AF leaders share updates on space, nuclear enterprise at conference

By Tech. Sgt. Steve Grever and Senior Airman Michelle Patten
Air Force Public Affairs Agency

The second day of the Air Force Association Air and Space Conference in Washington D.C. enlightened attendees on current developments to the Air Force’s nuclear enterprise, space and cyberspace programs and other Air Force major commands, programs and initiatives.

Lt. Gen. Stephen Wilson, Air Force Global Strike commander, speaks at the The Nuclear Enterprise panel during the Air Force Association Air and Space Symposium, Washington, D.C., Sept. 16. Wilson spoke on the way ahead for Global Strike Command and the integration of the Force Improvement Program command-wide, meeting the needs of Airmen in different areas, from quality of life to administrative actions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Carlin Leslie/Released)
Lt. Gen. Stephen Wilson, Air Force Global Strike commander, speaks at the nuclear enterprise panel during the Air Force Association Air and Space Conference, Washington, D.C., Sept. 16, 2014.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Carlin Leslie/Released)

Lt. Gen. Stephen Wilson, Air Force Global Strike Command commander, led a panel of experts in a discussion about current issues affecting Airmen in the nuclear enterprise. He commended the success of the Force Improvement Program for helping Airmen address challenges in their workcenters, and giving them the avenue to recommend solutions directly to AFGSC leadership.

“We call it a force improvement program, but it’s really a force improvement philosophy,” Wilson said. “These are their [Airmen’s]ideas, and we are empowering them by removing obstacles to their success.”

Gen. John Hyten, Air Force Space Command commander, followed up the nuclear enterprise panel discussion with an overview of Air Force space and cyberspace operations.  Hyten said his command is integrating air and space to ensure they meet the requirements of today’s warfighters.

“We have to figure out how to fight through the challenges we face and still deliver the capabilities our warfighters absolutely depend upon,” Hyten said. “When we have Airmen in harm’s way fighting in Afghanistan, it’s our sacred responsibility to give them every capability they need.”

Gen. Mark A Welsh III, Air Force chief of staff, thanks Tech. Sgt. Brian Williams for his service during the Air Force Association Air and Space Conference in Washington D.C. Sept. 16, 2014.
Gen. Mark A Welsh III, Air Force chief of staff, thanks Tech. Sgt. Brian Williams for his service during the Air Force Association Air and Space Conference in Washington D.C. Sept. 16, 2014. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Anthony Nelson Jr.)

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III gave an in-depth briefing about his vision and direction for the service. He outlined the importance of the Air Force’s core mission areas, which include air and space superiority; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; rapid global mobility, global strike and command and control.

“The Air Force’s job is to provide combatant commanders with air, space and cyberspace options to handle any contingency,” Welsh said. “I believe the Air Force reflects America’s spirit. The idea that there’s always something worth dying for.”

Gen. Herbert Carlisle, Pacific Air Forces commander, completed the day with an overview of PACAF initiatives focused on innovation and other programs in the Pacific theater.

“We have an obligation to produce the very best Air Force we can with the dollars we’re given,” Carlisle said. “What we have to do is expand engagement. That’s a huge challenge. We have to stay engaged and stay present in the theater.”