The Mitchell Institute’s Aerospace Advantage Podcast
Episode 27 - Guiding the Fight: Airborne Command and Control

Episode 27 - Guiding the Fight: Airborne Command and Control

June 19, 2021

Episode 27 – Guiding the Fight: Airborne Command and Control

Episode Summary:

In episode 27 of the Aerospace Advantage, Guiding the Fight: Airborne Command and Control, join battle manager Major Alex Wallis to explore why the information advantage is crucial at the tactical edge of the battle space. For decades, the E-3 AWACS and E-8 JSTARS have defined the command and control mission, their 707 airframes and huge radars are unmistakable icons. However, given the rapid evolution of technology in the information age, the way in which these missions are executed is going to change—whether talking about the power of space-based assets, artificial intelligence, or increased connectivity. What won’t change is the continued importance of command and control. It’s all about understanding how to maximize a relative position to best achieve the mission, while avoiding or minimizing threats. It doesn’t matter whether you’re on the ground or in the air—information is life.

Links:

The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies website: https://www.mitchelleaerospacepower.org

The Mitchell Institute Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Mitchell.Institute.Aerospace

The Mitchell Institute LinkedIn Page: https://linkedin.com/company/mitchellaerospacepower

The Mitchell Institute Twitter: @MitchellStudies

The Mitchell Institute Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/themitchellinstituteforaero/ @themitchellinstituteforaero

Credits:

Host:  Lt Col John “Slick” Baum, USAF, ret.

Producer: Daniel C. Rice

Executive Producer: Douglas Birkey

Guest: Lt Gen (ret.) David Deptula, Dean, The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies

Guest: Maj Alex “Big Bobby” Wallis, USAF

Episode 26 - Producing an Agile Air Force: The Case for Change

Episode 26 - Producing an Agile Air Force: The Case for Change

June 12, 2021

Episode 26 – Producing an Agile Air Force: The Case for Change

Episode Summary:

In episode 26 of the Aerospace Advantage: Producing an Agile Air Force: The Case for Change, Heather Penney explains why the Air Force is the oldest and smallest that it has ever been. For decades, the service has been unable to effectively transform and scale its force design into one that is positioned to meet the nation’s future security needs. The problem isn’t simply budget. Decades of acquisition behavior have decreased competition, forcing the defense industry to consolidate, focus on system integration, and shift profit centers away from innovation and production and towards sustainment. This episode explores how the Air Force can rejuvenate the aerospace industrial base to achieve a force that can innovatively outpace peer adversaries.

Links:

The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies website: https://www.mitchelleaerospacepower.org

The Mitchell Institute Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Mitchell.Institute.Aerospace

The Mitchell Institute LinkedIn Page: https://linkedin.com/company/mitchellaerospacepower

The Mitchell Institute Twitter: @MitchellStudies

The Mitchell Institute Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/themitchellinstituteforaero/%20

@themitchellinstituteforaero

Credits:

Host:  Lt Col John “Slick” Baum, USAF, ret.

Producer: Daniel C. Rice

Executive Producer: Douglas Birkey

Guest: Maj (ret.) Heather “Lucky” Penney, Senior Fellow, The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies

Episode 25 - The Rendezvous: The FY22 Defense Budget Request

Episode 25 - The Rendezvous: The FY22 Defense Budget Request

June 5, 2021

Episode 25 – The Rendezvous: The FY22 Defense Budget Request

Episode Summary:

In episode 25 of the Aerospace Advantage: The Rendezvous the Mitchell Institute team discusses their initial impressions of the FY2022 defense budget submission to Congress, which has significant implications for the future of the Air Force and Space Force. Demands around the globe are calling for a new generation of air and space capabilities. While next generation technologies are important, so too is capacity. This leaves leaders striving to achieve a delicate balance. Add the demands of standing up a new service in the form of the Space Force, and this is a challenging endeavor. Hear our experts assess the strengths and weaknesses of this budget and what it will ultimately mean for tomorrow’s airmen and guardians.

