The U. S. Air Force might be the strongest in the industrial age – but the nation is no longer in the industrial age. That’s the assessment of retired Lt. Gen. Bill Bender, the former Air Force chief information officer. Now he’s the senior vice president for strategic account executives and government relations, in the business development and strategy group at Leidos.
Bender discussed where the Air Force is headed to accommodate the 21st networked century, and how the company is helping it get there.
“There’s a mismatch between the Air Force we built for a different time and the world we’re living in today.” He says the Air Force’s challenge is fully achieving what it calls mission domain command and control. Operations increasingly occur in cyberspace, as do logistics and other support functions. Put another way, the world in which the Air Force operates is a software-defined one, Bender says.
It all means the Air Force must develop the right networked applications to be agile and adaptive, and using data and analytics to support warfighting objectives. At the same time, it must build assurance in the security of its digital assets. And it must operate ever more efficiently, in part by applying analytics and modeling to how it conducts the “tail” activities that support the “tooth.”