COMUSAFE-AFAFRICA discusses JADC2, ACE at Air Warfare Symposium

  • Published
  • By Technical Sgt. Stephen Ocenosak
  • U.S. Air Force in Europe and Air Forces Africa Public Affairs

Defense industry leaders and Airmen from all over the globe gathered for the Air Force Association Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Feb. 27-28. Gen. Jeff Harrigian, U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa commander; Gen. Charles Q. Brown, U.S. Pacific Air Forces commander and Gen. Terrence J. O'Shaughnessy, U.S. Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command commander, participated in a panel discussion at the conference on the emerging concept of Joint All-Domain Command and Control, or JADC2.

JADC2 connects distributed sensors, shooters and data from all domains to all forces. Harrigian highlighted where USAFE-AFAFRICA is going with JADC2 and how it is developing throughout the command.

“I think importantly embedded in (the problem set) is acknowledging we’re going to have to take on a culture change on how we approach this,” Harrigian said to a crowded room of symposium attendees already involved in all domain operations.

“Do we do it at the speed and pace we would like right now?” Harrigian asked hypothetically. “No, but this ought not be looked at as something that we’re completely breaking open as a new idea that is different to the things our Airmen in the field are doing right now.”

Harrigian added that as JADC2 matures, the joint services would be able to execute missions with better capabilities and at better speed.

“Importantly, as we look at that operating environment, we need to look at how we can work with NATO and how they will be a key contributor to (multi-domain operations) and how we incorporate partners.”

For JADC2 to be effective, Harrigian said, we need to get the right integration and discussion between the theater warfighters and those that are generating innovative C2 ideas from the top levels down.

“If we do, that will drive great synergy and bring great capabilities at speed to our warfighters,” Harrigian said.

During the panel, the commanders also discussed the revitalization of Agile Combat Employment as a necessary deterrence tactic in the era of great power competition.

The panel emphasized that as JADC2 becomes a reality, the intent is for it to enable distributed mission command at the scale, tempo and level to accomplish commander’s intent – agnostic to domains, platforms and functional lanes.

Harrigian underscored the importance of Airmen’s individual role in making this happen and called upon all members to leverage alliances and partnerships to make JADC2 most effective in practical application.

“We’ve got to turn PowerPoint into action,” Harrigian said. “We have to do things now to set us up to win the fight. I believe incrementally we can build these capabilities with the right people … with the right capabilities and with the support from our partners from defense industry to get where we need to go.”