Links:

The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies website: https://www.mitchelleaerospacepower.org

The Mitchell Institute Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Mitchell.Institute.Aerospace

The Mitchell Institute LinkedIn Page: https://linkedin.com/company/mitchellaerospacepower

The Mitchell Institute Twitter: @MitchellStudies

The Mitchell Institute Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/themitchellinstituteforaero/ @themitchellinstituteforaero

Credits:

Host:  Lt Col John “Slick” Baum, USAF, ret.

Producer: Daniel C. Rice

Executive Producer: Douglas Birkey

Guest: The Honorable Matt Donovan, Director, Mitchell Institute Spacepower Advantage Research Center

Guest: Douglas Birkey, Executive Director, The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies

Guest: Col (ret.) Mark “Gonzo” Gunzinger, Director of Future Concepts and Capabilities Assessments, The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies

Guest: Maj (ret.) Heather “Lucky” Penney, Senior Fellow, The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies

Guest: Chris Stone, Senior Fellow, Mitchell Institute Spacepower Advantage Research Center

Episode 24 - Engineering the Future: Air Force S&T

Episode 24 - Engineering the Future: Air Force S&T

May 28, 2021

Episode 24 – Engineering the Future: Air Force S&T

Episode Summary:

In episode 24 of the Aerospace Advantage podcast: Engineering the Future: Air Force S&T, host John “Slick” Baum sits down with Maj Chris Olsen to discuss air and space power innovation.

As an Air Force engineer, Maj Olsen has worked on some of the most sophisticated programs in the service’s science and technology portfolio—including manned-unmanned teaming and autonomy. It’s no secret that the history of aerospace power is full of technological competitions. Miss a step on the technological ladder and you could find yourself on the losing side of a war.

Learn how the Air Force identifies challenges, explores how technology can be part of the solution, and then invents what was previously the impossible. It all comes down to people with the right insights, drive, and determination.

 

Maj Chris Olsen is a U.S. Air Force military fellow at the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies. The views expressed in this interview are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the U.S. Air Force, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.

Links:

The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies website: https://www.mitchelleaerospacepower.org

The Mitchell Institute Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Mitchell.Institute.Aerospace

The Mitchell Institute LinkedIn Page: https://linkedin.com/company/mitchellaerospacepower

The Mitchell Institute Twitter: @MitchellStudies

The Mitchell Institute Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/themitchellinstituteforaero/ @themitchellinstituteforaero

Credits:

Host:  Lt Col John “Slick” Baum, USAF, ret.

Producer: Daniel C. Rice

Executive Producer: Douglas Birkey

Guest: Maj Chris Olsen, USAF

Episode 23 - B-1 Fight Ops: Bad to the Bone

Episode 23 - B-1 Fight Ops: Bad to the Bone

May 22, 2021

Episode 23 – B-1 Flight Ops: Bad to the Bone

Episode Summary:

In episode 23 of the Aerospace Advantage podcast: B-1 Flight Ops: Bad to the Bone, Host John “Slick” Baum sits down with B-1 pilot Lt Col Mark “Moses” Kimball to discuss what it’s like to strap into an iconic bomber, roar down the runway, and execute a combat mission. No aircraft can match the record of the workhorse B-1, which has fought and flown non-stop over the past 20 years. In the wake of the attacks of September 11th, when America and its allies launched Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, this aircraft was at the forefront of the action. The reason for this was simple: we had few regional bases in the area. The B-1’s range and payload allowed it to conduct missions few other aircraft could match. This was especially important given how stretched thin tankers were at the time, making the attributes of the B-1 invaluable. As the conflict evolved, the demand for the B-1 never declined. The kickoff of Operation Iraqi Freedom grew the aircraft’s popularity even more. This meant the B-1 community was flying combat operations on a non-stop basis for nearly two decades. This was far from easy, but the aircrews and maintainers answered the call.

