combat Intelligence System; and a common wing-level communication network, the Wing Command and Control System. These three pillars of TBMCS will become part of an overall DoD common operating environment, and will enhance joint force operations well into the next century.
As the corporate knowledge of the Air Force continues to grow in the field of information dominance, we are beginning to exploit some of these new technologies in new ways. For decades the Air Force has pushed the state of the art in the information arena, with our air- and space-based platforms ranging from manned and unmanned aircraft, to overhead sensors, to the command and control capabilities that pull all this together. Today, the Air Force also plays a significant role in our nation's efforts to prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction through the Air Force Technical Applications Center's operation of the U.S. National Data Center. This is the focal point for U.S. monitoring of the recently signed Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and relies on the center's ability to process large volumes of data required by the treaty.
The Air Force has long fielded some of the heavyweights of the information war, systems such as the Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS), U-2, Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (Joint STARS), and Rivet Joint. These aircraft are among those most in demand around the world today, as our Joint Force Commanders seek to gain the information superiority that they need to execute their missions. During this past year, the RC-135 RIVET JOINT fleet flew its 1000th mission supporting operations in Bosnia, while the U-2 continued to meet theater, national-level, and even United Nations requirements around the world.
The Air Force is exploiting new capabilities to improve the flow of timely, useful information to the warfighter. As an example, we recently fielded the Rapid Targeting System, which builds on the capabilities of our Contingency Airborne Reconnaissance System and enables near real-time transmission of U-2 imagery to the cockpit of airborne fighters. In the not-too-distant future, we will standardize our network of linked systems, command and control and intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance platforms--increasing our commanders situational awareness and avoiding any blindspots.
The Air Force crossed a historic threshold this past year, assuming operational control of the Predator Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). This system moved into operation directly from its advanced concept technology development phase, which generated problems with support and operational flexibility. Despite growing pains, Predator has been a workhorse over Bosnia and has provided a wealth of information to our joint forces. In 1995, we established our first UAV squadron, the 11th Reconnaissance Squadron, at the Nellis AFB complex in Nevada, to speed the maturation of our efforts in the employment of UAVs. We expect to exploit the technological promise of UAVs across the full range of combat missions, including communications relay and suppression of enemy air defenses. We are committed to make UAVs a routine reconnaissance platform in the Air Force of tomorrow.
Recognizing the critical need for responsive, daylight, under-the-weather imagery support to the combatant commander, the Air Force equipped ANG F-16s with reconnaissance pods. These aircraft flew over Bosnia and conducted 116 missions against 447 targets, helping to provide the essential capabilities of target validation, new target identification, and battle damage assessment, especially in a high threat environment or adverse weather.
The Air Force is also committed to fully exploiting our space-based information superiority systems. SBIRS will provide more rapid detection and warning of strategic launches to theater forces, improved capability to detect and track theater missile launches, and a cueing capability for theater missile defenses. Eventually, we will move to a standard network of linked Information Superiority systems, air-, space-, and ground-based.
Our relationship with the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) is a key enabler to achieving this all-source link up. In addition to our space operations forces, the Air Force provides over 1,200 military and civilian personnel to the NRO. This past year, the NRO provided intelligence support through our range of operations--JOINT ENDEAVOR, DESERT STRIKE, disaster relief, and other humanitarian missions. In addition, the NRO is a key player in Project Strike II, an exercise that demonstrates the operational utility of providing real-time information to the cockpits of a variety of aircraft including the F-15E, F-117, AWACS, and Joint STARS.
It has become readily apparent that success in the twenty-first century requires that we rely more and more on the ability to use and protect our information systems and technologies. The pace and volume of the flow of information enabled by modern technology provides advantages to the nation's military forces. But with these advantages come vulnerabilities as well. Information Warfare (IW) in particular will grow in importance in the twenty-first century. The Air Force must aggressively expand its efforts in defensive IW as it continues to develop its operational and tactical offensive IW capabilities. We are in the lead in developing IW policy, doctrine, and techniques. In 1993 for example, we created the Information Warfare Center to work IW issues across our Service.
The top IW priority is to defend our own increasingly information-intensive capabilities. On October 1, 1995, we stood up the Air Force's first information warfare squadron (IWS), the 609th IWS at Shaw AFB, South Carolina. The 609th IWS will help ensure we can protect our own information systems, both in garrison and when deployed, as we develop the ability to attack those of our adversaries. On the offensive side, the Air Force is emphasizing operational and tactical IW and continues, in conjunction with other federal agencies, to support strategic information operations..................
Perhaps the most effective illustration of this type of integration was our aircrews' use of a revolutionary system known as Power Scene. This system translates imagery from various sources along with other data into detailed, real-life, computerized, three-dimensional images. Our crews used the Power Scene system to practice their missions before they ever stepped to the jet--reconfirming the old adage, "the more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in war."
At the Combined Air Operations Center in Vicenza, Italy, where we executed the very complex multinational air campaign, there was a real-time fusion of operations and intelligence, as well as real-time retasking capabilities for our intelligence assets. General Mike Ryan, who led the coalition's air operation over Bosnia, was able to watch real-time fused pictures of the air operation through our Joint Forces Air Component Commander (JFACC) Situational Awareness System (JSAS). The real-time interplay of our space-based and air-breathing reconnaissance systems could also be seen in the intelligence cell behind his command center. The cycle time to capture, analyze, and act on information had been reduced from weeks to seconds--a major reason for the effectiveness of the air operation in Bosnia. Due to the integration of JSAS into the Global Command and Control System (GCCS), real-time information is immediately available to anyone with access to GCCS.
Air Force information systems are the assets that our operational commanders call on first, making them the cornerstone of our joint theater capability. These systems include the Rapid Targeting System which provides near-real-time information to the cockpit (sensor-to-shooter), and leading edge information platforms such as the AWACS, Joint STARS, U-2, RIVET JOINT, and Predator.
In fact, as the NATO force was first establishing a presence in the theater, Admiral Smith, the NATO commander, took to slapping pictures taken from the Joint STARS down in front of the factions when they met as if to say: "See, there isn't anything you can do without our knowing!" One could see this capability in action at the 1st Armored Division in Tuzla. Sitting in the Joint STARS control van were an Air Force and an Army NCO sitting side by side watching situations develop, ready to respond should the factions violate their commitments.