The future of air and space power.
Remarks to the Air Force Association's Air and Space Conference and Technology Exposition 2006, Washington, Sept. 27, 2006
These conferences are powerful because they give us the opportunity to think, they give us the opportunity to share thoughts, to learn, but also to reacquaint ourselves with old friends and meet new friends, and that's had a profound effect on the way we do business, and the Association sets us up and it's been powerful for the last 60 years. But, also thanks for the chance for me to partner with Mike Wynne with his address that he's given for me to reinforce that and talk about a few things that I believe are critical, since we are a nation at war and we are an Air Force at war. A year ago, I stood on this stage and told us we were in fact a nation at war, and so you're probably thinking--well, what's changed? Well I'll offer that your Air Force is moving in a significantly different direction, relative to organized training and equipping, and looking to better fight this joint fight, this coalition fight, and looking for ways to more quickly win this global war on terrorism, and be able to dominate the next war should deterrence and dissuasion fail. So how are we organizing, training, and equipping this Air Force is that second piece that I want to share some thoughts with you today, and that's what I'll focus on.
First, allow me to put this into a historical context. Sixty-five years ago today, Sept. 27, 1941, President Franklin Roosevelt and his staff pondered the magnitude, the seemingly impossible enormity, of building an (inaudible) of democracy to contest Nazi Germany, fascist Italy, and imperial Japan, and win what we now call the second World War. Two days earlier on Sept. 25, 1941, the secretaries of the Army and the Navy had submitted to the President their staff estimates of the force that they thought would be required to defeat the enemy. Chief of the Army Air Forces General Hap Arnold had signed off the air component plan which was called AWPD-1, the Air War Plans Division Document 1. Arnold entrusted his four authors, Col. Hal George, Lt. Col. Ken Walker, Maj. Haywood "Possum" Hanseil, Maj. Larry Kuter, all former Air Corps Tactical School instructors, now known as Air University, with developing a blueprint for a strategic air offensive that would bring these formidable foes to their knees. That strategy was built for how the war should be fought if the required resources were actually produced, and available in time, which seems reasonable until you consider the staggering numbers that the planners envisioned.
AWPD-1 called for nothing short of organizing, training, and equipping the world's largest and mightiest air force. This is before Pearl Harbor. They envisioned growing to 2.1 million men and women in arms and 60,000 combat aircraft. With war surrounding them and the nation on the precipice of war, these four air planners developed this plan to create an essentially independent service that would wage strategic air warfare, fight a tactical fight, resupply on a global scale, and help win a world war. Clearly, no small feats, as Possum Hansell would later say, "If the task was staggering, so too was the opportunity." Today, I suggest we face some of the same dawning tasks, but like those air planners of 1941, our opportunities are equally great. Let me take a couple of minutes to explain.
Like the air planners of 1941, our responsibilities to the country are still to organize, train, and equip an air force to act as an instrument of national power that our country needs and deserves, to provide that key piece of a joint team. To be able to deter, dissuade, or defeat all enemies, not just nuclear armed ones, or insurgents. And to give our nation the sovereign options of using or not using military force that no other nation has ever had. Today, like AWPD-1 planners, we have the opportunity and I would offer the responsibility to shape this Air Force for this most uncertain future. But unlike the war planners of 41, we face increasing financial challenges, decreasing budgets that are at historically low percentages of GDP, we're also struggling with unforeseen and unexpected demands on resources, rising fuel prices, rising defense health care costs, rising inflation rates and exchange rates, the global economy, aircraft retirement restrictions, and a staggering rising cost of ownership of these aging aircraft. Erosion of buying power which leaves us potentially $200 billion dollars shy of what we need in this Air Force budget each year across the FYDP. Despite these challenges, we have the responsibilities to the nation and to provide for the common defense. So over the past year with Secretary Wynne's leadership, we've undertaken a host of initiatives that are truly transforming the way this Air Force sees itself, and the way this Air Force presents forces, moving into an information age powerhouse ready for the next war, even while we're fighting the current war, this long war on terrorism.
