Rome Lab, National Guard unit to partner on cutting-edge research

ROME – A new partnership has been formed between the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Information Directorate and the 152nd Air Operations Group, part of the New York Air National Guard, to expand the development, testing and integration of artificial intelligence/machine learning command and control capabilities.

“This partnership forms the pillars of our continued commitment to enhancing the capabilities of warplanes, expanding the engineering options available and delivering impactful results,” said Col. Fred Garcia, director of AFRL’s Information Directorate.

“The closeness of our organizations will allow for a fluid exchange of ideas and information that will yield unprecedented advances, allowing our airmen and guardians to act faster,” Garcia added.

The partnership will support U.S. Air Force Air Combat Command requests to leverage cutting-edge machine intelligence research and increase command and control or C2 velocity.

“Command and control is about decision-making superiority and this partnership will enhance security and protection,” Garcia said. “The partnership will also allow for easier feature creation, integration and support, and provide a simpler setup to enable better management and performance.”

Additionally, the partnership will scale operations supporting pioneering efforts such as Joint All Domain Command and Control and the Advanced Battle Management System.

“This collaboration will leverage consistent, operator-informed research and experimentation to more effectively streamline project development to produce Warfighter-validated end products,” said Lee Seversky, project manager for Autonomy Command and Control at AFRL’s Information Directorate.

The partnership will design, execute and optimize a repeatable process to evaluate the use of new artificial intelligence/machine learning command and control technologies and develop tactics, techniques and procedures that support the next-generation concept of operations.

“No single organization can coordinate and synchronize this required approach across the Air Force,” said Dr. Mark H. Linderman, Senior Scientist for AFRL’s Information Directorate. “But together we can develop and deliver highly effective effects to refine, replicate and pass on to our warfighters.”

In addition, the 152 AOG will loan operators and subject matter experts in support of the AFRL Information Directorate’s Autonomy Command and Control portfolio. They will also leverage AFRL’s technical capabilities along with their operational expertise to advance the Air Force department’s C2 enterprise.

“Sometimes teamwork really makes the dream come true,” said Col. Kevin B. St. John, commander, 152 AOG, New York Air National Guard. “The fact is, when we work together—when we actually work together—we achieve more and achieve greater results and benefits. Teamwork is a tool to achieve mission goals.”