Warfighting integration post created

The Air Force has created a new position that will work with the service's chief information officer to modernize and integrate the Air Force's intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) systems.

Speaking at a Dec. 18 press conference at the Pentagon, Air Force Secretary James Roche announced the formation of a new deputy chief of staff for warfighting integration.

Roche said the ongoing war on terrorism has highlighted the need for a greater focus on the Air Force's ISR systems. The new office will focus attention on those systems, as well as integrating command and control, and command, control, communications and computers.

Gen. John Jumper, Air Force chief of staff, said the new position was created to "attack the seams" in the current organization. "By teaming [the new deputy chief] up with the CIO, we have the great benefit of taking advantage of the [information technology] already out there," Jumper said, adding that numerous operations in Afghanistan have been examples of blending systems that already exist.

Jumper said another goal of the reorganization is to move away from the Air Force's lengthy acquisition process to a system that will enable the service to keep up with the fast pace of technology advancements.

Roche said the goal is to have always-on ISR systems, with the recognition that "no one system can do it all," but that integrating complimentary systems quickly and seamlessly is key.

"We haven't designated the office yet because [he or she] is not just [going to be] a facilitator, but will have clout over systems and how they fit together," as well as making sure systems pass the test for "sensible warfighting architecture," he said.

Roche said the new deputy chief would be named "soon," and when pressed by reporters, he said it would be done in "weeks rather than months."

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