AF Study Highlights World Trends
AF Study Highlights World Trends, Core Missions
Ed Gulick, Air Force Public Affairs
Washington D.C. -- (AFNS) --
July 7, 2013 -- The Air Force Chief Scientist has officially concluded his last
study, looking into the Air Force's core mission of global vigilance, global
reach and global power in the context of how global trends will affect those
missions in the next 25 years.
The Global Horizons study, led
by Dr. Mark Maybury, outgoing Air Force chief scientist, looked at how the Air
Force's core functions within the domains of air, space and cyberspace can be
sustained and enhanced using science and technology amid a rapidly changing
The study highlighted how these domains will be increasingly complex, congested,
competitive and contested.
"The study succeeded," Maybury said "in quantitatively forecasting the future
out to 2050 in terms of changes that influence global stability such as global
population and prosperity, climate changes, and competition for natural
resources (e.g., water, energy, rare earths) as well as forecasting technology
and military trends that might undermine freedom of maneuver in global domains."
These trends were used to determine actions in the near (present- fiscal year
2017), mid (FY 2018-2022) and far (FY2023-2027) term where the service should
lead, follow or watch current and projected trends in collaboration with joint
and international partners. "The study clearly articulates where the Air Force
should lead in S&T areas supporting core functions in the air, space, and
cyberspace domains," said Maybury.
One of the most important findings was the identification of specific
investments being made by countries that could be leveraged to decrease the cost
and accelerate the acquisition of capabilities. For example, the report
highlights hypersonics and logistics automation in Australia, materials and
manufacturing technology in the UK and Germany, biofuels in Brazil and robotics
in Japan and Korea. Assessing the outcomes of these different research areas
will help the AF determine if they will be applicable to its needs Maybury said.
The study was created through a collaborative engagement with experts across
government, industry, academia, national laboratories, Federally Funded Research
and Development Centers (FFRDCs) and international partners. This allowed the
study to leverage a wide array of expertise to ensure S&T recommendations for
future AF actions were determined with the best information and expertise..
Maybury expressed deep appreciation to these Air Force partners as well as to
the Major Commands, Headquarters Air Staff, and Air Force Research Laboratory
for their partnership in creating the Global Horizons vision. Dr. Maybury's
successor, Dr. Mica Endsley, assumes the lead in pursuing how the service can
best apply limited resources to shape future investments to respond to the
findings and advance the recommendations of the report to advance Global
Vigilance, Reach and Power.
View the study