- Mike Gruss, Editor-in-chief, Defense News
The Air Force has focused on modernizing and ridding itself of legacy systems that won’t be prepared for great-power competition. To that end, the service plans to divest more than 200 airplanes in 2022. But it’s not just planes. The Air Force is focused on maintaining and developing nuclear forces and hypersonics as well as growing the Space Force. The service is also continuing to invest in its F-22 and F-35 fighters. All of these changes are meant to help the Air Force be ready for conflicts with near-peer competitors.
The Navy’s top priority for 2022 has been readiness and sustainment, while also preparing for the future through its Project Overmatch initiative. The main piece of the readiness and sustainment puzzle is the Shipyard Infrastructure Optimization Program, a 20-year effort to modernize the Navy’s four public naval repair yards. Project Overmatch is the Navy’s foundation for the Joint All-Domain Command and Control concept. Where do those projects stand, and what does the Navy see as the next steps?
As the nature of modern warfare changes, the US Army has had to adapt, altering everything from its battlefield tactics to how it recruits and retains soldiers. To address those challenges, the service has focused on innovation, digital initiatives and data-driven strategies and operating methods. Top modernization priorities include the Future Vertical Lift initiative, electrification of the ground vehicle fleet and a new night-vision goggle with thermal, navigation, augmented reality, marksmanship and other features embedded.
Europe faces its greatest crisis since World War II as Russia continues its invasion of Ukraine, a move that has generated repercussions for many neighboring countries. What are the implications of this new environment, not just for the United States but its European partners? And what are the expectations for NATO members as they fortify commitments and delineate new responsibilities and counter-measures?
Adversaries launch a cyberattack against an aging utility infrastructure, already struggling to handle demand during weather extremes. A hurricane supercharged by a warming ocean devastates a military base on the East Coast, while an uncontrolled wildfire forces evacuation of military bases on the West Coast. In the heartland, widespread flooding cripples military infrastructure and pulls in National Guardsmen from several states to respond. It’s not a disaster movie—it’s the new reality of energy and environment security, demanding targeted responses to multiple threats that are far more evasive and harder to defeat than an enemy on a battlefield. How can the services defend against such threats, and what steps can be taken to ensure energy resiliency and defend against the destabilizing effects of climate change?