Major General Michael R. Boera joined Leidos after an impressive career that spanned more than 30 years with the United States Air Force (USAF). General Boera was the Director of Air Force Programs within the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Strategic Plans and Programs for the USAF when he retired.
With more than 5,600 flying hours and over 200 combat missions to his name, Boera also led the development and integration of the Air Force Program across the Future Years Defence Plan and managed the Air Force Corporate Structure Process. His expertise in how to integrate advanced technology to enable Air Force missions makes him the perfect leader for growing Leidos' working relationships with the service.
Boera, reflecting on how he focused on strategic integration from the early days of his Air Force career, speaks about the young talent that he worked with: “I had a young captain from then AF Space Command assigned to my fighter group in Japan. We learned more about the integration of space to our warfighting mission than from anybody else that we'd come into contact with before. It was of course a win-win situation for the USAF, as the young ‘space’ captain learned much about warfighting from my young fighter pilots as well. Many in the unit developed into senior leaders within the flying community as he did within the space community bringing those lessons learned with them.”
“As time moved forward we lost some of that face-to-face integration largely due to manpower constraints. But it is not totally lost. There is phenomenal integration of capabilities happening at places like Nellis AFB within the Air Force Warfare Center and put to the test during Red Flag exercises. And today, the Department of the Air Force is in a much better place as far as realizing the importance, actually the imperative for the integration of air and space capability.”
The discussion regarding digital transformation and incorporation of artificial intelligence and machine learning is also healthy and much more robust today than it was when I was still in uniform. Today, trusted artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies developed by Leidos can help drive that digital transformation,” Boera adds.
“The combination of methodologies and technologies have been extremely beneficial to us. By bringing automation into play, with trusted artificial intelligence and machine learning we can help the warfighter build confidence and trust as well as gain efficiencies saving time in the long run. That's not to say that we don’t want a human decision maker in place at key junctures. It is a matter of using a rheostat from one end of the spectrum, analysis, to the other end, full-up automation, in order to reduce sensor to shooter time for the warfighter. They will ultimately decide what they feel comfortable with and where they want to maintain a level of human intervention.”
“Realistically speaking, I suspect potentially 75 percent of the processes needed to get the right effect on the right target at the right time and place can be automated, but there will always be a time for the human to be in the loop making decisions. I can’t foresee a scenario where the machine is making all of the decisions for us. But today we try to include a human in everything that we do. They turn the switch, make the comms connection, and make most if not all the decisions every step of the way, but with trusted AI and ML showing such great promise and affording such great efficiencies, we all have to evolve as technology evolves. Every aspect of the force today needs to evolve within the umbrella of digital transformation; the need for speed is that important to the warfighter.”
“I would say that trusted AI and ML, and I’ll emphasise the trusted aspect here, is going to be a key feature in finding efficiencies in command and control across the warfighting domains going forward. We are setting the pace of performance with next generation digital transformation.”