Defense

September 13, 2013

Acting SecAF talks future of special ops

A1C Michael Diaz, 4th Special Operations Squadron aircrew flight equipment technician, fits Acting Secretary of the Air Force Eric Fanning’s oxygen mask prior to flying on a CV-22 Osprey and AC-130U Spooky at Hurlburt Field Fla., Sept. 9, 2013. The visit is part of Fanning’s familiarization with various Air Force missions since becoming the acting secretary.

Acting Secretary of the Air Force Eric Fanning spoke with more than 500 Air Commandos about the future of special operations at an all-call during his two-day visit to Hurlburt Field, Fla., Sept. 9-10.

This visit, his first to the base, was part of his familiarization with different Air Force missions since assuming office June 21.

“There is nothing like getting out and seeing Airmen,” Fanning said. “The Air Force is everywhere and in a lot of places people can’t see, not just supporting, but at the tip of the spear. It’s the one service without which the other services couldn’t do what they do.”

Fanning said he believes special operations will play an increasing role in the future.

“We talk about the pivot to the Pacific as we continue to send more and more forces into places like Africa, the Middle East and remote locations,” he said. “I think there is a fatigue for large-scale ground engagements, which is going to take us a while to recover from; so we’re going to need to rely on methods like special operations.”

Fanning also answered questions from the audience on topics like benefits and budgeting.

He addressed rumors about military retirees having to wait until age 65 to receive their pensions and basic allowance for housing cuts.

“You have to read past the headline and past the first article you see,” he said. “I haven’t heard anyone propose changing the retirement system that dramatically for people in the military. If the decision is made to go through with that, [military personnel] would almost certainly be grandfathered; [changes] would only apply to those coming into the military.”

As for medical and veterans affairs benefits, Fanning said things will improve over time.

“[The war in the Middle East] is a conflict unlike no other for its duration,” he said. “Over the last 10 years more [injured] people are coming back from deployments.”

Fanning said Capitol Hill has made a lot of progress with these issues and are continually trying to improve the care provided to wounded warriors.

“I want to thank you all personally for being so welcoming; it has been an amazing five months for me,” he said. “Thank you all for taking pride in the Air Force, coming to work every day and focusing on the mission.”




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


 
 

 
Navy photograph

Future USNS Fall River delivered

Navy photograph The joint high speed vessel USNS Fall River (JHSV 4) completes acceptance trials testing and evaluations in the Gulf of Mexico. The ship’s trials included dockside testing to clear the ship for sea and at-...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Michael J. Pausic

Future of NATO: Adapting to a new security environment

Air Force photograph by Michael J. Pausic Gen. Phillip Breedlove informs the assembled crowd about the results of the recent NATO Summit and the areas of instability that affect Europe that have regional implications. Seated in...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SSgt. Carlin Leslie

Air Force leaders discuss nuclear enterprise

Air Force photograph by SSgt. Carlin Leslie Lt. Gen. Stephen Wilson, Air Force Global Strike Command commander, speaks at the The Nuclear Enterprise panel during the Air Force Association Air and Space Conference and Technology...
 

 
Army photograph

Night turns into day: Army researchers enable night lethality

Army photograph In complete dark from significant standoff, Soldiers use medium wave infrared technology to turn night into day. In science fiction, technology problems are solved with the stroke of a writer’s pen. In rea...
 
 

Breedlove: U.S. reconsidering troop reductions in Europe

NATOís Supreme Allied Commander Europe said today that Pentagon leaders are reviewing decisions to scale down U.S. military forces in Europe in light of the changing security environment on the continent triggered by Russiaís annexation of Ukraineís Crimean peninsula and Moscowís ongoing support for rebels in the east. I have talked to leadership here about...
 
 
Air Force photograph by MSgt. J. Scott Wilcox

Aerial target QF-16 takes to the sky

Air Force photograph by MSgt. J. Scott Wilcox The first unmanned QF-16 Viper struck down over the Gulf of Mexico Sept. 5, 2014, was part of a joint effort between the Test and Training Division at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., an...
 




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>