In today’s complex global security environment, victory goes not to the innovator, but to the rapid integrator of new ideas, said Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. David L. Goldfein during the Air Force Association Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Fla., Feb. 23, 2018.
Goldfein said that if the Air Force is to thrive, Airmen must understand the geopolitical landscape and the dramatic technological acceleration defining the world in which we will be called upon to fight and win.
That understanding requires a shift not only in thinking but also in the guidelines that dictate how the Air Force operates.
“We are shifting our doctrinal dependence on large vulnerable centralized command and control nodes to more agile, networked solutions…moving to distributed control and decentralized execution of multi-domain operations,” said Goldfein.
Goldfein emphasized how his approach aligns with the National Defense Strategy’s call for services to use creative approaches, to make sustained investment, and to be disciplined in execution to field a force that is fit for our time and that can compete, deter, and win in this increasingly complex security environment.
“I highly encourage everyone to read the National Defense Strategy; it may be the best 11 pages you’ve read in a long time,” said Goldfein. “In this complex global environment there can be no complacency. The NDS directs the Air Force to be a more lethal and ready force, to strengthen alliances and partnerships, and to deliver greater, more affordable performance.”
Sticking with the overarching innovation theme of the symposium, Goldfein echoed the thoughts delivered previously by Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson and Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright by announcing two funding initiatives that will continue to empower Airmen and commanders at wings and squadrons.
“I am proud to announce that we are pushing out $64 million to wing commanders next week to kick start squadron innovation at the tactical edge,” said Goldfein. “This money is to let commanders, who know what their units need, to test, experiment and refine their best tactical ideas.”
The Air Force’s continued push to remove innovation roadblocks is not solely based on the recently released NDS, but is also part of Wilson and Goldfein’s continued efforts to ensure Airmen are prepared to work closely with international and joint partners on the ground, at sea, in the air and also in space.
“Mutually beneficial partnerships are crucial to our strategy. There is no greater confidence-building measure than sharing the critical and timely information with our allies and partners needed for success on the battlefield,” said Goldfein. “It’s time for us to give ideas an audience and incubate and integrate them for best effect. It is the honor of my life to serve with each of you. This is our time. Let’s get after it and don’t quit.”