Air Force’s doctrine center exercising command, control in contested environments

  • Published
  • By Phil Berube
  • Air University Public Affairs

The Curtis E. LeMay Center for Doctrine Development and Education at Air University is hosting a virtual table top exercise, Feb. 16-19, 2021, to address the complications of mission execution and delegation of authority inherent in a degraded and contested operation environment.

During the exercise, titled “Chennault 7: Conditions-Based Authorities,” participants will also be examining what resources, capabilities and connectivity commanders would need to execute their missions under their delegated authority.

“The complexity of a near-peer conflict necessitates the ability to delegate authorities to lower echelon commanders in order to continue mission execution in a contested and degraded operations environment,” said U.S. Space Force Maj. Ann Hughes, with the LeMay Center Strategy and Concepts Directorate, which is hosting the exercise.

Participants, she said, will identify what conditions may trigger a delegation of authority in the Department of the Air Force domains of air, space and cyber and determine within those specific conditions what authorities could be delegated to the operational level.

While discussion of centralized control and decentralized execution is nothing new, participants during this exercise will examine the issues within the context of Joint All-Domain Command and Control in the current operational environment of near-peer competition in all three domains.

“It’s our goal to address each of those objectives during this exercise. However, we understand that it’s a complex problem,” said Hughes. “Therefore, we anticipate uncovering additional authorities-related or other tangential issues that arise during the course of this event. We will work with the participants and our senior leader ‘decision makers’ to prioritize and address those issues in a subsequent exercise or similar forum to fully explore the emerging concept.”

The LeMay Center’s Chennault Series of iterative events is used to test emerging doctrine to inform other Joint All-Domain Operations stakeholders and to test and capture JADC2 elements or requirements to advance Air Force doctrine development. The virtual exercise is being held at MGMWERX in Montgomery, Ala. Participants represent several service organizations, such as the Air Force Warfare Center, 613th Air Operations Center, the Headquarters Air Force Plans and Requirements office and 505th Command and Control Wing, Kirtland AFB, N.M.