Air Force officials have detailed a Howard University partnership in which the Historically Black College or University (HBCU) will lead a University Affiliated Research Center.
The focus on military systems tactical autonomy technology earmarks $12 million annually for Howard University for five years to fund research, faculty, and students.
“Autonomous systems make our military faster, smarter, and more combat-credible,” Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said. “They equip commanders with the best possible information to support life-and-death decisions. And I have no doubt that the advancements that will come out of Howard’s new research center will do even more to protect our most precious asset-our men and women in uniform.”
The U.S. Department of the Air Force and Air Force Research Laboratory personnel partnership objectives include establishing and maintaining essential Air Force research and development capabilities as a means of delivering operationally relevant autonomy; growing and diversifying the pool of scientists and engineers to support the Air Force while establishing a source of organic technical excellence; and seeding a science, research, and development ecosystem of small and large businesses, academia and the Department of Defense.
“We need a team of decision-makers, researchers, scientists, engineers, and leaders who are committed to security and liberty and are excited to work on some of the world’s most important problems,” Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall said. “If those with the intent to preserve peace don’t solve these technical challenges first, those with malign intent will acquire a significant advantage. This is a momentous historical occasion for the Department of the Air Force, the Department of Defense, and Howard University.”