These initiatives will ensure our ability to create dislocating effects at all levels of warfare across the spectrum of conflict, across air, space, and cyberspace domains. They provide our ability to range the entire surface of the earth, to surveil it, or to hold activities or targets at risk or strike them kinetically or nonkinetically, 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week. They will improve our ability to command and control and improve our ability to find and fix these targets or activities, and then to assess the effect. And they'll improve our flexibility to use spaceborne, airbreathing, or cyberbreathing systems to do all of these things. In short, our efforts focus on improving our ability to provide global ISR (intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance), global mobility, and global strike for the nation of the future.
A year ago, we began outlining the priorities to make the U.S. Air Force a more effective instrument of national power and those priorities still remain in proving our warfighting capabilities in service but also in the joint spectrum, winning the Long War on Terrorism; two, developing our Airmen and taking care of them and their families; and three, recapitalizing and modernizing this magnificent air and space force. Let me highlight a few of these details to give you a picture that's scale in impact.
Let's begin with the Title 10 responsibility to organize. As you know we've drawn down the active force considerably from 600,000 Airmen in the early 90s to one of about 350,000 today. That's a 42 percent reduction since the early 90s, and we've been in combat the whole time. We're not the same force, only smaller, and we're a fundamentally different force now. So we're changing our organizational structures to streamline and improve the way we function in concert with our joint partners, other DOD components, and other government agencies, and with our critical allied partners. Today's world is one of interdependence, so our initiatives' aim to improve the ability to fly, fight, and win air, space, and cyberspace, joint, interagency, and within coalition operations. Not all of our changes will happen overnight, just like the planners of AWPD-1 when they looked at 2.1 million men and women in arms and 60,000 aircraft--it does not happen overnight. But in the past year we have already significantly reorganized our staff structures. The A-staff, the Air Staff, the MAJCOMs, are in line with the Joint Staff and Combatant Commander templates. Our A-2 installed a lieutenant general as the A-2 refocused and re-energized our air intelligence efforts on fighting and winning the nation's wars. A-9 established an analyses, assessments, and lessons learned directorate within the Air Staff to feed combat lessons and programming and budgeting process, or in short, putting our money where our mouth is. Warfighting Headquarters established the warfighting component headquarters construct which is interconnected on a true global scale through our air operations centers.
Liaisons formalized relationships within those operations centers that we will use within the joint and coalition fight to allow Army, Navy, Marine, and Special Operations Liaison within those operation centers, and formalized our relationships, the air component coordinating elements, out to the other joint components. Director of mobility forces, director of space forces, place these directors in the CAOC (Combined Air Operations Centers) working for the combined forces air component commander making them much more responsive to a theater's needs. Combat Search and Rescue--moved our combat search and rescue functions, forces, and equipment back into our combat Air Force elements, thus streamlining presentation of forces and of forming the moral, ethical, and imperative we have to Airmen regardless of the color of their uniform, that we will come get you if you dismount. The Air Expeditionary Force--we've normalized the presentation of forces with a great deal of effort by Air Combat Command and Air Mobility Command to streamline the rotations themselves so commanders get a much more standardized product. Combining the Air Expeditionary Center under the Air Force Personnel Center--we've aligned these to increase the percentage of the total force that is available, if called for deployments, but also to provide that critical oversight of where our people are, when they just got back, how long do they have, and when can they go next? We've also re-emphasized habitual air force-to-air force relationships. I believe this is a critical piece in today's interdependent world. Focusing on these relationships that many of you in the audience today are working every day with our international partners.
We've conducted counterpart visits with the air chiefs of El Salvador, Pakistan, India, Bulgaria, and we have another set on tap for next year. We've met with the Royal Air Force, Royal Canadian Air Force, Royal Australian Air Force leaders and we're planning much more of these formal visits over the next two or three months.
