Air Force to Create CTO Position

Air Force

The U.S. Air Force announced it will add a chief technology officer to help coordinate technical decisions and convert investments into capabilities as part of the service branch’s larger Science and Technology Strategy released Wednesday, April 17.

“The Air Force may need an authority, in a role analogous to a large company’s Chief Technology Officer, to oversee the science and technology portfolio and champion the needs of long-range, disruptive new capability development,” the strategy states.

The CTO would support adoption of technology from early-stage research efforts through the maturation process, and also would serve as a senior-level voice for the scientific and technical community in the service branch.

“A unified voice at a senior level in the Service could ensure that technology investments produce transformational new capabilities and inform policy and doctrine to shape the missions ahead,” the strategy states.

The addition of the CTO position falls within the Air Force’s three objectives expressed in the strategy;

  • Develop and Deliver Transformational Strategic Capabilities;
  • Reform the Way Science and Technology Is Led and Managed; and
  • Deepen and Expand the Scientific and Technical Enterprise

The strategy focuses on basic research, advanced research, advanced technology development, and advanced technology prototyping process, while leaving system development and sustainment to existing components in the Air Force.

As part of those goals, the Air Force commits to deeper information sharing with “high-performance electronic connectivity” beyond the current limits of wireless network technology.

“The Air Force cannot rely on the commercial sector to have ready solutions for electronic warfare, Global Positioning System denial of service, and platform attrition,” the strategy states.

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