AFMC Command News

AFRL Future Flag series grows in scope, size with new funding, alliances

  • Published
  • By Marc DeNofio  
  • Air Force Research Laboratory Public Affairs

The Air Force Research Laboratory, or AFRL, Information Directorate is bringing together approximately 150 participants representing a variety of U.S. military branches,  technologies and aircraft to upstate New York for the Future Flag event, August 26, 2024. Future Flag is an experimentation series that aims to accelerate the development, demonstration and fielding of innovative capabilities for Combined Joint All Domain Command and Control, or CJADC2, Autonomy and Artificial Intelligence, and other capabilities needed for to deter potential future conflicts in Indo-Pacific and European Commands.

"We don't get to practice and test these concepts with non-government organizations, industry and the military very often; this event allows us to understand what we can do together," said AFRL Information Directorate Director Col. Fred Garcia II.

The event will also include participants from the Army 10th Mountain Division, Army Development Command, Armaments Center, and C5ISR Center, the 174th Attack Wing, 274th Air Support Operations Squadron, 152nd Air Operations Group, New York Air National Guard and Special Operations Command Pacific.

According to Pete LaMonica, chief of AFRL ’s, High Performance Systems branch, Future Flag is an ideal environment for limited-objective experimentation, rapid development, and fielding of innovative, multi-domain capabilities. It has open radio frequency spectrum, ample airspace, relevant terrain, necessary targeting opportunities and required infrastructure.

Additionally, LaMonica noted the demands of potential future conflicts require the maturation of enablers such as Electromagnetic Warfare, Cyber Operations and other capabilities that straddle or connect through one or many traditional warfare domains, such as air, ground, space and maritime.

The Future Flag event series is part of the Northeast Multi-Domain Operations Alliance, or NEMDO, a newly formed alliance that facilitates and administrates a collaborative regional ecosystem that serves as a risk-reduction series for multi-service capstone experimentation and provides domain advantages and opportunities to integrate cross-domain capabilities across services. NEMDO also provides year-round convergence opportunities that break down traditional siloed experimentation barriers.

"Our concept for what the future of warfighting looks like falls in line with the vision of AFRL,” said Col. Thomas Goettke, commander of the Army's 10th Mountain Division's Division Artillery. “The U.S. Army is highly focused on converting joint warfighting concepts into essential capabilities for the future, especially in a contested environment. In order to achieve this, jointly, we look for opportunities to leverage each other’s capabilities to enhance our own understanding and competency, and to further collaboration between our military services and commands, industry and our allies."

Future Flag has received Congressional funding of $25 million and allows government and non-government organizations to communicate effectively on expected outcomes. The event involves posing a series of offensive and defensive scenarios during the experiment, ranging from active and inactive adversary detection and communications techniques to rescuing injured military personnel from downed aircraft. AFRL scientists and technical experts will coordinate with other participants to test the limits of their capabilities while developing ways to work together more efficiently.

"I think there are myriad benefits, but more importantly, it will help us train to fight together, survive together, and win together," said Garcia. "It makes our capabilities more efficient and effective."

AFRL organizes Future Flag across government and contractor facilities in the upstate New York region to create combat-like situations in a controlled environment involving all personnel.

About AFRL
The Air Force Research Laboratory is the primary scientific research and development center for the Department of the Air Force. AFRL plays an integral role in leading the discovery, development, and integration of affordable warfighting technologies for our air, space and cyberspace force. With a workforce of more than 12,500 across nine technology areas and 40 other operations across the globe, AFRL provides a diverse portfolio of science and technology ranging from fundamental to advanced research and technology development. For more information, visit