NASIC bolsters air superiority with threat-focused conference
By Michelle Martz, National Air and Space Intelligence Center
/ Published October 21, 2020
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio --
More than 700 participants from across the Department of Defense’s acquisition, policy and warfighter communities are midway through a virtual conference focused on threats to U.S. and allied air superiority.
Hosted by the National Air and Space Intelligence Center, Air Threat Week is the premier annual conference focused on significant air threats. The six-week agenda, which kicked off Sept. 28, showcases and disseminates the latest information regarding foreign threats in areas like combat aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles, weapons systems, sensors, electronic warfare, and IADS.
In prior years, ATW was a multi-day event that took place at NASIC’s main campus. While the Center offered some briefings through video teleconferencing, the majority of the presentations occurred in-person and real-time.
This year, the COVID-19 response prevented that approach. Instead, organizers from NASIC’s Air and Cyberspace Intelligence Group shifted to a virtual format which allowed for both live and pre-recorded presentations at multiple classification levels. To date, the conference has logged more than 24,000 views of the uploaded content.
Planners also lengthened the conference duration from days to weeks, adding time for keynote speakers and a commander panel discussion on decision advantage.
“Regardless of the format, our team has been committed to this conference as a mechanism to share and collaborate on timely, relevant scientific and technical intelligence,” said Col. Ariel Batungbacal, commander of the Air and Cyberspace Intelligence Group. “The information we cover during these six weeks will frame the threat landscape for the coming year to widen the air domain margin with our rivals.”
Batungbacal went on to emphasize the importance of ATW by quoting Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr.’s paper ‘Accelerate Change or Lose.’
“CSAF says ‘Air dominance is not an American birthright’ and that’s exactly why Air Threat Week is such an important event and underpins how critical NASIC’s work is,” she said. “The threats to our air dominance highlighted during Air Threat Week impact our nation’s ability to compete with our adversaries and impact our ability to accelerate in areas advantageous to the U.S.”
“Our adversaries have not been idle,” continued Batungbacal. “But neither has our team of experts.”