Lt Col Kimball is a U.S. Air Force military fellow at the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies. The views expressed in this interview are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the U.S. Air Force, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.

Links:

The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies website: https://www.mitchelleaerospacepower.org

The Mitchell Institute Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Mitchell.Institute.Aerospace

The Mitchell Institute LinkedIn Page: https://linkedin.com/company/mitchellaerospacepower

The Mitchell Institute Twitter: @MitchellStudies

The Mitchell Institute Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/themitchellinstituteforaero/ @themitchellinstituteforaero

Credits:

Host:  Lt Col John “Slick” Baum, USAF, ret.

Producer: Daniel C. Rice

Executive Producer: Douglas Birkey

Guest: Lt Col Mark “Moses” Kimball, USAF

Episode 22 - Building the Force to Win: Advice for the Biden Defense Team

Episode 22 - Building the Force to Win: Advice for the Biden Defense Team

May 15, 2021

Episode 22 – Building the Force to Win: Advice for the Biden Defense Team

Episode Summary:

In episode 22 of the Aerospace Advantage podcast: “Building the Force to Win: Advice for the Biden Defense Team,” Mitchell Institute experts Mark Gunzinger and Lukas Autenried explore the military attributes that are required to meet tomorrow’s national security challenges. Every four years, as prescribed by Congress, each administration must evaluate the global threat picture and chart a corresponding forward vector. This is an exceedingly important process that must focus on the challenges as they are, not what might be convenient to believe. This overarching framework, known as the National Defense Strategy, is what drives a broad range of decisions, ranging from strategy and operational concepts, to buying new weapons systems to sizing force structure. This episode explores this process, with Gunzinger and Autenried offering their recommendations for what it will take to prevail.

Links:

The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies website: https://www.mitchelleaerospacepower.org

The Mitchell Institute Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Mitchell.Institute.Aerospace

The Mitchell Institute LinkedIn Page: https://linkedin.com/company/mitchellaerospacepower

The Mitchell Institute Twitter: @MitchellStudies

The Mitchell Institute Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/themitchellinstituteforaero/ @themitchellinstituteforaero

Credits:

Host:  Lt Col John “Slick” Baum, USAF, ret.

Guest host: Douglas Birkey, Executive Director, The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies

Producer: Daniel C. Rice

Executive Producer: Douglas Birkey

Guest: Col (ret.) Mark “Gonzo” Gunzinger, Director of Future Concepts and Capability Assessments, The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies 

Guest: Lukas Autenried, Senior Analyst, The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies

Episode 21 - The Merge: National Security Space and the Future of Air-to-Ground Munitions

Episode 21 - The Merge: National Security Space and the Future of Air-to-Ground Munitions

May 1, 2021

Episode 21 – The Merge: National Security Space and the Future of Air-to-Ground Munitions

Episode Summary:

Join the Mitchell Institute experts for the third installment of “The Merge.” This is your opportunity to hear from leading experts in the air and space community regarding top issues that are in today’s national security debate. This episode introduces Matt Donovan, Mitchell Institute’s new lead for its Spacepower Advantage Research Center and explores his take on the challenges and opportunities facing Space Force and Space Command. Mr. Donovan joins Mitchell after serving as the Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, the Under Secretary of the Air Force, and as a staff member on the Senate Armed Services Committee. The Mitchell team also explores new trends that are emerging in the air-to-ground munition realm—a very dynamic field given the return of peer competition.

Full Topic Guide

This week we introduce a new voice to “The Merge”, Matt Donovan, former Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, and Under Secretary of the Air Force who has joined the Mitchell Institute as the Director of the new Mitchell Institute Spacepower Advantage Research Center (MI-SPARC).

Host John “Slick” Baum introduces Mr. Donovan and the members of the roundtable ask Mr. Donovan his take on some of the key issues facing Space Force and Space Command. Mr. Donovan also describes what his top issue priorities for the MI-SPARC issue agenda.

