More details have emerged regarding the Air Force’s approach to conducting so-called multidomain operations.
Such operations, officials have explained, involve providing a multitude of effects across several domains of warfare simultaneously in pursuit of a single objective rather than launching uncoordinated operations in multiple domains.
Brig. Gen. Chance Saltzman, the Air Force’s public face of multidomain, described the Air Force’s efforts in multidomain command-and-control and operations more broadly, equating them to President Kennedy’s Apollo 11 spaceflight program (often referred to as the “moonshot”), which included a phased approach and parallel tracks.
Speaking Sept. 26 at an event hosted by the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies, Saltzman said that, when the directive was given to go to the moon, scientists didn’t start launching humans into space “hoping for the best and thinking, ‘I hope I don’t kill too many people before one successfully lands on the moon.’ ”
Rather, they took incremental steps to figure out how to get humans in orbit; how to have humans exit a spacecraft in space and return to the vessel safely; how to communicate across wide distances; and how to separate a spacecraft, turn it around and redock it.
While all these efforts were ongoing, the Saturn V that would carry astronauts to the moon was being built in parallel.
Similarly, the Air Force is beginning to identify what multidomain principles it needs through wargaming and experimentation, as well as developing a new specialized command-and-control career field, all while building the necessary infrastructure needed to underlie new systems.
“Everything is marching toward synchronizing ...” ops, expertise and technologies, Saltzman said.
The Air Force has identified its approach of first studying and identifying the underlying needs involved, which it says is command-and-control. Officials have noted that in order to have the necessary capabilities to achieve multidomain operations, the service needs to better understand the relationships between the current assets and the various domains.