There is a wave of digital transformation disrupting industries globally. While military airbases have been little impacted so far, it is only a matter of time. With it, the roles of engineers and logisticians will change. Now is the moment to start thinking about how to make that transition in time to meet the oncoming digital airbase revolution.

This change will be brought about by the combination of numerous new technologies surfing in on a massive digital wave. These technologies include artificial intelligence, big data, cloud computing, the internet of things, autonomous vehicles, robotics, 3D printing and human augmentation. The rate of change is likely to rapidly escalate as more and more new technologies join the mix.

Dr. Layton’s paper discusses the technologies involved in the approaching digital transformation, explores what an automated airbase might comprise, postulates possible future geostrategic contexts within which these advanced airbases might generate air power, highlights the new roles future engineers and logisticians might be doing on such airbases, and then outlines the broad skills these individuals may require.  The next fifteen years look set to being a period of exciting, non-linear change on airbases.