“This office will look across all of those teams and activities to facilitate the sharing of best practices and lessons learned across the entire department. We will focus on the enablers that will help the program…the ‘this is what you want to do, and here’s how you can do it’ aspect,” said Hurst.
AFMC officially launched its Digital Campaign in 2020 with the goal to create an integrated digital ecosystem that provides enterprise access to the data individuals need to develop, test, field and maintain complex weapon systems. By leveraging modern digital capabilities, the service can decrease the time it takes to move a weapon system from a concept into the hands of a warfighter, while providing the ability to adapt capabilities at speed to meet the requirements of today’s dynamic warfighting domain.
The Skyborg Air Force Vanguard program leverages new business practices and open architecture digital engineering for rapid, streamlined development of future hardware and software components to turn low-cost aircraft into unmanned, autonomous aircraft capable of teaming with manned aircraft in combat to multiply the force’s air power against adversaries. AIR FORCE RESEARCH LABORATORY ARTWORK
“We are fielding capability much slower than our near peers. We’re taking decades to field our major complex weapons systems, whereas our near peer adversaries are doing it in half the time,” said Hurst. “We need to make sure we’re not delivering yesterday’s technology to tomorrow’s fight. We have to address and invest on how we acquire our weapons systems…not just focus on delivering the capabilities themselves.”
The manning for the DTO was authorized under Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. Charles Q. Brown’s call to establish “innovation positions” to help advance innovation and modernization efforts across the service. The 12 positions in the DTO are part of the more than 300 positions being established across the command for efforts related to software innovation factories, AFWERX, the Advanced Battle Management System and more.
For more information on current Digital Campaign efforts, internal Air Force audiences can visit the Digital Guide team site for guidance, references, templates and more. The team also hosts a public version of the Digital Guide for industry and academia to access at https://wss.apan.org/af/aflcmc. General information on the AFMC Digital Campaign is available at https://www.afmc.af.mil/Digital/.
“This office along with the entire Department of the Air Force is still in the process of trying to figure out how to leverage digital and the best way to do it. We will continually be looking for inputs from programs, industry and academia who are currently doing this and doing it well, so we can learn from them and share,” said Hurst. “Collaboration and sharing are key to our success across the air and space enterprise.”
Dr. John Wertz, a materials research scientist at the Air Force Research Laboratory, demonstrates the application of Digital Thread concepts to aircraft maintenance activities. Real time aircraft data, checklists and feedback through Digital Thread capabilities can enable better decision making by warfighters on the field, enhancing life cycle sustainment of Air Force platforms. U.S. AIR FORCE PHOTO/MARISA ALIA-NOVOBILSKI
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