The chief technology officer for the Electronic Systems Center at Hanscom AFB, Mass., Tim Rudolph, has been selected as the Defense Department’s lead architect for the US government’s ambitious next generation air transportation system, known as NextGen. ESC’s 653rd Electronic Systems Wing, which has had a leading role in NextGen since its inception, will provide direct support and programmatic expertise for the interagency project. Congress has mandated that the Pentagon work on it together with the Departments of Commerce, Homeland Security, and Transportation as well as NASA and the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy. “NextGen is an air transportation system, not an air traffic system,” said on official with the 653rd ELSW. He added, “It’s far more comprehensive. It’s about air traffic, but also about safety, security, weather, mobility, efficiency—and accounting for expansion needs.” (Hanscom report by Chuck Paone)
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.