Human Battle Managers Will Remain Essential in ABMS

“We are not computerizing battle management. We are not taking the sophisticated functions that sit in the hands of the profession of our battle managers and writing them into an algorithm,” Brig. Gen. Jeffery D. Valenzia, Air Force Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS) Cross-Functional Team Lead, told an audience at the AFA Warfare Symposium on March 3. “In fact, battle management is essential—that we have the man in the loop and part of that process—to take the data, the information, and turn it into knowledge and direct the actions if we’re going to win.”

Valenzia moderated the panel, which included Ron Fehlen, vice president and general manager for broadband communication systems at L3Harris Technologies; Lanny Merkel, director of JADC2 capabilities for Collins Aerospace; and James Dorrell, vice president of ABMS at Lockheed Martin Corp.

ABMS is the Air Force’s component of joint all-domain command and control (JADC2), the Defense Department’s all-encompassing effort to own the future battlespace. Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall, who delivered the symposium’s opening address, listed operationally optimized ABMS as the second of his “seven operational imperatives” to meet emerging threats.


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