Released: Mar 19, 1997
KELLY AIR FORCE BASE, Texas (AFNS) -- With the snip of a giant pair of ceremonial scissors, Air Force Chief of Staff General Ronald R. Fogleman cut a ribbon March 17 opening the Air Force's Information Warfare Battlelab at the Air Intelligence Agency on Kelly's "Security Hill."
The IW Battlelab is one of six that the chief of staff directed be established to help the Air Force explore new ideas and foster innovative technologies to improve the capabilities of the Air Force's core competencies.
In a short speech to AIA personnel before the ceremonial ribbon cutting, Fogleman explained the background of the battlelab concept and said that "information operations is a major core competency" as the Air Force prepares to enter the 21st Century.
"When I was first briefed on what Information Warfare was, it became clear that we were about to enter into a true revolution in information technology. This, combined with the power of computers doubling every 18 months, made it clear that we were about to undergo another fundamental change in the conduct of warfare. In my mind, on the same magnitude we had seen at the end of the second world war when airpower came of age.
"Information," he continued, "is a tool that must be defended. We are becoming more dependent on information and data exchange so we must create a great defensive capability to protect our information sources. Both offensive and defensive operations are part of this equation."
Maj. Gen. Michael V. Hayden, AIA commander, explained that the new IW Battlelab "is a process for innovations in information warfare to be rapidly discovered, developed and demonstrated. We'll do that by experimenting with new ideas with warfighters."
General Hayden said he expected much interaction between the battlelabs in order to meet General Fogleman's 21st century vision of Air Force operations.
"It's really important that we work together," he said. "The battlelab concept ensures that the best and brightest work on initiatives and solve problems before they actually become problems. It's good for AIA, it's good for the Air Force, and, ultimately, it's good for America."
The other five battlelabs include the Space Battlelab, Falcon Air Force Base, Colo.; the Air Expeditionary Force Battlelab, Mountain Home AFB, Idaho; the Battle Management Battlelab, Hurlburt Field, Fla.; the Unmanned Vehicle Battlelab, Eglin AFB, Fla.; and the Force Protection Battlelab, Lackland AFB, Texas.