The Air Force has decided to eliminate its seven battlelabs—created to deliver innovative initiatives quickly and at minimum cost—because it can’t afford to keep them alive. The derailment of these battlelabs—six created in 1997 and a seventh added in 2001—is one of those “tough decisions” the Air Force is making to balance “near-term readiness (Fight Tonight) and long-term procurement priorities (Future Fight),” explained Maj. Dayan Araujo in response to a Daily Report query. The seven battlelabs cover air mobility (Ft. Dix, N.J.), air warfare (Mountain Home AFB, Idaho), command and control (Langley AFB, Va.), force protection (Lackland AFB, Tex.), information operations (Lackland), space (Schriever AFB, Colo.), and unmanned aerial vehicles (Creech AFB, Nev.). Araujo noted that Air Force Materiel Command and other agencies would continue battlelab work “to the maximum extent possible.”
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.