Schwartz Discusses Change in the U.S. Air Force

WASHINGTON, Oct. 12, 2010 — The world has changed and the Unit­ed States Air Force must change too, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Nor­ton Schwartz said at the Nation­al Press Club here today.

Schwartz made the point that polit­i­cal lead­ers have been deal­ing with the effects of glob­al­iza­tion since the 1970s, but that the cir­cum­stances and con­di­tions that glob­al­iza­tion engen­ders con­tin­u­al­ly change.

What the Unit­ed States faces today, he said, is dif­fer­ent than any­thing the nation has con­front­ed in the past.

“The rub is, of course, that we can only esti­mate the nature of the future threats, the capa­bil­i­ties of poten­tial adver­saries or the topog­ra­phy of future oper­at­ing envi­ron­ments,” Schwartz said. “We are not afford­ed, and nev­er be, com­plete cer­ti­tude about such things.”

The eco­nom­ic envi­ron­ment also influ­ences the choic­es lead­ers must make and the paths the nation –- and the Air Force -– must fol­low. Tril­lion-dol­lar deficits will lim­it what the ser­vice can buy.

“We can­not com­mit sub­stan­tial finan­cial invest­ments to pre­pare for an infi­nite vari­ety of con­tin­gen­cies,” he said. “We must be more flex­i­ble across a wide -– but far from infi­nite -– range of con­tin­gen­cies, and [be] more ver­sa­tile and effi­cient in every­thing we under­take.”

The Air Force must bal­ance today’s needs with tomorrow’s chal­lenges, he said, adding that his ser­vice must be more agile and faster than in the past. That is noth­ing new to the Air Force, he added, as it is the nature of oper­a­tions in air and space to be quick.

Schwartz said the Air Force also must be more effi­cient. “An impor­tant strat­e­gy is to reduce over­head oper­at­ing costs, to cre­ate more sav­ings and shift them direct­ly to force struc­ture and mod­ern­iza­tion, and to warfight­ing needs,” he said.

Being more effi­cient also requires a new way of work­ing with oth­ers, Schwartz said. Schwartz said he and Adm. Gary Rough­head, the chief of naval oper­a­tions, are ful­ly com­mit­ted to a new part­ner­ship called “Air-Sea Bat­tle.” The part­ner­ship, Schwartz said, will enable the Navy and the Air Force to project pow­er in new ways.

First, the Navy and Air Force will work togeth­er insti­tu­tion­al­ly, Schwartz said. A sec­ond way to work togeth­er, he said, calls for agree­ment on how Navy and Air Force sys­tems will inte­grate and oper­ate togeth­er.

“A third way of coop­er­at­ing is mate­ri­al­ly with inter­op­er­abil­i­ty among cur­rent sys­tems and inte­grat­ed acqui­si­tion strate­gies for future joint capa­bil­i­ties,” Schwartz said. All this, he said, will ampli­fy the ser­vices’ effec­tive­ness.

The U.S. Air Force defends the skies over the Unit­ed States and allied coun­tries and over friend­ly forces wher­ev­er they may be based, the gen­er­al said. Pre­ci­sion strike world­wide, tanker and air­lift sup­port, satel­lite con­nec­tiv­i­ty and ear­ly warn­ing, he added, are all part of the Air Force’s core mis­sion. And, air­men are help­ing to rebuild war-torn areas, con­duct­ing con­voy oper­a­tions, man­ning out­posts and oth­er non-tra­di­tion­al jobs, the gen­er­al said.

Yet, “con­trol of air and space; hold­ing at risk prac­ti­cal­ly any tar­get on the Earth’s sur­face; intel­li­gence, sur­veil­lance and recon­nais­sance; air­lift and the com­mand and con­trol of space capa­bil­i­ties, again, will remain our most fun­da­men­tal and endur­ing core con­tri­bu­tions,” Schwartz said.

Source:
U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)

More news and arti­cles can be found on Face­book and Twit­ter.

Fol­low GlobalDefence.net on Face­book and/or on Twit­ter

Team GlobDef

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist GlobalDefence.net im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. GlobalDefenc.net war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →