HomeNewsArticle Display

SECAF recognizes past, looks forward to future at Air, Space, Cyber Conference

Secretary of the Air Force Barbara M. Barrett delivers a pre-recorded message for the Air Force Association Virtual Air, Space & Cyber Conference 2020 at the Pentagon, Arlington, Va., Sept. 10, 2020. Due to COVID-19 this year will be the first virtual AFA conference. (U.S. Air Force photo by Wayne Clark)

Secretary of the Air Force Barbara M. Barrett delivers a pre-recorded message for the Air Force Association Virtual Air, Space & Cyber Conference 2020 at the Pentagon, Arlington, Va., Sept. 10, 2020. Due to COVID-19 this year will be the first virtual AFA conference. (U.S. Air Force photo by Wayne Clark)

Secretary of the Air Force Barbara M. Barrett reviews her pre-recorded message for the Air Force Association Virtual Air, Space & Cyber Conference 2020 at the Pentagon, Arlington, Va., Sept. 10, 2020. Due to COVID-19 this year will be the first virtual AFA conference. (U.S. Air Force photo by Wayne Clark)

Secretary of the Air Force Barbara M. Barrett reviews her pre-recorded message for the Air Force Association Virtual Air, Space & Cyber Conference 2020 at the Pentagon, Arlington, Va., Sept. 10, 2020. Due to COVID-19 this year will be the first virtual AFA conference. (U.S. Air Force photo by Wayne Clark)

ARLINGTON, Va. (AFNS) --

Secretary of the Air Force Barbara M. Barrett virtually addressed Air Force Association 2020 Virtual Air, Space and Cyber conference attendees, Sept. 14.

During her remarks, Barrett discussed the Department of the Air Force’s heritage of advancing technology, and its impact on modern-day readiness. She also took the time to recognize achievements across the Air and Space Forces, and provided insight on the way ahead for Airmen and Space Professionals. 

“Less than a month after the Air Force was established, the nascent service launched a tradition of breakthrough technological development with the X-planes,” she said. 

The X-plane series laid the groundwork for many of the Air Force’s aircraft today. The X-1, piloted by Charles E. Yeager, broke the sound barrier; the X-7 tested the viability of ramjet engines on anti-aircraft missiles; the X-13 demonstrated the first successful vertical takeoff based on jet thrust alone; and the X-15 launched from a B-52, the first crude hypersonic flight vehicle. 

“The X-26 contributed to stealth designs as far back as 1967, and the X-36 provided a tailless fighter jet, which could perform extreme aeronautical feats and influenced today's fifth generation, advancing cutting edge technology, breaking unprecedented barriers and collaborating interagency with industry,” Barrett said. “This is the 73-year record of achievement on which we continue building.” 

Her address focused on the four priorities she identified during February’s Air Warfare Symposium: building the U.S. Space Force, strengthening relationships with allies and partners, growing strong leaders and resilient families and modernization.

Building Space Force

Within its first year of existence, the Space Force achieved numerous accomplishments, including publishing the United States’ first authoritative space doctrine, increasing data bandwidth in support of emergency medical services to COVID-19 patients, assisting the Air National Guard in fighting the fires in the western United States, and supporting 20 launches by interagency and industry partners--since February’s Air Warfare Symposium

Additionally, the X-37B spaceplane, a direct descendant of the X-planes, launched its sixth mission May 17. It was awarded the Robert J. Collier Trophy for advancing technology that pushes the boundaries of flight and space exploration. 

“The Space Force is an agile and fast organization with an entirely new structure, including field commands, deltas and squadrons, removing unnecessary layers,” the secretary said. “America unequivocally depends upon space. The U.S. Space Force stands ready to deter and if necessary defend our interests in this increasingly contested domain.”

Strengthening relationships with allies and partners

Earlier this year, the DAF unveiled its Arctic Strategy which outlined the department’s approach to ensuring the nation’s whole-of-government approach in the Arctic region. Today, Air and Space Professionals are deploying to multiple countries including Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria to ensure interoperability, and to support allied and partner nations. Airmen also provided humanitarian aid and medical support to the people of Beirut, Lebanon.

“The Air and Space Forces will enhance future collaboration by expanding security cooperation agreements, by building new shared capabilities in both air and space, by increasing interoperability with the systems of our allies, and by growing relationships through exercises and education,” she said.

Growing strong leaders and resilient families 

The DAF increased professional military education opportunities for pregnant and postpartum women and introduced more family friendly assignments for parents with child custody orders.

