The Air University’s Curtis E. LeMay Center for Doctrine Development and Education at Maxwell AFB, Ala., said this month that it “is launching some of the largest doctrine changes in recent memory” to support U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown’s “accelerate change or lose” directive last year.
The center, established in 2007, serves as the Air Force’s hub for doctrine and lessons learned and provides input for the development of joint doctrine.
“In this role, the LeMay Center ensures the development, promulgation, and teaching of doctrine as a common frame of reference and a starting point for the best way to employ airpower,” the center said.
In contrast to the past approach of reviewing Air Force doctrine biennially, the center now plans to review doctrine through an “as-needed approach to keep pace with change,” per the center. Officials are reviewing 1,600 pages of doctrine to ensure the latter is focused on a “concise and coherent framework for the re-emergence of great power competition” contained in the 2018 National Defense Strategy, the center said.
Emerging doctrinal concepts are to be adopted, as needed, in Air Force Doctrine Publications (AFDPs), formerly known as Annexes.
“As the pace of change increases, the LeMay Center will issue Doctrine Notes to address ’emerging doctrine,'” the center said. “These Doctrine Notes could evolve into a formal AFDP.”
The Air Force began moving to AFDPs late last year. For example, last October’s AFDP 3-99, The DAF Role in Joint All-Domain Operations (JADO), begins codifying the Air Force role in future conflict.
According to the document’s version for movement and maneuver, “maneuver in cyberspace supports JADO without establishing a physical presence.”
“It includes accessing adversary networks to support follow-on offensive and defensive actions in cyberspace, enabling convergence of effects in the EMS [electromagnetic spectrum] and other domains, while protecting friendly networks,” per the document. “These cyberspace actions create multiple dilemmas for an adversary.”
In a real-world example of such cross domain convergence, the document lays out an operation in Africa during which an Air Force intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance aircraft provided real-time intelligence to the ground force commander, including live video streamed via satellite to allied headquarters and voice communications over satellite, to allow the headquarters to adapt to changes on the ground.
“While overhead the target area, the U.S. aircraft’s EMS suite detected a threat to the assault force,” the document said. “After confirming their indications, the aircrew advised the ground team that intelligence confirmed their interpreter had been acting as a double-agent and had compromised the operation. This historical vignette demonstrates agility across land, air, space, and the EMS, and the ability to converge capabilities and assets to provide intelligence, fires, and protection. JADO will enable this type of operation at the scope and scale of major combat operations.”