Air Force

September 19, 2013

Welsh champions communication, airpower in Air Force update

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III presents the annual Air Force Update keynote address at the Air Force Association’s 2013 Air & Space Conference and Technology Exposition Sept. 17 in Washington, D.C. Welsh presented the Air Force update on the second day of the three-day, 55-session conference covering various topics pertaining to the total force.

 

WASHINGTON — The Air Force chief of staff discussed airpower and the service’s warfighting capabilities across its core missions at the Air Force Association’s 2013 Air & Space Conference and Technology Exposition in Washington, D.C., Sept. 17.

Gen. Mark A. Welsh III presented the Air Force update on the second day of the three-day, 55-session conference covering various topics pertaining to the total force.

Welsh described what the Air Force must do to remain dominant in air, space and cyberspace domains. He noted the service’s 690,000 members performing air-related duties compared to the Navy’s 70,000 personnel, the Marines’ 39,000 and the Army’s 34,000.

“There is one Air Force in America, and you’re in it,” Welsh said. “If the combatant commander wants airpower, there’s only one number to call.”

Welsh also addressed the issue of readiness, especially in light of current budget constraints. “We have to minimize the impact where we can – it’s not going to be good.”

The general acknowledged other impacts to the force, including scale-backs to exercises and weapons schools but said he remains confident in Airmen.

“Our force is better educated than it has ever been, and we need to empower our Airmen — they’re remarkably capable.”

Welsh encouraged the use of social media to facilitate two-way communication and buffer against communication pitfalls such as “stove-piped information.”

“Chief (Master Sgt. of the Air Force James) Cody and I are on Facebook and Twitter, which is terrifying,” Welsh said over laughter. “Follow us.”

Welsh said the newest “Global Vigilance, Global Reach and Global Power for America” document is internally focused and designed to help Airmen understand their role in the broader scheme of the Air Force. He also described Air Force 2023, an effort in progress to incorporate resources and strategy.

“Then we start turning the ship and heading to whatever that picture of 2023 looks like,” Welsh said.

With budget woes casting a haze of uncertainty on the future, the general called the furlough “a breach of faith” that he hopes does not occur again. He acknowledged the challenges of Air Force civilians who’ve been without pay raises for three years.

Welsh also expressed concern about retaining the Air Force’s best Airmen, specifically pilots, as training hours dwindle and units are grounded.

“Our rated force has options,” Welsh said. “They served well and now they have choices to make … If we’re not letting them keep their edge, they’ll walk.”

The Air Force’s recapitalization priorities include the KC-46 tanker, the F-35 Lightning II and the long range-strike bomber — all critical in engaging with a determined, well-armed, well-trained opponent, the general explained.

Welsh said when people ask him if he worries about the Air Force’s future, the response is simple.

“The answer is no … I’ll never worry,” he said. “Not while (they) are on our side,” Welsh said of several Airmen he asked to join him on stage. “This is our Air Force.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Thomas Spangler

40 years of Red Flag ends on high note

U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Thomas Spangler A C-17 Globemaster III assigned to the 437th Airlift Wing, Charleston Air Force Base, S.C., flies to the Nevada Test and Training Range during Red Flag 15-4, Aug. 25. With a...
 
 

Never underestimate your impact

INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey — Every day I visit our great Airmen and every day I come across more than one that underestimates their impact to the mission. There’s the one-stripe maintainer, “just repaneling an aircraft,” for the next day’s flight, or the young personalist, “just issuing another identification card,” or the defender, “just guarding...
 
 

Challenge yourself: Never give up, never quit

FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. — I once read that newly created cells in our bodies do one of two things: they either begin to decay or they become more vital. These cells choose their path based on what we demand of them. If we are sedentary, our brains signal our cells to decay; but...
 

 

SECDEF visits Nellis

U.S. Air Force photo by Lawrence Crespo U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter speaks with Airmen from Nellis and Creech Air Force Bases during an all-call at the Lightning Aircraft Maintenance Unit hangar on Nellis AFB, Nev., Aug. 26. Carter’s department is responsible for policy development, planning, resource management, fiscal, and program evaluations for the...
 
 

Air Force extends SAPR services to AF civilians

WASHINGTON — The Air Force released a policy memo today allowing Air Force civilian employees who are victims of sexual assault to file restricted and unrestricted reports with their installation’s sexual assault response coordinator. The policy is effective immediately and allows SARCs and sexual assault prevention and response victim advocates to assist Air Force civilians...
 
 

TRICARE pharmacy rules changing for maintenance, brand-name drugs

WASHINGTON — TRICARE beneficiaries who take certain brand-name medications on a regular basis will be required to fill prescriptions at a military treatment facility or through a mail-in program beginning Oct. 1, a Defense Health Agency official said here Aug. 20. George Jones, DHA’s pharmacy operations division chief, said the new policy does not apply...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>