Air Force chief derides 'tribes'

The Air Force must break down its "tribal" platforms and procedures and integrate them using information technology if it is to succeed in the war against terrorism, according to the service's chief of staff.

"The problem with the Air Force is that we're all about tribes" and protecting individual programs and platforms, said Gen. John Jumper Aug. 26 at the Air Force IT Conference in Montgomery, Ala. "Too few of us are about integration."

Unfortunately, the best integration occurs during wartime when such cooperation is essential and when people are more willing to break down cultural walls, Jumper said. The Air Force's "kill cycle" of find, fix, track, target, engage and assess could be significantly faster if integrated systems and programs were the rule instead of the exception.

"In this decade, the name of the game is integration," Jumper said. "We have the capabilities and technology today to be doing it much better than we are doing it."

Maj. Gen. Craig Weston, vice commander of the Air Force's Electronic Systems Center, said IT is the foundation of the service's command, control, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems. "IT is the glue that binds together individual Air Force weapons systems" and makes them into a "system of systems," Weston said, adding that some current capabilities were not even thought possible a year ago.

Another goal of using IT to integrate systems is to save lives. The casualties during Operation Anaconda in Afghanistan might have been minimized if those in the field "had all the information they could have had and assets in the right place," Jumper said. "That's our goal, that's our job, that's our mission."

Featured

  • Management
    people standing on keyboard (Who is Danny/Shutterstock.com)

    OPM-GSA merger plan detailed in legislative proposal

    The White House is proposing legislation for a dramatic overhaul of human resources inside government and wants $50 million to execute the plan.

  • Cloud
    cloud applications (chanpipat/Shutterstock.com)

    GSA plans civilian DEOS counterpart

    GSA is developing a cloud email and enterprise services contract inspired by the single-source vehicle the Department of Defense devised for back-office software.

  • Defense
    software (whiteMocca/Shutterstock.com)

    DOD looks to unify software spending for 2020

    Defense Department acquisition head, Ellen Lord, hopes to simplify software buying and improve business systems following the release of the Defense Innovation Board's final software acquisition study.

Stay Connected

FCW INSIDER

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.