By 1st Lt. Noah Emerson | Air Force Space Command Public Affairs
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — Air Force Space Command unveiled its new enterprise data strategy during the AFSPC Chief Data Office Innovation Summit, a two-day event held at Headquarters AFSPC, July 30-31, 2019.
The command’s enterprise data strategy will provide the means to ensure greater mission success. It is a framework that integrates space enterprise data sources into a common, resilient and agile architecture optimized for space domain awareness and responsive multi-domain operations at speed and scale.
“The strategy is a plan for next generation data management that will energize AFSPC’s warfighting ability,” said Gen. Jay Raymond, AFSPC commander. “Decisions and actions are all based on analyses of data and the better that data is the more effective are our actions.”
AFSPC held the summit to discuss the construct of the data strategy, why it is needed, and how it will make U.S. and Allied warfighters more agile and lethal. Attendees included representatives from NASA, U.S. Strategic Command, Pacific Air Forces, Air Combat Command, the Department of State, National Reconnaissance Office, Defense Information Systems Agency, Air Force Tactical Exploitation of National Capabilities and the many organizations within AFSPC.
The summit was hosted by Maj. Gen. Kimberly Crider, mobilization assistant to the AFSPC commander, and Dr. Mark Brady, AFSPC chief data officer.
Crider, who served as the Air Force’s first chief data officer, highlighted the AFSPC chief data office and all it has accomplished under Brady’s leadership, including the development of the command’s data strategy.
“Establishing the AFSPC chief data office has been critical to drive innovation in our ability to seamlessly access, integrate and share protected data with multi-domain partners at higher speeds, and with greater precision than our adversaries,” said Crider. “The strategy will act as a clear roadmap outlining how AFSPC will structure and manage data. We look forward to sharing our breakthroughs across the Defense Department.”
In September 2018, AFSPC became the first Air Force major command to have its own dedicated chief data office. The command hired Brady to be its chief data officer then gave him the immediate task to build a data strategy designed to aid space warfighting in both a supported and supporting role.
One of the first things Brady did was enlist a team to go across the command to find out how people were using data, what was challenging their ability to leverage data, and what data they needed to accomplish their missions. The team met with more than 200 individuals, visiting 82 units at 19 sites.
“That current-state assessment revealed a lot about what is happening in space operations and what operators need,” said Brady. “It identified our strengths, but more importantly it identified areas where we needed to improve.”
During the assessment, a common theme emerged – historically, data has been stored, by the military and industry, in proprietary stovepiped systems. These systems are cut off from each other. They are not tied to a larger, enterprise level architecture and they are designed to only perform specific functions or support single mission areas.
To help solve this issue, AFSPC developed the Unified Data Library through a partnership with the Air Force Research Laboratory and the Space and Missile Systems Center. The UDL is a highly scalable cloud-based data environment to store space data and other data. It is a place where data can be discovered and understood though its interactive documentation. It allows human users to tap in and query data directly.
Through the activities being proposed in AFSPC’s enterprise data strategy, data is set to achieve its maximum utility in both real-time and near-real time mission scenarios, resulting in mission data instantly and more accurately being managed and transferred to:
• Eliminate the need for manual processes;
• Support machine to machine interaction;
• Advance analytics and artificial intelligence / machine learning; and
• Allow decision makers to be automatically alerted to threats and review courses of action in near real-time.
AFSPC is a major command, headquartered on Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, focused on providing military-focused space capabilities with a global perspective to the joint warfighting team. The command’s mission is to provide resilient, defendable and affordable space capabilities for the Air Force, Joint Force and the Nation.