Live from the AFA Air and Space Conference–Day 1

Greetings from the AFA Air and Space Conference and Technology Exposition. Today is day one of the three-day event and there are numerous speakers and topics being discussed. Air Force Live is going to try to bring you notes, blurbs and highlights from as many as we can. Take a look and let us know what you think. Additionally, our colleagues are reporting stories we’re unable to catch, so look for links to when those are published.

Acting Secretary of the Air Force, Michael B. Donley, just gave his “State of the Air Force” address. Below are some quick notes from SSgt Julie Weckerlein. Look for the full article in tomorrow’s coverage.

–The Air Force is not about senior leadership, the focus should be on warfighting capabilities of total force, we are all ready to move forward and focus on

–Sec. Donley is delighted to have Gen. Schwartz on staff. His joint experience is much needed in the AF.

–First order of business is to address immediate concerns on the nuclear and acquisition enterprise. Modify Airman training programs. And decision to focus on current problems with uniforms (PT, Apex), uniforms.

–On the way ahead: Use time wisely to prepare for a new administration. We’ll need to take care of Airmen and families. We’ll also need to get back to modernizing our aging air and space fleets. First priority must be nuclear work. Corrective actions underway. We established a task force in June to review nuclear from strat perspective. Review progress with senior leaders and other partners in OSD {Office of the Secretary of Defense} and department of energy at a nuclear summit. Improve focus on nuclear capabilities, and how to manage theater and global missions both conventional and nuclear.

–How Airmen are in the fight: 33,000 Airmen deployed worldwide, 26,000 in 36 locations. Airmen make critical contributions every day. 157,000 have shouldered the burden of multiple deployments. Operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, Airmen 145 airlift sorties per day, moving people and cargo. We’ve airlifted over thousands of MRAP vehicles, once in theater, dozens of satellites watch over them. Airmen facilitate joint combat control.

–Some final food for thought: How can AF best prepare for transition? We need to be certain who we are. We are adjusting skill sets/force structure accordingly. Daily adjustments contribute to AF trends. Need to focus who we are becoming. We are providers of tremendous capability of air and space. All Airmen in every function speciality are contributing. Second, we need to prepare to engage, debate major issues facing AF. Our midterm studies are in step. As we do so, we cultivate reasoned perspective.

Look for more information and the full story later.

Posted by Mr Paul Bove, Air Force Public Affairs