Although Barrett recognizes that there is more to be done, she also highlighted the DAF’s efforts to improve diversity and inclusion. Some of these improvements include updated dress and appearance regulations, modified grooming requirements, authorized diacritical markings like accents and hyphens and increased Reserve Officers’ Training Corps scholarships at historically black colleges and universities, as well as Hispanic serving institutions.

“Our Air and Space Professionals and the families who stand by them are our greatest asset and our future,” Barrett said. “We are committed to cultivating a culture of trust, respect, and inclusivity and developing leaders to overcome the demands of the future. We're developing new processes that reveal and eliminate racism and unconscious bias.”

She said the DAF is also improving access to childcare, upgrading the quality of the Exceptional Family Member Program, and redesigning leadership development and talent management.

Modernization

“Your U.S. Air Force and Space Force have been on the move and just as Airmen broke barriers with X- airplanes, we continue advancing.” Barrett said.  

While the first three priorities support the National Defense Strategy, modernizing the Air and Space Forces will allow the DAF to execute its mission to defend the nation and its allies. 

Programs such as AFWERX, whose mission is to foster a culture of innovation within the DAF, was named one of Fast Company’s 100 best workplaces for innovators in the country.

Additionally, the department exercised four new congressional authorities, reducing acquisition timelines by an aggregate of 114 years.

“Potential adversaries are investing in air, space and cyber technologies with asymmetric advantages, including hypersonic AI-enabled weapons, modern day X-plane equivalents, correspondingly,” Barrett said. 

The DAF will continue moving into the future with the use of digital engineering to lower development costs, solve problems at a faster rate and offer industry startups the opportunity to contribute to national defense.

Modernization will also take another step into the future with a new weapon system designator: The digital eSeries. Qualified aircraft, satellites and more which are digitally engineered will receive the e-prefix. Unlike previous Air Force and Space Force acquisition efforts, the digital eSeries acquisition program provides the Services with a fully-connected, end-to-end virtual environment that is an almost perfect replica of what the physical weapon system will be. This brings unprecedented speed and agility to the Department’s ability to compete in the technology battlespace by enabling thousands, even millions, of virtual iterations at machine speeds to design the best possible system – but only build the single, best design. The first to receive the new eSeries designator is the eT-7A Red Hawk, which was designed, built and tested using this digitally designed approach. 

“The eT-7A is just the first of our vision of a long line of ePlanes and eSatellites. For 73 years, the entire history of the Air Force, X-planes have represented technological innovation. Today, the ePlane and eSat will join them in making history, and ensuring Airmen and Space Professionals have modern tools to protect our nation,” Barrett explained. “Ladies and gentlemen, your Air and Space Forces are on the move to make America stronger, our Homeland safer, and our alliances and partners enduring.”

 

Engage

Twitter
10 years have passed since #DontAskDontTell was repealed. @UnderSecAF Gina Ortiz Jones celebrated the milestone by… https://t.co/i1kTNvykzM
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: It’s going to take all of our Airmen, Active-duty, Reserve and Guard to secure this nation’s future. https://t.co/4P3CUiQ…
Twitter
RT @UnderSecAF: A few years ago, only two small businesses joined us at AFA--this year we have 40+. @AFWERX works with these companies ever…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: SecAF is meeting with defense industry leaders today during the @AirForceAssoc’s #ASC21 events. In his #OneTeamOneFigh
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: Our rate of change needs to increase. We must move with a sense of urgency today in order to rise to the challenges of to…
Twitter
.@AETCommand is working to remove barriers in the pilot candidate selection process. Learn more about the changes… https://t.co/ANcqVRdsNz
Twitter
.@UnderSecAF Gina Ortiz Jones spoke on the anniversary of DADT... https://t.co/zZYqHOTp8V
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: "We are in a national, strategic, long-term contest with a formidable adversary and what you do every day is important t…
Twitter
"We must move with a sense of urgency today in order to rise to the challenges of tomorrow. Because the return to s… https://t.co/yeYvmOaOos
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: Our collaboration with industry is integral to ensuring we are able to compete, deter and win tomorrow against peer adver…
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: Impossible ends with you. https://t.co/e6ebHtvBDg
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: SecAF Kendall addressed the @AirForceAssoc's Air, Space & Cyber Conference earlier today: "I intend to be relentless in…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: SecAF Kendall just finished addressing the @AirForceAssoc's Air, Space & Cyber Conference. The topics he spoke on includ…
Twitter
RT @UnderSecAF: Happy #DontAskDontTell Repeal Day! Honored to commemorate the repeal’s 10th anniversary with some of our LGBTQ Airmen & Gua…
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,377,025
Follow Us