The team then discusses a key issue facing the Air Force: developing the next generation of air-to-ground munitions that will meet a broad range of emerging requirements. Many of the Air Force’s current air-to-ground munitions are decades’ old. They were designed for a problem set that no longer stacks up with the new requirements unfolding in an renewed era of peer competition. Mitchell experts discuss the attributes that will be increasingly important for these new tools.

Links:

The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies website: https://www.mitchelleaerospacepower.org

The Mitchell Institute Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Mitchell.Institute.Aerospace

The Mitchell Institute LinkedIn Page: https://linkedin.com/company/mitchellaerospacepower

The Mitchell Institute Twitter: @MitchellStudies

The Mitchell Institute Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/themitchellinstituteforaero/ @themitchellinstituteforaero

Credits:

Host:  Lt Col John “Slick” Baum, USAF, ret.

Producer: Daniel C. Rice

Executive Producer: Douglas Birkey

Guest: Lt Gen (ret.) David Deptula, Dean, The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies

Guest: The Honorable Matt Donovan, Director, The Mitchell Institute Spacepower Advantage Research Center

Guest: Douglas Birkey, Executive Director, The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies

Guest: Col (ret.) Mark “Gonzo” Gunzinger, Director of Future Concepts and Capability Assessments, The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies 

Guest: Maj (ret.) Heather Penney, Senior Fellow, The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies

Episode 20 - Command Perspective: The Royal Air Force

Episode 20 - Command Perspective: The Royal Air Force

April 24, 2021

Episode 20 –  Command Perspective: The Royal Air Force

Episode Summary:

In episode 20 of the Aerospace Advantage podcast: “Command Perspective: The Royal Air Force.” Air Chief Marshall Sir Mike Wigston, the head of the Royal Air Force, sits down with Mitchell Institute dean Lt Gen (ret) Dave Deptula and executive director Doug Birkey for an in-depth conversation regarding key opportunities and challenges facing his service. This is an incredibly encompassing dialogue, exploring everything from new aircraft investment decisions and national security space perspectives, to NATO’s future vector and the global threat environment from a UK perspective. In an era where no air force flies or fights alone, these insights are especially relevant to the security debate.

Links:

The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies website: https://www.mitchelleaerospacepower.org

The Mitchell Institute Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Mitchell.Institute.Aerospace

The Mitchell Institute LinkedIn Page: https://linkedin.com/company/mitchellaerospacepower

The Mitchell Institute Twitter: @MitchellStudies

The Mitchell Institute Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/themitchellinstituteforaero/ @themitchellinstituteforaero

Credits:

Host:  Lt Col John “Slick” Baum, USAF, ret.

Producer: Daniel C. Rice

Executive Producer: Douglas Birkey

Guest: Lt Gen (ret.) David Deptula, Dean, The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies

Guest: Douglas Birkey, Executive Director, The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies

Guest: Air Chief Marshal Sir Michael Wigston, Chief of the Air Staff, The Royal Air Force

Episode 19 - From the F-4 to the F-35: Decision Making at the Speed of Sound

Episode 19 - From the F-4 to the F-35: Decision Making at the Speed of Sound

April 18, 2021

Episode 19 –  From the F-4 to the F-35: Decision Making at the Speed of Sound

Episode Summary:

The Mitchell Institute is pleased to release episode 19 of its Aerospace Advantage podcast: From the F-4 to the F-35: Decision Making at the Speed of Sound. From the earliest days of air combat, success demanded extreme situational awareness. Whether detecting enemy fighters first and maneuvering for the first shot, first kill advantage, or understanding how to maneuver through the threat environment to successfully net desired mission results—flying and fighting comes down to a simple reality: information advantage is life. In World War I and World War II, much of that process relied on the basics of eyesight and mental cognition. Today, it involves an array of complex, hugely powerful sensors, processing power, and teamed connectivity between mission assets. Although various generations of combat aircraft may share some resemblance, their respective ability to harness the information advantage is vastly different. Join Maj Gen (ret) Larry "Stutz" Stutzriem, Heather "Lucky" Penney, and Justin "Hasard" Lee as they discuss this evolution from their personal perspectives via the F-4, F-16, and F-35.

