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5 AFRL Mission Area Leads Instituted to Meet USSF Science & Tech Needs; Andy Williams Quoted

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Maj. Gen. Heather Pringle, commander of the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, named five space mission area leads and created the role of deputy technology executive officer for space science and technology to prioritize S&T needs in support of the U.S. Space Force, AFRL reported Friday.

The new Andrew “Andy”Williams, deputy TEO for space S&T at AFRL, said the space MALs will facilitate client engagement with external stakeholders and help ensure communication by translating between S&T platforms and operational capability gaps.

The five space mission areas are space information mobility under Wellesley Pereira; space domain awareness under Laura Durr; space logistics, access and mobility under Robert Antypas; space superiority under Lt. Col. Michael “Peewee” Sherman; and space security and international partnerships under Ron Caton.

“The five new space MALs will assist me with integrating technical capabilities across the AFRL enterprise to provide the USSF with the necessary technology to deter our adversaries in space,” Williams said.

Williams said the MALs have started to discuss the goals they want to meet by the end of 2023 and those goals are documenting integrated space technology strategy and strengthening S&T communication across the Space Force.

He added that he plans to broaden four major focus areas within the AFRL portfolio: hybrid architecture; emerging technologies such as machine learning, autonomy, machine intelligence and quantum; integration with the Space Force; and space logistics.

“So, to maintain that technical advantage, it’s critical that we maintain that S&T pipeline, from basic research all the way to advanced capabilities and prototyping, and then delivering that to the acquisition communities,” Williams said. “You can then provide the critical capabilities to the warfighter, and AFRL has a role in almost that entire pipeline.”