The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies illustrated the fragility of the Air Force’s current command and control network in a realistic video scenario, released in conjunction with AFA’s Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Fla. In the video simulation, US Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa and NATO allies in Europe are caught off guard when Russian forces attack C2 infrastructure to cover a covert invasion, picking off allied targets and seizing ground in the confusion that ensues. Mitchell hosted a panel of command and control experts in Orlando on Feb. 12 where they discussed the vulnerability of today’s air operations centers and the need to disperse and modernize C2 in light of potential 21st Century threats. Retired Air Force panelists included Maj. Gen. Mark Matthews, vice president of Air Force programs at Raytheon; Maj. Gen. Kevin Kennedy, vice president of international business development at Textron; Col. Mark Altobelli, senior defense and future concepts analyst; Col. Richard Reynolds, independent consultant; and Col. Robert Evans, director of strategy in the command and control division at Northrop Grumman. (Watch the video) (See also Fix the Juicy Target.)
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.