Other important initiatives remain ongoing. For example we continue to reshape our force, balancing career fields to better meet our expected future needs, and examining ways to reduce the number of AFSCs (Air Force specialty codes). Currently we have 263 AFSCs. I believe we can get much closer to 100 expeditionary clusters, I don't know that the number will be 100, but I know it's not 263. We're making every effort to get 100 percent of the Air Force uniform services into this AEF bucket and into this rotation scheme. Another initiative that Secretary Wynne and I over the last week or so, have been musing over and are looking to pull the trigger, is to use the successful F-16 international sales and international partnership and the successful C-130 international partnership program as a template as we look at the F-35 Lightning II, and now the Joint Cargo Aircraft. To be able to go out to the world and ask why can't we partner on these aircraft--the joint strike fighter and the joint cargo aircraft--like we have on the C-130s and the F-16s in the past? What an amazing opportunity that will be to be able to share pilots, crews, crew chiefs, instruction, training, across not just fighters and big cargo aircraft but perhaps this joint cargo aircraft as well. We're not reorganized these headquarters staffs and looking at this creativity but we're also looking at flattening the staffs across the Air Force to get at this tooth-to-tail ratio and to move this in the right direction with the MAJCOM commanders leadership and guidance. Were also looking for more opportunities to merge Reserve, Guard, and active-duty staff functions across all levels, to even more flatten this overhead. And we continue to integrate active duty, guard, and reserve personnel into this magnificent seamlessly integrated total force that we're all so proud of. On the corporate side, Secretary Wynne talked on Monday about the importance of our Air Force Smart Operations for the 21st century and we believe this will translate into significant savings but more importantly increased combat capability.
So that's organized, let's talk about training just for a moment. Because all these organizational changes rely on our most valuable and most expensive asset, our Airmen. We're also pursuing efforts to improve this training. Any air force is a collection of professional Airmen, so our success hinges on the training we give these people. We must educate and train each and every one of them because we depend on their resourcefulness, their imagination, creativity, adaptability, versatility, all of those "ilities" that we expect them to be able to perform 24-hours-a-day, 7 days a week wherever we send them. And we expect to keep them in this magnificent air force. So we're emphasizing training that improves our ability to operate in joint, interagency, and coalition environments, and because we fight as a single air, space, and cyberspace component; we're emphasizing integrated training scenarios that challenge Airmen to use all of the tools, tactics, techniques, and procedures available to them in air, space, and cyberspace. For example, Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., long known as the home of the fighter pilot--will now have a single air and space and mobility warfare center and a single air force weapons school that merges and crosses all of these domains. To emphasize and continue to emphasize that we train like we will fight. We've also created the joint air-to-ground operations group at Nellis, General Keyes has been working this very hard, to include a much more robust air warrior program to improve joint operations with our ground forces. We've combined the conventional and the special operations training and developed an urban cast CONOPS (concept of operations), we've improved the joint readiness training center, our piece of that out at Fort Polk, La., as the urban warfare part of our warrior, and as General Keyes mentioned yesterday, during the four-star forum, he's working hard to consider or he's working hard to roll Air Warrior 1 and 2 and the Air Ground Operations School into Green Flag, equal with a Red Flag, with a focus on improving interdependence with ground forces.
We've created the joint air and space tactics center, involving Air Force, Navy, and Marine personnel. And finally, we've expanded the joint aggressor program out at Nellis and up at Eielson AFB, Alaska, with the addition of the second squadron of F-15s at Nellis and we plan to add an additional F-16 squadron at Eielson beginning next year. All of these aggressors will work with an expanded joint Red Flag program including Red Flag Nellis and Red Flag Alaska, which gives us a team of professional threat exploiters, analysts, and adversaries to fight as a single integrated air, space, and cyberspace component. Again the emphasis on equipping and training our Airmen as we expect them to fight. But our quest to better equip the Airmen not just man the equipment is not fully complete.
Our future capabilities depend on building better joint and coalition airmen so we've extended basic military training, as General Looney talked about yesterday, so we can now focus more than ever on these expeditionary skills. General Looney detailed this initiative and explained we've also expanded the tech schools, and he talked briefly about our notion of the new battlefield airmen training school, which will offer one-stop instruction on ground combat skills for combat rescue, pararescue, special tactics, combat controllers, terminal air controllers, special operations, weather, and combat communications to develop the skills the 21st century Airmen require we have also emphasized advanced education. Secretary Wynne and I are firm believers in the notion of bachelor's degrees and master's degrees for select enlisted personnel and officers. You know the need for increased technical, cross-cultural, and regional skills throughout the Air Force. As those of you who are here from Command and Staff College know our PME (professional military education) courses now incorporate more regional studies. Students are beginning to explore these new language courses, again focusing on this strategic stronghold business of awareness about the world that we live in and the uncertain future. We're also growing a new band of international affairs specialists; we envision filling key international positions for our combatant commands, DOD agencies, and U.S. embassies around the world.
