US Air Force works on a more integrated and lethal force through Advanced Battle Management System development

US Air Force works on a more integrated and lethal force through Advanced Battle Management System development

Advanced Battle Management System is a system meant to integrate information acquisition and processing to enhance command and control of a military unit

Warfighters at Nellis Air Force Base are helping the US Air Force build a more integrated and lethal force through Advanced Battle Management System development, the Air Force’s network solution to enable rapid decision-making that powers Joint All-Domain Command and Control, or JADC2.

“A modern Air Force requires us to process and share data faster than a competitor, and that’s what the Advanced Battle Management System is all about,” said Acting Secretary of the Air Force John P. Roth, during a visit to Nellis AFB March 25.

“We like to talk about hardware and airplanes, and that’s all good; but for those assets to do what they will need to do five years from now and 10 years from now, we will have to manage data effectively. We will have to fuse data and get data from the sensor to the shooter in real time so that we can deal with the kinds of threats that we perceive in 2030 and beyond,” he continued.

ABMS will allow the Air Force to transition its legacy command and control infrastructure into joint virtual systems that enable all equipment to communicate seamlessly, creating more agile and mobile warfighters.

The Army and Navy are creating similar systems that will be integrated into JADC2, so all branches can share information and pass data.

“The idea of JADC2 is to synchronize activities in all of the domains to create effects on the battlespace,” said Lt. Col. Kelii Chock, Department of the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office, Warfighter Integration Division chief. “Right now, we are not integrating those effects. We are more de-conflicting effects in time and space because of how the authorities of who can and can’t approve things laid out across the Department of Defense.”

“JADC2 will drive organizational changes inside of all of the services,” he added. “It will drive changes on how we train our Airman and how the Army trains its Soldiers and the Navy trains its Sailors. It will address some personnel changes, and there will be some policy changes.”

Leaders at Nellis AFB are working to develop and integrate ABMS technology and JADC2 tactics into the weapons school, operational test community and red flag exercises, so the force can review the systems and provide input.

“As the home of the warfighter, Nellis (AFB) is the perfect place for new technology,” Chock said. “The U.S. Air Force Warfare Center has all of the Air Force’s warfighting domain expertise with respect to the weapons school and operational test community. Nellis (AFB) is a one-stop shop for collecting feedback.”

The Nellis Campus includes a Shadow Operations Center, or ShOC-N, Virtual Test and Training Center and 12,000 square miles of airspace and 2.9 million acres of land at the Nevada Test and Training Range.

At the ShOC-N battle lab, software companies are working alongside military operators with live and recorded data from training exercises to develop viable ABMS technology. That technology will then be transferred to the VTTC where operators can run the programs in a simulator. Then, it will be incorporated into airplanes conducting training missions at the NTTR to feed the testing and validation loop.

While visiting Nellis AFB, the acting secretary received briefings on the base’s JADC2 modernization efforts, including software development.

“Most of the modernization discussion was about the kind of data support that the force is going to need in the future,” Roth said. “It is all about managing information technology, managing data, and investing in those kinds of capabilities as we go forward.

“Nellis (AFB) is a centerpiece for the Department of the Air Force to be ready to fight tomorrow, if necessary. We hope not to, but we have to be ready. That’s our responsibility to the American people, and what Nellis (AFB) is doing plays a big part,” he added.


About Advanced Battle Management System:

• The Advanced Battle Management System is the Department of the Air Force’s contribution to Combined Joint All Domain Command and Control, or CJADC2, a DoD effort to digitally connect all elements of the U.S. military – from sensors to shooters – across all five warfighting domains: air, land, sea, space and cyberspace.
• Pursuing CJADC2 requires building a cloud-based digital architecture that increases the speed of data sharing and decision making – a secure and resilient Internet of Things for the joint force.
• We need CJADC2 now because potential peer and near-peer adversaries are deploying capabilities that threaten the ability of U.S. forces to shoot, move and communicate.

• ABMS takes a private sector DevSecOps type of approach to onboarding, evaluating & integrating new digital technologies, not a traditional DoD acquisitions program approach.
• The program is currently developing 29 product lines across 7 product categories: 0.0 digital architecture 1.0 sensor integration 2.0 data 3.0 secure processing 4.0 connectivity 5.0 applications 6.0 effects integration
• The Air Force uses flexible acquisition authorities to contract quickly with companies of all sizes – 93 this year – who are advancing promising capabilities in these product categories.

• Joint Onramps, hybrid exercise/test/demonstration events, are the primary means by which ABMS develops and evaluates emerging capabilities and products.
• Onramps are scheduled every four months in rotating Combatant Commands to 1.) expose the warfighting community to ABMS technologies and 2.) to leave requested, mature elements of the ABMS product line in place for enduring use by those COCOMs.
• The next ABMS Onramp is scheduled for February 2021 in U.S. European Command (USEUCOM).

• The president’s budget requested $302 million for ABMS in FY 2021, increasing annually with a total of $3.2 billion over five years.
• ABMS development is led by the Department of the Air Force’s Office of the Chief Architect, who reports to the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisitions, Technology and Logistics.

• Onramp 1: F-35 & F-22 used ABMS tech to pass data over a protected waveform for the first time.
• In response to the COVID-19 crisis, ABMS provided a “tool chain” of hardware, data and software to support health workers with real-time information updates and contagion vector algorithms.
• During Onramp 2, ABMS products enabled a Howitzer to shoot down a surrogate cruise missile.

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