Mr. Unger visits KR

By Kessel Run Public Affairs

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass., (JUNE 29, 2023) – U.S. Central Command’s director of resources and analysis visited Kessel Run here June 29, 2023, to discuss his priorities and the role of command and control.

Robert Unger spoke to more than 120 Kessel Runners in person and virtually about Central Command’s focus on Combined Joint All-Domain Command and Control capabilities and data interoperability. Unger is a senior advisor to the CENTCOM commander; he advises on all matters related to warfighting analysis, decision support analysis, requirements and capability gaps, budget and resourcing, and science and technology.

Unger said his job is to understand current and future operational requirements in the CENTCOM area of responsibility, to help provide the air component leaders with the tools they need to provide air power at scale. Key to this, he said, is data interoperability and programs like the ones Kessel Run builds and manages.

“Data is a weapon,” Unger said. “It’s more important than an F-35, more important than a nuclear submarine, and more important than an Apache helicopter. If we can cause our enemies to react, or we can take actions that will prevent them from doing something bad to us, that's our counteroffensive.”

Unger said the Department of Defense is focusing on modernization and posture, as well as continuing to build key relationships with coalition partners throughout the CENTCOM AOR in order to compete strategically. He said maintaining relationships includes hosting key leader engagements, assisting in humanitarian efforts, performing exercises and conducting outreach events. He views this as the piece of the strategy that will influence operations today while posturing and modernization will influence the future.

“Anything you can do to get people on your team that think differently than you do prompts diversity,” Unger said about working with partner nations. “They’ve had different experiences, and in turn, have different approaches to problems. This will give us a different insight into what we can do better in our AOR.”

The CJADC2 strategy is becoming a reality for CENTCOM within the DOD’s modernization efforts. CJADC2 is the support in the development of innovative technologies and provides a willingness to modify existing policies, authorities, organizational constructs, and operational procedures in order to deliver information and decision support to commanders.

“In building C2 systems like those here at Kessel Run, speed and awareness are most important,” Unger said. “Having these data driven, analytical tools to help us understand and prioritize the information we receive will allow us to make more informed decisions. The efforts here at Kessel Run are assisting us in being the warfighting piece of the CJADC2 strategy.”

The transition to modern systems requires understanding the balance in maintaining capabilities that address current needs, while still investing in the future. Kessel Run and CENTCOM will continue to work closely together as the DOD focuses on innovation and modernization to better prepare for tomorrow’s fight.

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