AFA 2021: Embracing Technologies as “One Team, One Fight” to Pace the Threat

AFA 2021

As the editors of The Modern Battlespace head into the Air Force Association’s (AFA) Annual Air, Space & Cyber show, we’ve dug into the theme for the event and gathered insights from executive leadership on what to expect. According to AFA’s President, Lt Gen Bruce “Orville” Wright, USAF Ret., one key theme for AFA 2021 is the united leadership between the U.S. Air Force and Space Force, and the other key theme is to modernize and equip forces to pace the future threat.

“That means these two military services – the only two that are indispensable to the fight in every domain – must remain inextricably linked and mutually supportive,” Wright told our sister publication, Modern Integrated Warfare.

“Air and Space Power are the bedrocks on which we build our national defense,” he said. “That’s why I say they’re indispensable. You can’t fight anywhere – land, sea, air, space, cyberspace – without these two incredible services.”

Creating that linkage between these two services not only comes from a united leadership but also by leveraging technologies that enable our military forces with the “capacity and capability to counter any adverse action that could threaten America, our allies, or our mutual interests,” Wright explained.

He pointed to the opportunity and excitement around digital engineering practices that are impacting the speed of innovation as these military services are seeking to keep pace with threats. “Digital engineering means we can model changes rapidly and predict with accuracy how different design tweaks can affect performance, reliability, and longevity,” Wright said. “We don’t have to go through the same scale of testing and prototyping, but instead precisely model using digital twins. That’s huge.” He added that these advance techniques are also increasing reliability which is critical in preparing for future fights.

Wright expects these topics to be among the top ones discussed during the AFA 2021 Air Space and Cyber Conference next week. Stay tuned to The Modern Battlespace for additional event coverage.

Read the full Q&A on Modern Integrated Warfare.