DAYTON, Ohio — An initiative led by a southwest Ohio military base will test technologies like directed energy and hypersonics to determine if the weapons can be fielded on future battlefields, officials said.

The Air Force Strategic Development Planning and Execution Office has a staff of 15 at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton and will report its findings to the top Air Force general and secretary of the Air Force, the Dayton Daily News reported ( ).

“This is a new way of doing capability development for the Air Force,” Office Director Jack Blackhurst said.

The new field office is part of the Air Force Research Laboratory headquartered in Washington and will target Air Force-wide strategic requirements, rather than major command tactical needs, Blackhurst said. The initiative will report on the results of experiments, war gaming, modeling and simulation research, and the feasibility of prototypes as future weapon systems.

“We might be asked to go do some experiments to get something in the warfighters’ hands to go try out and see if they really work or not in the capacity that they want them to,” he said.

The initiative is important to help the Air Force keep its military edge over potential enemies without wasting time or money, said Loren Thompson, a senior defense analyst with the Virginia-based Lexington Institute and an industry consultant. He said the goal is to make the Air Force “more agile.”

Information from: Dayton Daily News,