I've also told you that we've reinforced over time that we're not budging an inch over quality of life for our airmen and their families. So we're trying to fix Air Force housing, too, by continuing to fix the funding issues to eliminate inadequate CONUS (continental United States) housing by 2007--it's an aggressive schedule, that's a year off, and overseas by 2009. And finally General Lessel has had a chance to talk to you about our prioritized strategic communications to better convey our message to the American public, our joint partners, our coalition partners, our Congress, and to the world. We've added manpower to this staff and given them explicit guidance to go offensive, or in my words, it's always better to have a missile in the air than to be reactive, with our message to shape and prepare the battlespace well prior to engagement. And we'll be holding a strategic communications summit soon to make sure we're getting this right; with an invitation to several key influential media executives to come in and tell us what they think if we are reaching the right audiences.
So that walks us through the first two of the three Title 10 responsibilities--organizing and training. Brings me to our third responsibility--which is to equip. In this responsibility as in the others, we've learned our lessons from history; we will never forget that we must properly equip airmen with robust cutting edge capabilities and technologies as we look out into the 21st century.
Sixty-five years ago, Hap Arnold's planners knew that they had incredible aircraft in the Boeing B-17 and the Consolidated B-24. In these aircraft and the Airmen would prove themselves time and time again in now-famous missions to places like Ploesti, Bougainville, Regensburg, Rabaul and of course, Schweinfurt. But those air planners were still a year away from the first test flight of the B-29, yet they had already ordered 1,600 of the incredibly important long-range, heavy payload bombers. Had military industry planners, designers, and engineers not been the visionary thinkers that they were they would not have been able to develop that bomber and to field that bomber for the critical fight ahead over the Japanese home islands. Back then a new bomber took about two years from initial contract to first test flight--two years, boy some things have changed.
Now because our weapon systems are so incredibly complex the leap time required for new ones is closer to 10 or 15 years, or in some cases, 20 plus. We must therefore be looking down the road at emerging threat capabilities and be building these weapon systems to stay a step ahead. So throughout preparation for future conflict keeps true to our conviction that range and payload are still the heart and soul of any air force, we're shaping ourselves into a fundamentally different service than we have in the past.
Over the next 10 years we will have 10 percent fewer fighters, about 5 percent fewer airlift platforms, but we will have 20 percent more combat rescue, 30 percent more long-range strike, 10 percent more tankers, 5 percent more new trainers, considerably more SOF, as General Mike Wooley alluded yesterday, and nearly 20 percent more ISR platforms to include 100 percent more new unmanned aerial vehicles. We absolutely have to make these changes to be prepared for any eventuality. Plus, we're now maxing out these old aircraft capabilities, and increasingly seeing limitations translating directly into decreased combat effectiveness. So we're investing in new aircraft, spacecraft in cyberspace, systems and equipment to expand these capabilities and really do some amazing things in the future. These recapitalization and modernization efforts are both critical and monumental. It involves replacing the 117 aircraft we've lost in combat, contingencies, and training since 9/11. It involves retiring the 953 aircraft that we've requested over the next five years. It involves purchasing new capabilities to replace the old; we cannot afford to replace these aircraft one for one, but we can actually upgrade the inventory with these new systems. Selectively modifying and modernizing legacy aircraft is also in our glide path to retain these aircraft and their operational relevance.
Designing, building, and using agile munitions like the small-diameter bombs that are effect-based, interoperable, precise, rapidly retargetable in standoff, all sounds good. In the past year, we've given what we'll call impetus to these efforts. And we've seen some good progress. On Monday the Department issued the draft request for proposal for the new tanker, KC-X, and I hope Secretary Wynne and I together hope to have source selection sometime next spring, and a contract award in July or so of 2007. We're optimistic we'll get Congress to authorize the full funding for the Joint Cargo Aircraft, and hope for an award date sometime next spring. We're also optimistic that Congress will okay the F-22 multiyear procurement authorization so we can look at saving perhaps a quarter of a billion dollars. We hope to see measured progress on the F-35 with our F-35A Lightning II first flight within the next two weeks down at Fort Worth. We're currently in source selection for the CSAR-X, and we plan to buy 141 of the next generation combat search and rescue aircraft to replace the aging and operationally limited 101 of our HH-60s, our HH-60G Pave Hawks. In the first of this month we formally initiated an analysis of alternatives for our next generation long-range strike bomber. This AOA will be completed hopefully in the spring of 2007. We're also pushing to modernize and grow our warfighting capabilities in cyberspace, which we see as an increasingly important warfighting domain, the battlespace and of electronics and the electromagnetic spectrum.
