Battle Labs Closing
The Air Force Times reports that budget constraints are forcing the close of all seven of its battle labs:
The labs, which functioned as centers of innovation and technology aimed to improve or develop tools for combatant commanders, were stood up nearly a decade ago.
It is worth noting that the Air Force's first battle lab was established in response to the terrorist bombing of Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia. Ironically, we are currently engaged with an enemy that constantly changes tactics and adopts new methodologies (read: innovates) in response to our superior physical force and technological advantages. One could argue that the Air Force has a smaller dog in the fight when compared to the Army or Marines, but the recent rash of aircraft that have been brought down over the skies of Baghdad should give every aviator pause.
If there is one thing all our armed forces need to be doing more of, it is innovating, which makes closing the battle labs a penny-wise, dollar-foolish mistake.