by Derek Kaufman
88th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
7/15/2014 - WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- Creating
tomorrow's Air Force is a delicate balance. It requires a mix of
science and technology investment to meet current warfighter needs, as
well as cutting-edge research to develop revolutionary capabilities
which today's Airmen can only imagine, and may not see fielded this
That is one important message Maj. Gen. Tom Masiello intends to share
with academic and defense industry partners during the Wright Dialogue
with Industry, July 22-24. The industry-hosted collaboration event will
be held at the Hope Hotel and Richard C. Holbrooke Conference Center at
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
Masiello, who commands the Air Force Research Laboratory, said 60
percent of the Air Force's science and technology research and
development is performed by universities and industry, including many
high-tech small businesses.
"It is vitally important that AFRL engage with our industry and academia
partners to highlight our requirements and research interests,"
Masiello said. "We need to communicate our S&T priorities and where
there are gaps and opportunities in areas like cyber, autonomy and
next-generation aerospace. We also get valuable feedback on industry
capabilities and emerging technologies that show promise."
Masiello and Lt. Gen. C.D. Moore II, Air Force Life Cycle Management
Center commander, will each deliver keynote presentations during the
Dialogue with Industry.
Officials said a unique aspect to this year's dialogue is the ability
for those seeking to do business with the Air Force to get detailed
information about the Air Force Research Laboratory's "Technology Focus
Areas" and specific S&T challenges. This information will be shared
via the Defense Innovation Marketplace website and an event-specific
portal hosted by DaytonDefense. All materials are restricted to U.S.
citizens and government contractors. For registration and other event
details, the Defense Innovation Marketplace weblink is http://www.defenseinnovationmarketplace.mil/AFRL.html.
Giovanni Pagán, AFRL's program manager for the Air Force Independent
Research and Development program, said this year's dialogue will feature
two full days devoted to technical discussions on eight key Technology
Focus Areas, including:
· Next Gen Aerospace
· Space & Nuclear
· ISR (Intelligence Surveillance & Reconnaissance)
· Human Performance
· C4 (Command, Control, Cyber & Communications)
· Affordability & Sustainment
· Electronic Warfare/Electronic Protection
Masiello said his team of AFRL scientists and engineers have "frequent
contact with warfighters at all levels of command" to learn about
challenges that urgently need solving and to share solutions that can be
rapidly fielded, such as advanced airborne sensors to identify threats
like improvised explosive devices. Just as important though is
investment today in technologies that he called "the real game
"At AFRL we really do turn science fiction into science fact. And it's
the diversity of our government, industry and academic team that makes
it possible," Masiello said. "In this uncertain funding environment, we
need to work together to make every dollar count."
Small business is an important source of technology innovation and
transition for the Air Force, Masiello said. Growing that portion of the
industrial base both benefits the nation and strengthens defense, he
added. At industry outreach events like the dialogue, representatives
from AFRL's Small Business Office present topics on enabling small
businesses to successfully compete for research grants and technology
development contract awards.
"We defend America by unleashing the power of innovative air and space
technology. It's the combined ecosystem of Government, academia, small
business and large business, working in collaboration which enables
that," Masiello said.