Defense

December 3, 2012

SecAF declares ‘modernization can’t wait’


The Air Force’s senior civilian addressed the importance of modernization and the challenges ahead for the Air Force at the 2012 Aerospace and Defense Investor Conference in New York City Nov. 29.

“Among the most difficult challenges facing the Air Force is the need to modernize our aging aircraft inventory as the defense budget declines,” said Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley. “New threats and technologies require new investments.”

Donley conveyed the careful strategic choices made in crafting the service’s budget, highlighting the importance of research, development, procurement and construction – “investments in future capability.”

He specifically addressed the need for modernization among fighter, tanker, bomber, space and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platforms as “high priority investments,” while other important capabilities like a new trainer and joint surveillance and target attack radar system are not yet funded.

“The plans and resources available for modernization are not optimal, but we are making tough choices to keep them workable with the right priorities for the future,” he said. “Further reductions in defense would make these choices even harder.”

Among these choices is readiness, which the secretary stressed is one area the service is not willing to taking additional risk.

“We see readiness – in personnel, training and materiel dimensions – already frayed. We have made important efficiencies and we are programmed for more,” he said. “There are few options for reducing the size of our forces and still being able to execute strategic guidance.”

In line with defense guidance, the Air Force has set a clear picture of its investment spending and priorities – priorities that the joint force and the American public depend on, Donley said. For example, the service’s 10 largest investment programs include four space systems critical for access to space, secure communications, missile warning, and navigation and timing.

“America’s Air Force remains the most capable in the word, but modernization can’t wait,” Donley said. “These new threats and investment needs, like cyber and missile defense, are not theoretical possibilities for the future. They are here, now.”

Amidst the challenges and emerging requirements involved with modernizing the service, Donley stressed the importance of balancing effectiveness and efficiency, containing program requirements and costs, and continuing to be responsible stewards of taxpayer resources to make it work.

The two-day conference featured speakers from industry and the Department of Defense, including remarks from Robert Hale, under-secretary of defense and chief financial officer; and Frank Kendall, the under-secretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics. AFNS




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


 
 

 
navy-china

USS Fort Worth conducts CUES with Chinese Navy

The littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) practiced the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea (CUES) with the People’s Liberation Army-Navy Jiangkai II frigate Hengshui (FFG 572) Feb. 23 enhancing the professional ma...
 
 

AEGIS tracks, simulates engagement of three short-range ballistic missiles

The Missile Defense Agency and sailors aboard the guided-missile destroyers USS Carney (DDG 64), USS Gonzalez (DDG 66), and USS Barry (DDG 52) successfully completed a flight test involving the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense weapon system. At approximately 2:30 a.m., EST, Feb. 26, three short-range ballistic missile targets were launched near simultaneously from NASA’s Wallops...
 
 

DOD seeks novel ideas to shape its technological future

The Defense Department is seeking novel ideas to shape its future, and officials are looking to industry, small business, academia, start-ups, the public – anyone, really – to boost its ability to prevail against adversaries whose access to technology grows daily. The program, called the Long-Range Research and Development Plan, or LRRDP, began with an...
 

 

Air Force places 18 A-10 aircraft into ‘Backup Status’

The Air Force, with congressional authorization, will convert 18 primary combat-coded A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft from active units and place them into Backup-Aircraft Inventory status with the possibility to convert another 18 at a later date in fiscal year 2015. The secretary of Defense has authorized the Air Force to place up to a total...
 
 

AFRL shape-changing materials make form a function

Air Force Research Laboratory research is shaping the future of aerospace. Through research into soft materials called liquid crystal elastomers, AFRL scientists have developed a method to locally program the mechanical response in polymer sheets without the use of actuators and traditional mechanical parts. This research (sponsored by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research)...
 
 
Sensor Concepts Inc. photograph

Air Force Research Labís handheld imaging tool expands aircraft inspection capability

Sensor Concepts Inc. photograph An operator demonstrates the portability of the handheld imaging tool. The technology provides maintainers the ability to evaluate aircraft in the field to ensure mission-readiness. When pilots c...
 




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=""> <strike> <strong>