If you want to see one of the fundamental ways warfare has changed, you should visit our airmen who work in warehouse-sized, windowless buildings scattered around the world. They operate something that we call the Distributed Common Ground System, which is military parlance for a vast network that feeds data to Air Force intelligence analysts in real time. The analysts work around the clock staying in constant contact with U.S. troops fighting the Islamic State while simultaneously keeping an eye on global hotspots.
As revolutionary as these networked intelligence ground stations are, they are showing their age. We are in the midst of transforming the machinery and networks in these sites to cutting-edge cloud-and-app-based systems.