Line of Effort: Modernization

  • Published
  • Airman Magazine

  "We are accelerating change across the Air Force’s Core Functions to develop the capability and capacity mix required to deter, and if necessary, to prevail."

  Dr. Victoria Coleman, the Air Force Chief Scientist, underscores the importance of fulfilling the needs of the warfighter through science & technology. Coleman serves as the Chief Scientific Adviser to the Secretary of the Air Force, Air Force Chief of Staff, and Chief of Space Operations. She provides assessments on a wide range of scientific and technical issues affecting the department’s mission.

  The Air Force must accelerate the modernization of key systems with an emphasis on the Department of the Air Force’s Operational Imperatives. Our legacy systems have served us well, but many cannot survive or help us prevail in a conflict with the PRC or other advancing threats. We must innovate and make data-driven, fiscally informed decisions to keep our capabilities ahead of our pacing challenge.



Photo by Airman 1st Class Zachary Nordhei
The steel structure of the 325th Force Support Squadron’s future lodging facility is under construction at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, March 16, 2023. This facility is being built to Miami Dade hurricane standards and will be able to sustain 165 mph winds. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Zachary Nordheim)
  ​By investing in advanced infrastructure, the adoption of sustainable technologies and fostering partnerships, the Air Force ensures its ability to project power, safeguard allies and deter aggression in the Pacific region for the foreseeable future.

Into the future skies:
The modernization throughout the Pacific

  ​The Pacific Air Forces’ modernization efforts demonstrate its unwavering dedication to adapting, innovating and maintaining its edge in an ever-evolving world. These endeavors encompass not only the enhancement of physical infrastructure but also the embracement of green technologies and the cultivation of partnerships that ensure continued air space superiority in the Pacific for years to come.


Digital Transformation

Photo by Samuel King Jr.
The newly all digital C-130H cockpit sits ready for its next test flight at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The major upgrade, called Avionics Modernization Program Increment 2, is a significant improvement to the almost 60-year-old aircraft’s avionics and navigation systems. (U.S. Air Force photo by Samuel King Jr.)
  Digital Transformation is the disruptive enabler the DAF needs to maintain its competitive edge.  It provides the Department with a suite of tools, resources and products that unify disjointed modernization efforts, enable discovery of cross-cutting opportunities and catapult the delivery of new capabilities to the field faster.

Virtual reality 
reduces fuel emissions

  With the development and implementation of virtual reality, the U.S. Air Force integrates virtual reality training with live training. This lowers the cost of fuel, reduces risk, and helps lower the amount of fuel emissions on the environment.

in flight testing

  First Lt. Matthew Green works at the Air Force Research Laboratory Center for Rapid Innovation where his team uses simulators and flight testing equipment to quickly test and supply solutions to the Air Force’s war fighting needs.


Air Dominance

Photo by Staff Sgt. Kaitlyn Ergish
U.S. Air Force Maj. Kristin “BEO” Wolfe, F-35A Lightning II Demonstration Team pilot and commander, flies an F-35 assigned to the 421st Fighter Generation Squadron at the Wings Over Houston Airshow, Tx., Oct. 15, 2023. Wings Over Houston showcases vintage World War II aircraft alongside the thrills of modern aviation, and has supported a variety of local and national charities during its 39-year history. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kaitlyn Ergish)
  ​Modernization of aircraft is essential to the US Air Force to ensure it maintains air superiority, operational readiness, and the capability to address evolving threats in an increasingly dynamic and technologically advanced global security landscape.

AIRFRAME: B-21 Raider

  The B-21 is a high-tech nuclear-capable stealth bomber designed with future modernization in mind to ensure the aircraft and technology are able to evolve throughout time and threat changes. The aircraft is designed to operate in tomorrow's high-end threat environment and will play a critical role in ensuring America's enduring airpower and power projection capabilities.



Photo by Ryan Sharp
These recently cleared photos of the reentry of an unarmed Minuteman III ICBM, sent by the team at the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command (SMDC) Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile Defense Test Site demonstrate the accuracy of the unarmed ICBM test launch earlier this month, 2,300 miles west-southwest of Hawaii on Kwajalein Atoll, in the Republic of the Marshall Islands. Each test launch reiterates the safe, secure, and effective capability of the land-based leg of the U.S. nuclear triad. Operated by Striker Airmen out of Vandenberg Space Force Base, every test launch is also closely monitored by teams at the Reagan Test Site, supporting and evaluating through the duration of the ICBM’s flight. The information collected by personnel at RTS provides invaluable radar, optical and telemetry data in the terminal phase of flight to evaluate system performance. The world-class range and test facility utilizes optical and telemetry sensors, as well as high-fidelity metric and signature radars, to support the research, development, test and evaluation of America's defense and space programs. (U.S. Army photo by Ryan Sharp)
  ​Innovation and modernization of the land-based leg of the nuclear triad is imperative to deter peer adversaries from hostile actions against the United States, our allies and partners.

BLUE: Climate Action Plan

  ​The Climate Action Plan – guidance from the Secretary of the Air Force that describes a three-pronged approach to addressing climate change: increase capabilities, reduce emissions and reduce reliance on fossil fuels.