Our enemies are already operating there, exploiting the low entry costs, the minimal technological investment needed to inflict serious harm. We cannot allow them to expand the foothold in this critical strategic domain, much less find a sanctuary. And the Air Force has a well established capability to operate in this realm-we understand the physics, the technologies, the synergies required to operate in and through cyberspace, so we intend to operate across the entire electromagnetic spectrum; radio waves, microwaves, infrared, x-ray, directed energy and applications we've not even begun to think about. If Hal George, Ken Walker, Larry Kuter, and Possum Hansell could do it in 1941, why can't we think in those visionary terms today? For them aircraft weren't just another instrument for war, airpower was a completely new arena of military activity, just as cyberspace is today in this 21st century. So we've added cyberspace to our mission, to fly and flight all in the name of winning this nation's wars. It's just more evidence that we're a fundamentally different force today--that we've become something truly amazing and that we have balanced new horizons ahead of us.
I conclude by promising that the horizons drawing us forward will be built upon an ad to the Air Force's rich heritage. We will continue to wage and win this long global war on terror for as long as it takes, and we will be ready for the next set of activities, whatever that might be. Though I've described a few of the things we're transforming, and the way we're organizing, training, and equipping our Air Force to dominate air, space, and cyberspace for the 21st century, and in some ways we are a fundamentally different air force; some things about this profession, though, don't change. Some things are rooted too deeply in our past, and are too deeply ingrained to change, nor do we want to change them. We will not forget the valor of those young Airmen that manned those B-17s for the second Schweinfurt mission or the B-24s for Ploesti. Imagine the life of a ball turret gunner in 1943. Or we will not forget the valor of the crews that flew the "Hump" in the China-Burma-India theater across the world's most inhospitable terrain in C-46s to supply Chennault's effort against the Japanese in China. Or the valor of Airmen in the 4th and 51st Fighter Wings flying those single-engine F-86 Sabres out over the frozen Yalu River to ensure that the entire peninsula was safe from aerial attack. Or the valor of the Jolly Green Giants of Southeast Asia that flew into harm's way every day with the mantra that others may live. Or today, the valor of close to 5,000 of our Airmen out today alongside our land component partners operating in convoys in Iraq, in Afghanistan. So at the core of all of this, we're combat-focused. We exist to fly, to fight, and to win our nation's wars just as Arnold and the planners of AWPD-1 understood 65 years ago.
At the core, we are expeditionary Airmen just as they expected to fight overseas so we expect to deploy and take the offense to our enemies. At our core, we are also resourceful and innovative, pushing the boundaries of technology as we search for new ways to use airpower for this nation, just as our counterparts did 65 years ago. I believe this Air Force of ours is better now than we have ever been--it's more capable of responding more quickly to a wider range of threats; it's more lethal than it's ever been giving the President and our combatant commanders more options in using air, space, and cyberspace than ever before. But I assure you the best is yet to come, if you had a chance to look into the faces of the Arnold Society cadets and look into the faces of the young Airmen, the outstanding young Airmen, and those that we had the pleasure to sit with and spend time with over the last three days, I know you'll agree, the best is yet to come.
So thank you very much, thank you again, thank you Air Force Association for what you do for this great Air Force. I thank all of you for what you do for this great country; you are absolutely amazing and I'm proud to wear the same uniform as you all, and I'm proud to come to work every day to do this business and fight alongside shoulder to shoulder with you, and with our magnificent joint partners in the Army, the Marines, the Navy, and the Coast Guard. So God bless you, God bless our Sailors, Soldiers, Marines, Coast Guardsmen, and Airmen that are out there today in harm's way. God bless this great nation, thank you so much.
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|Title Annotation:||T. Michael Moseley|
|Publication:||Air Force Speeches|
|Date:||Sep 27, 2006|
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