Links:

The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies website: https://www.mitchelleaerospacepower.org

The Mitchell Institute Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Mitchell.Institute.Aerospace

The Mitchell Institute LinkedIn Page: https://linkedin.com/company/mitchellaerospacepower

The Mitchell Institute Twitter: @MitchellStudies

The Mitchell Institute Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/themitchellinstituteforaero/ @themitchellinstituteforaero

Justin "Hasard" Lee's The Professionals Playbook Podcast: https://www.professionalsplaybook.com/

Credits:

Host:  Lt Col John “Slick” Baum, USAF, ret.

Producer: Daniel C. Rice

Executive Producer: Douglas Birkey

Guest: Maj Gen (ret.) Lawrence "Stutz" Stutzriem, USAF, Director of Research, The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies

Guest: Maj (ret.) Heather "Lucky" Penney, Senior Fellow, The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies

Guest: Maj Justin “Hasard” Lee, USAF

Episode 18 - Flying and Fighting in the B-2: America’s Stealth Bomber

Episode 18 - Flying and Fighting in the B-2: America’s Stealth Bomber

April 11, 2021

Episode 18 – Flying and Fighting in the B-2: America’s Stealth Bomber

Episode Summary:

The Mitchell Institute is pleased to release episode 18 of its Aerospace Advantage podcast: Flying and Fighting in the B-2: America’s Stealth Bomber. Join us for an in-depth conversation with seasoned B-2 pilots Col. Keith Butler, Commander of the 509th Operations Group, and Lt. Col. Christopher Conant, Commander of the 393d Bomb Squadron of the 509th Bomb Wing. Ever since it took flight, the B-2 stands as one of the most lethal, combat capable, and technologically advanced aircraft ever invented. It can span the globe, penetrate into the most defended airspace, strike upwards of eighty independent targets, and return home safe. This is an incredible opportunity to hear from two B-2 pilots who know what it’s like to strap into the jet and fly into harm’s way. This is an episode you won’t want to miss.

Full Topic Guide

This week host John “Slick” Baum is joined by seasoned B-2 pilots Col Keith “Ghost” Butler, Commander of the 509th Operations Group, and Lt Col Christopher “Crank” Conant, Commander of the 393th Bomb Squadron of the 509th bomb wing to discuss what it is like to train, fly and fight in the B-2 bomber.

B-2 bombers are iconic for their wing-like design, but their performance capabilities are what set them apart. Not only are these airplanes stealthy, but they can carry upwards of eighty precision-guided weapons and span the globe on a single mission. They also fill two roles: conventional strike and as a component of the nuclear triad.

This podcast will afford a “flight line perspective” from two airmen who have deep experience within the B-2 community—both as pilots and as commanders. Learn what it’s like to fly this incredible aircraft, about the specific missions it undertakes, and where the Air Force is taking long range strike in the future.

Links:

The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies website: https://www.mitchelleaerospacepower.org

The Mitchell Institute Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Mitchell.Institute.Aerospace

The Mitchell Institute LinkedIn Page: https://linkedin.com/company/mitchellaerospacepower

The Mitchell Institute Twitter: @MitchellStudies

The Mitchell Institute Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/themitchellinstituteforaero/ @themitchellinstituteforaero

Credits:

Host:  Lt Col John “Slick” Baum, USAF, ret.

Producer: Daniel C. Rice

Executive Producer: Douglas Birkey

Guest: Col Keith Butler, Commander, 509th Operations Group, USAF

Guest: Lt Col Christopher Conant, Commander, 393rd Bomb Squadron of the 509th Bomb Wing, USAF