The Joint Staff is preparing to deliver a new, Joint Warfighting Concept (JWC) to Defense Secretary Mark Esper by the end of the year–a concept that will heavily rely on artificial intelligence (AI), according to Air Force Gen. John Hyten, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the head of the Joint Requirements Oversight Council (JROC), which supports the review process for high priority acquisition programs and validates weapon system key performance parameters (KPPs).

The Pentagon’s Joint All Domain Command and Control (JADC2) effort to link all services’ communications rapidly across air, land, sea, space, and cyber domains is the linchpin of JWC. New Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown recently told Congress that JADC2 is one of his top priorities. The Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS) is the Air Force’s component of JADC2.

“We have to experiment, understand, and learn, but we’re going to deliver that [JWC],” Hyten told the virtual DoD Artificial Intelligence Symposium and Exposition on Sept. 9.

“The amazing thing about that Joint Warfighting Concept is it…eliminates all the lines on the battlefield that we’ve dealt with our entire lives,” Hyten said. “So for almost 40 years in the military, I’ve dealt with fire-support coordination lines and forward edge of the battle area and all of these lines.  I’ve dealt with kill boxes.  I’ve dealt with all these structures where we say this is the area that the Navy can operate in. This is the area that the Air Force can operate in. This is the area the Army can operate in.  And those lines are going to go away because we’re going to be able to bring fires from all domains, including space and cyber, kinetic and non-kinetic.  We’ll be able to bring fires from all domains seamlessly.”

Pentagon officials have said that Russia and China are seeking to compete simultaneously across the maritime, land, air, cyber, and space domains and in so-called “gray zone” information operations short of war. The JWC is to include joint command and control, logistics, joint fires, and information advantage in contested environments, and to provide the foundation for DoD budget and acquisition strategies.

A main aim of the JWC is to shorten the observe, orient, decide and act targeting cycle significantly–a speed that “will overwhelm an adversary and hopefully create the environment where we no longer have to worry about fighting that war,” Hyten said.

“That is deterrence, having a capability that prevents the war from happening, and goodness knows we never want to have a war with China or a war with Russia or a war with any nuclear-armed adversary, and the only way to avoid that is to have such strength that is demonstrated to our adversaries that they will not challenge us,” he said. “We can do that, and you can see that if we go into a future where there are no lines on the battlefield, and we have ubiquitous all-domain command and control and logistics that go seamlessly from place to place, from service to service, and it all happens in enormous speed, holy cow, that is the world where an adversary will not challenge us.  Therefore, we have to figure out how are we going to do that.  And I’d tell you I can’t figure out in my mind how to do that without artificial intelligence. ”