Home' Defense Systems : November 2012 Contents wide-area intelligence, so that is certain-
ly one area that we think will continue
to bear fruit.
Another area that s very powerful is
the ability to fuse di erent sources of
data. For example, we have a program
called Blue Devil 1, which fuses onboard
the aircra , electro-optical, infrared
intelligence and wide-area motion imag-
ery. Commanders get a great capability
when we can put all that together in
near-real time. So that fusing of data is
DS: Are there any older technolo-
gies being phased out or being
considered for elimination?
James: For most of the things that we
have, we continue to upgrade capability.
For example, our RC-135 Rivet Joint
signals intelligence aircra . We re going
through a major upgrade right now, we re
adding wide area global SATCOM ca-
pabilities to that platform so that we can
o board more data and do more data
processing o of the aircra .
We upgrade, versus just retiring. We
just continue to modernize and upgrade
these systems as the requirements dictate.
DS: How is Air Force ISR different
today than, say, ve years ago?
James: Air Force A2, which is the or-
ganization that we re in, really has fun-
damentally changed in that, ve years
ago, it was focused primarily on the
intelligence piece of the organization.
Organizationally, this is now a com-
plete package: intelligence, surveillance
and reconnaissance. You really don t
want to separate all of that out. It s the
platforms that produce the data, it s the
data itself, it s the processing, exploita-
tion and dissemination capabilities---all
of those things have to play together. A
few years ago, we really did bring all of
that together under the Air Force A2,
because we saw the power of bringing
the platforms, the sensors, the data and
the processing together under one
We continue to re ne that. We re now
moving to a structure where we have
stood up an organization that s focusing
on the network and the capabilities of
the network and how to network all of
these things together. So we re standing
up an organization that s looking at the
power of the network and making sure
we are focused on bringing this network
of information together and all the com-
munication pathways that we have to
have for that.
We ve also stood up an S&T organiza-
tion that will really allow us to get our
arms around all the development on
S&T work that s going on and make sure
that we can help sector that properly
across the community.
So those are the things that...we ve
done recently, but the broader moves to
an integrated ISR organization has really
been the major change.
DS: What is the biggest challenge
currently facing Air Force ISR?
James: Well, I would really talk about
three areas. One is sorting out how you
move from a permissive environment of
operations like Afghanistan and Iraq---
from an airborne platform perspec-
tive---to a non-permissive environment,
what we call an Anti-Access/Area De-
nial (A2AD) environment. Developing
the systems, tactics, techniques and pro-
cedures, all of those things that we need
to do in order to operate in that A2AD
environment, that s certainly something
that we re looking at and developing
e second area relates to that net-
work piece, where we want to make sure
we have a holistic architecture that s put
together to very capably support this
And lastly is developing those pro-
cessing, exploitation and dissemination
tools that allow the analysts to handle
all of this data. e data just continues
to grow, but the number of people we
have...does not. We really have to rely
on the tools and technology to manage
the data, to process the data, to fuse the
data, and to present the analyst with in-
formation that he can then operate on to
develop his analysis and his conclusions
without spending all his time just trying
to manage data.
ose are the three areas that we see
as key challenges as we move into the
14 NOVEMBER 2012 | DefenseSystems.com
Lt. Gen. Larry James, commander of the 14th Air Force at the time of this photo, greets
former Deputy Secretary of Defense William Lynn. James' career has spanned a variety of
operations, intelligence and acquisition assignments.
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