United States Air Force Academy

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Prepared to solve the unknown problems of tomorrow

The Academy acknowledges our nation is in an era of great power competition, where our freedom to operate in the air and in space cannot be taken for granted — We must accelerate change or lose.  The Academy will do just that; develop innovative, creative, and bold thinkers and leaders, prepared to solve the unknown problems of tomorrow.

Institute for Future Conflict

The new Institute for Future Conflict (IFC) will focus on research and education that examines the changing character and technologies of armed conflict while providing future officers with the skills to be agile and adaptive throughout their careers. Researchers and faculty will emphasize deterrence and competitive advantage when conflict becomes necessary.

The IFC will help bring about a convergence of the many efforts already going on at the Academy within its scholars program and more than 20 other institutes, centers, laboratories and programs, such that all of them can become aligned with the idea of producing leaders exceptionally well prepared to lead war fighters in the 21st century.

The Institute will build a foundation of excellence in thinking about how the United States can plan for and approach future conflicts, helping cadets research topics and themes from the National Defense Strategy, as well as the future aerospace domain, the future cyber domain and the study of information dominance.

FROM THE DIRECTOR

“I believe it is the mission of all Service Academies to ensure their officers are prepared to excel and win in any future environment they may encounter throughout their career.” – Lt Gen (ret) Bradford Shwedo, Director, Institute of Future Conflict

Our intent is to lead initiatives in a collaborative way with the USAFA Mission Elements, Department heads and the CCLD that will develop leaders who recognize and understand that future conflict is inherently joint and multi-discipline. We are focused on leveraging partnerships and opportunities with other elements of government, academia and industry that will afford outstanding educational opportunities and potential solutions to some our country’s toughest problems.

All cadets will gain familiarity with emerging and disruptive technologies. Cadets will understand the impact these technologies will have on future conflict and they will explore the opportunities and challenges of the employment of these technologies by adversaries and allies. The IFC also expects the faculty to be exposed to these technologies, so they can adapt courses they are teaching to address the impacts that may be expected on society, and also the impact of society on the application of the technology on the character of warfare. In addition, through our interaction with government, academia and industry, these cadets and faculty should be a part of the solution to many of our country’s most pressing problems. By establishing IFC at USAFA, we are also empowered to leverage many of the facilities from within — The Center for Character and Leadership Development (CCLD), Wind Tunnels, AFCyberWORX, UAS Center, CyberCity, Multi-domain simulators, Cadet Space Operations, etc.– to enhanced all of the IFC goals.

Anyone who would not be overwhelmed by the all the tasks associated with this job would be either extremely naïve or ignorant. As with any large job, it is best to jump in and I’m lucky to have so many great teammates that have been willing to support the multiple lines of operations focused on solving this large task. I’m psyched to be part of a team that is focused on developing Airmen and Guardians capable of leadership across an increasingly broad spectrum of military domains.

CONTACT US

Col Beth Makros
Beth.Makros@afacademy.af.edu