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Will Roper Announces Larger Scale for Air Force’s Next ABMS Demo

Air Force

Will Roper Announces Larger Scale for Air Force’s Next ABMS Demo

The next demonstration of the Air Force's Advanced Battle Management System will be larger in both scale and scope than its predecessor, according to the service's top acquisition official.

Will Roper, the Air Force's assistant secretary for acquisition, technology and logistics, said 5G will be part of the ABMS' "on ramp," Breaking Defense reported Tuesday

“So, 5G is going to be one of the cool things that we bring to the battlefield in the next OnRamp. 5G is going to be evolving — China’s pushing standards, (but) US industry wants to push back with things that we believe are going to be more secure,” Roper said during a YouTube "ask me anything" session. 

The next demonstration will be held from Aug. 31 to Sept. 5 and will serve as the second iteration of the Air Force's effort to develop what Roper calls a "military internet of things." It will involve 33 different platforms, 70 industry teams and 65 government teams, added Roper, a three-time Wash100 winner and a past Potomac Officers Club event speaker.

According to a past Breaking Defense report, the upcoming demonstration will include a simulated attack on U.S. space assets and will involve Space Command, Northern Command and Strategic Command. 

Roper said he hopes the demonstration will advance military capabilities that rely on machine learning and artificial intelligence.  

The Air Force announced in early July that a third demonstration will support the Indo-Pacific Command and SPACECOM. Its objective is to connect "sensors and shooters in a geographical operational theater outside the U.S. for the first time."

“ABMS is about taking the concept of the OODA Loop and transcending it from something that people do to something that machines do," Roper said. 

OODA, which stands for Observe, Orient, Decide and Act, is a decision-making process considered fundamental in U.S. warfighting. 

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