NY Times OpEd missed the mark

We normally don’t respond one way or another what opinions come out in the OpEd pages regarding the Air Force, but this one really missed the mark and we offer a few counterpoints to the New York Times readers. Chief of Staff of the Air Force, Gen. Norton Schwartz does a great job at explaining that the Air Force is engaged and is in the fight.

To the Editor:
“Up, Up and Out,” by Paul Kane (Op-Ed, April 21), recommends disbanding the Air Force because of vague claims that ours is a redundant service and apparently not at war.

Mr. Kane’s conclusion dismisses more than 71 percent of the 330,000 active-duty Airmen who, along with their Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve teammates, have deployed since 2001. These warriors directly execute and support combat operations, including in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In that period, 45 Airmen have been killed in combat and more than 500 wounded. The Air Force routinely responds rapidly to urgent calls from ground forces in dire circumstances — with the unrivaled combat precision and reliability Airmen routinely bring to bear.

Our Airmen prove their worth and commitment in distinctive service that prevents war and reduces the cost of conflict in American blood and treasure. We have done so faithfully in every conflict since our inception.

Today’s Air Force brings specific capabilities to the joint fight to defend the homeland, deter aggression, help those in need and defend the freedoms we all enjoy. This resonates with the American people because they recognize the vital importance of Air Force global vigilance, reach and power.

We proudly secure our nation’s skies and our sister services from attack, any time and any place. Airmen will be there when America needs them, and every serving member of the Army, the Navy and the Marines knows it.

(Gen.) Norton A. Schwartz
Air Force Chief of Staff
Washington, April 21, 2009

We own the sky — hands down. We (joint DOD) bring more coordinated force than anyother nation in the world should our nation decide to. There is no other force in the world capable of striking a target anywhere on the globe in such a short amount of time.

Looking at the opinion piece in the NY Times, take a look at Quatto and his counter: “You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.”