AFOTEC hosts spring Scientific Advisory Board meeting Published May 3, 2012 By Katherine C. Gandara Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center Chief of Public Affairs Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M. -- The Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center hosted the 2012 U.S. Air Force Scientific Advisory Board spring meeting at its Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., headquarters April 23-27. The 52-member SAB consists of scientists and engineers representing expertise from academia, industry and national laboratories. The SAB promotes the exchange of the latest scientific and technical information that may enhance Air Force mission accomplishment. The board also considers challenges affecting the Air Force's use of scientific knowledge and technological advances. The board's function is advisory, providing findings and recommendations to Air Force senior leadership. Established during World War II, the board is organized under the Federal Advisory Committee Act, which ensures advice from advisory committees is objective and accessible to the public. "The SAB brings people with deep technical expertise together to look at key Air Force problems" said Dr. Eliahu Niewood, SAB chairman. "However, some of the board members don't have an understanding of how the Air Force operates and what it does. That's why we hold our meetings at different bases and organizations to help members understand the Air Force mission so they can better understand what is needed. AFOTEC is such an important part of what the Air Force does that the SAB thought it worthwhile for the members to understand the Center's mission and see some of the other things going on at Kirtland." SAB members toured the Air Force Research Laboratory Starfire Optical Range and the 58th Special Operations Wing April 24. SAB study topics come from the Air Force community at large and are approved by the secretary and chief of staff of the Air Force. "During this session we looked at three studies that include cyber situational awareness, nontraditional intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance for contested and denied environments, and the extended use of space sensors," said Dr. Niewood. "The SAB will brief the results of these studies to the secretary and the chief at the end of June." Dr. Niewood explained how important the SAB's role is in today's defense environment. "The SAB can help in today's climate where there is pressure from a declining budget," he said. "We can aid the Air Force to be a smarter buyer of technology, because technology can either help or, if used improperly, it can cost a lot of money and not deliver what is needed. We are an independent and objective body with a lot of technical expertise that can be leveraged to help the Air Force navigate through this time of budgetary austerity." "The SAB's time at Kirtland was very productive and we appreciate the great support we received from AFOTEC and the entire Kirtland team," said Dr. Niewood. "The SAB has a proud history of contributing to the Air Force mission and we will continue to leverage the best minds in the nation to support the Air Force's tradition of leading the way in technological innovation."