The Air Force’s annual Command and Control (C2) Summit was held at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Jan. 12-13, 2021.
Led by Gen. Mark Kelly, commander of Air Combat Command, it highlighted joint cooperation as leaders worked to modernize and standardize the processes for Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) across the Department of the Air Force.
Due to the significance and sensitivity of the topics that were discussed, senior leaders decided to proceed with a limited attendance in-person conference at Nellis while abiding by COVID-19 social distancing and mask-wearing requirements.
“Nellis is at the forefront of testing, tactics development and training for our Air Force, our joint force and our partners, so it is the perfect location to host this important annual event,” said Maj. Gen. Chuck Corcoran, commander of the Air Force Warfare Center.
Summit topics included JADC2 and Air Force-specific efforts complementary to JADC2, including an update on the Advanced Battle Management System program plan and progress, doctrine development, training, experimentation, capabilities and budget considerations. The attendees list included Air Force, Space Force and Joint senior leaders.
According to Col. Alan Docauer, chief of Air Combat Command, Directorate of Operations, Command and Control, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Operations, one focus of the C2 Summit is integrating and leveraging the Space Force into JADC2.
“The U.S. Space Force was a priority topic of discussion on the summit’s agenda in making sure that we’re able to enhance integration of the space domain into joint warfighting,” he said.
One of the tools JADC2 leaders will use is the ABMS, which is a digital framework that enables connectivity and sensor compatibility to help facilitate Air Force integration in Joint All-Domain Operations.
“ABMS will enable all equipment to seamlessly communicate with one another across the kill chain,” said Docauer. “Moving forward, our focus will be on finalizing the JADC2 concept and refining AMBS technology in order to create a future Air Component JADC2 system fully integrated with the joint force, as well as our partners and allies.”
In addition to technology, the C2 Summit focused on issues such as doctrine and training related to JADC2. According to Docauer, “Leaders discussed the need to look at how to leverage advanced technology and artificial intelligence through innovations in doctrine and training that optimize the speed of decision-making, organizational structures scaled to leverage technological innovation and efficiencies towards winning across the spectrum of competition and conflict, and continuing to develop the all-domain skills and decision-focused leaders needed to plan and execute JADC2.”
One direct result from previous years’ C2 Summits is the implementation of the new 13 Oscar (13O) Air Force Specialty Code, designed to secure continued dominance in the air, space and cyberspace domains. The 13O initial skills course generates experts able to plan and execute multi-domain operations at the operational level across the Department of Defense.
“We need to continue to build our people into informed, decisive leaders who can plan and execute in a joint, high-tech environment where artificial intelligence and machine learning are also contributing to the fight alongside them,” said Docauer. “We need to provide the right skills, training and experiences to make sure that when they act, the decision is backed up with a two-way trust between them and their senior leaders and troops.”