The Air Force recently launched the first Enterprise Capability Collaboration Team (ECCT), kicking off an initiative that integrates expertise from around the service in an effort to deliver innovative solutions to capabilities issues.
Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. Mark A. Welsh III chartered the first ECCT with the task of exploring the air superiority mission with an eye toward the year 2030 and beyond. They will spend the next year focusing on delivering capability options in projected future operating environments, ultimately delivering courses of action to support acquisition activities and related efforts geared toward ensuring long-term air dominance independent of a reliance on specific platforms.
“Gaining and maintaining air superiority is foundational to how we fight,” Welsh said. “The air superiority this nation has enjoyed for 60 years is not an accident and gaining and maintaining it is not easy.”
“It requires trained proficient and ready Airmen and it requires credible, capable and technologically superior aircraft,” he said.
The makeup of the air superiority 2030 team will span a wide spectrum of the service’s pool of experts, providing it the ability to accurately consider the air superiority needs of combatant commands and sister services and how the Air Force can best meet those needs.
“Planning for the future requires a full and integrated understanding of the ways Air Force and service capabilities work together to deliver joint warfighting effects,” said Lt. Gen. James M. Holmes, the deputy chief of staff for strategic plans and requirements. “The ECCT will bring together users and operators from all Air Force domains and core functions, along with the requirements, acquisition and science and technology communities to collaboratively examine, comprehend and quantify operational needs and propose defendable, achievable and affordable solutions.”
As their project matures over the course of the year, the ECCT will consider both materiel and non-materiel solutions as a means to fill capability gaps. This could include examining new technologies by leveraging wargaming, experimentation, and modeling and simulation, and providing the team opportunities to review and assess capabilities options across multiple geographic regions and warfighting domains, both contested and non-contested.
“Focusing on capability solutions means we first explore and research the concepts and technologies we need to meet current and future requirements,” Holmes said. “Then we can look at how we would apply these concepts and technologies across any number of platforms, organizations and domains. In the end, that could mean modernizing a current platform, using current platforms and sensors in new ways, or investing in a new platform to meet national strategic objectives.”
At the conclusion of their year-long endeavor, ECCTs will deliver options to Air Force senior leaders that identify, refine and mature the most feasible solutions to fill capability gaps.
The Air Force will stand up a limited number of the ECCTs focusing on high-priority, enterprise-wide problems.