The Air Force needs to think differently to achieve and maintain our combat advantage in a fifth-generation paradigm. We need to operate at the edge, with a dedicated effort to push the boundaries of our fifth-generation force to explore and exploit the potential that lies within.
At the Edge, Air Force’s augmented intelligence approach, combines the freedom and agility of our people with the power of machines for a human edge in the information age.
Augmented intelligence is the central concept in shifting the Air Force from one that uses people to operate machines and cooperate with other people, to a force in which people and machines operate together.
Plan Jericho will lead the pursuit of four augmented intelligence lines of effort to help realise the Air Force’s intention to create, accelerate, and harness competitive advantage:
Autonomous processing to infuse machine processing power throughout the force to enhance decision-making quality and tempo.
Advanced sensors to detect and track challenging targets in difficult environments.
Combat cloud to optimise decision and action tempo by integrating the fifth-generation force and enabling resources from across the force to be distributed and applied as a unified whole.
Human-machine augmentation to optimise individual and collective human and human-machine performance within a proactively developed ethical, moral, and legal framework.
The Edge has two distinct meanings:
Creating a fifth-generation edge – In a capability sense, Air Force must deliberately explore the edges of the fifth-generation force to find and exploit opportunities for advantage that come from new ideas and new technologies. Partnering with others is critical – both to harvest external ideas, but also to realise the enormous creative potential we have in the Air Force itself. We need to accelerate our ability to find and make sense of opportunities and induct them, so that when we step out the door on operations, we can give our people new tools or existing tools with a tweak, quickly and confidently.
Operating at the edge – In an operational sense, our fifth-generation capabilities provide the foundation to impose dilemmas across multiple domains simultaneously. But we have to build creativity and agility into the way that we operate so that we can harness the power of people and machines working together to continually generate and impose new dilemmas. Part of this is having the flexibility to distribute decision-making power across the force so that we can optimise our decision tempo and quality for different situations – sometimes decisions will be centralised, sometimes they will be decentralised. We need both options.
Read more about how Plan Jericho helps Air Force operate at the Edge: