Under Secretary of the Air Force Matthew Donovan speaks at the Aviation Week Program Excellence Symposium in McLean, Va., Oct. 23, 2017. Donovan highlighted the need for industry partnerships, ideas and future innovation.

U.S. Air Force photo by Wayne A. Clark

WASHINGTON | Under Secretary of the Air Force Matthew Donovan discussed the importance of rapid modernization and innovation during the 2017 Aviation Week Program Excellence Symposium in Washington, D.C., Oct. 23, 2017.

“The range of global threats we face calls for a far more innovative, dynamic and cost-effective Department of Defense,” Donovan said. “Speed is one of the most important attributes of a system designed to win. That is certainly true with air power.”

When it comes to innovation, the Air Force is looking for new ways to do business, accelerating the transfer of ideas from the lab to the field, and putting the latest capabilities in Airmen’s toolkits as quickly as possible.

“We must get faster in developing counter-options, at achieving a common operating picture of the battle space, networking it altogether and achieving overwhelming decision speed,” he said.

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Donovan warned that America’s potential adversaries are gaining ground, investing in capabilities and innovating at a much faster pace than before. In order to stop their efforts the Air Force is looking at government and industry programs for new ideas.

“Our ability to adapt and respond faster than our potential adversaries is the greatest challenge we face,” Donovan said to the audience of programmers and engineers. “We need your assistance — your partnership, ideas and innovation. It is going to take our combined efforts and partnerships to build a more lethal force with the inherent flexibility and responsiveness our Nation needs to maintain our competitive edge.”

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