/ Published December 31, 2017
Steven A. Bailey, Major, USAF
A three pronged cyber defense initiative can be used to ensure airborne C2ISR assets are adequately protected in the cyber domain. This initiative consists of onboard system hardware and/or software upgrades, aircrew and intelligence operator training, and improved MDT integration. The following section provides a background in the problem area that is necessary to understand before the roadmap to support the aforementioned thesis is presented.
Ricardo D. Colon, Major, USAF
The introduction of AI technologies will fundamentally change the way the USAF PED enterprise tasks and executes missions. The USAF should adopt a multi-pronged approach focused on deliberately shaping tasking and execution constructs to maximize operational efficiency and address the growing gap between requirements and manpower.
Ryan A. Fitzgerald, Major, USAF
Air Combat Command recently submitted several questions regarding the collection and use of Publicly Available Information. Among them were, how can the United States Air Force (USAF) incorporate the use of PAI into the greater intelligence enterprise, and subsequently how can we best train our Airmen in the Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) domain? First, this study will make sure to briefly separate and define the differences between what PAI and OSINT are. Second, it will look into examples from both the military and civilian industry as to how their organizations are exploiting PAI. Lastly, this study will examine how the Air Force (AF) can organize its intelligence resources to take advantage of this information and train our Airmen to exploit it for OSINT.
Carl N. Howard, Major, USAF
National space-based Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) assets are underutilized at the joint theater and tactical level, partly due to the relatively slow tasking cycle and inherent latency to target access, but also the lack of integration between space-based and airborne ISR tasking processes and command and control (C2) architectures. However, as more responsive and persistent space-based ISR systems are deployed, their utility to the joint warfighter will increase exponentially. Therefore, it will be critical to tightly integrate the space-based and airborne ISR capabilities. Tightly integrating space and airborne ISR C2 properly will enable machine-to-machine tasking between the space and airborne layers, leading to increased effective coverage of theater ISR, increased responsiveness to time critical targeting, and opening a path to fully automated ISR capabilities (i.e. autonomous, machine-controlled sensors). This research will attempt to identify disconnects in current tasking process and in various architecture modernization efforts at the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), Air Force Space Command (AFSPC), and Air Force (AF) Distributed Common Ground Stations (DCGS) that may need to be overcome to make this crucial integration a reality as well as provide recommendations to deal with these challenges.
David R. Lands, Lieutenant Colonel, USAF
Exploitation of Publicly Available Information (PAI) represents an opportunity to drastically improve how the USAF ISR Enterprise prioritizes collection resources and increase the means with which analysts fuse multiple sources of intelligence to achieve high confidence fusion and analysis reporting.