A swarm of drones was shown by the US Army. The US Army held mock war games at the Fort Irvine National Training Center. The exercise showed the use of a swarm of drones. About 40 drones were involved in the exercise, and their number will grow over time. Swarms of drones, in the military operations of the near future, will become the main threat on the battlefield.
“We are just starting the sprint,” she said Sept. 20. “It’s with the acquisition community, it’s with the operational community.”
Modern warfare relies on the electromagnetic spectrum, which militaries leverage for communications, situational awareness and even weapons guidance. Competition over the spectrum is expected to be heated in a conflict involving the U.S., China or Russia.
The Air Force undertaking could eventually produce a so-called operational imperative — a service priority marked by intense focus and investment. Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall in March laid out seven imperatives, among them the pursuit of the Advanced Battle Management System and a better understanding of resilient basing, sustainment and communications in contested environments.
“You might see this turn into another operational imperative, like a year from now, or something of that nature,” Lauderback said Tuesday. “But it’s something that we do not have a deep bench on, at all.”
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. CQ Brown has said the service was “asleep at the wheel” for decades in electromagnetic operations. Adversaries have observed how critical the spectrum is for U.S. forces and have sought sophisticated methods to deny, jam and spoof.
Taking full advantage of the spectrum and related assets, Brown said last year, could save money while still delivering results. The Air Force last summer activated the 350th Spectrum Warfare Wing, a first-of-its-kind entity designed to optimize electromagnetic capabilities and provide maintenance, operational and technical expertise.
“In some aspects, an electron is much cheaper than a very expensive missile,” Brown said at the time.