WASHINGTON – Today at a Senate Armed Services Readiness and Management Support Subcommittee hearing, Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) questioned leaders of the United States Air Force (USAF) on the readiness of the branch.

Senator Ernst questioned USAF Secretary Heather Wilson, stating, “You did reference some of the challenges that you’re facing in regards to sustainment of weapon systems of equipment, particularly with regard to the maintenance and the logistics. I was pleased to see that the Air Force does continue to look for ways to improve efficiency and cost-effectiveness. Going back to emerging threats and capabilities, one of the things we spend some time talking about is artificial intelligence (AI). We do continue to hear about the potential benefits of AI and machine learning on issues such as predictive maintenance. Is the Air Force currently utilizing these types of technologies or do you think these emerging technologies present a cost-effective means of improving maintenance and logistics within the Air Force?”

Secretary Wilson responded, saying, that the Air Force is testing out Conditions-Based Maintenance Plus, which involves both predictive analytics and sensing on aircraft, and that with this, they are seeing a significant reduction in cost and unscheduled maintenance.

To watch the questioning in full, click here.


Senator Ernst is the chairman of the Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities. Today’s hearing included testimony from Dr. Heather Wilson, Secretary of the Air Force; General David Goldfein, Chief of Staff of the Air Force; and, Mr. John Pendleton, Director of Defense Capabilities and Management for the U.S. Government Accountability Office.