Air Force leadership to release five-point report on service's future

By Rachel Cohen / July 26, 2017 at 11:16 AM

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein said Wednesday he plans to release a paper with service Secretary Heather Wilson in the next couple of weeks to set five priorities for the future: restoring readiness, cost-effective modernization, space innovation, airman and leadership training and strengthening alliances.

"Secretary Wilson and I have asked our team two key questions to ponder as we attack these priorities: who do we need to be in 2030 and what's standing in our way?" Goldfein said during remarks at a July 26 Air Force Association breakfast on Capitol Hill.

The service's plans will address future conflict that is faster, more secretive, transregional, multidomain, multiservice and multinational, Goldfein said -- couching that message in warnings about countering Russia as the main adversary.

Goldfein reiterated the service's desire to develop flexible acquisition programs that emphasize capability over platform and the need to move further toward multidomain command and control. He noted a team led by Brig. Gen. S.L. Davis, special assistant to the chief of staff for squadron revitalization, has evaluated 17 of 23 bases to gather information on the state of the Air Force's squadrons and their most pressing needs.

Over the past year, the service has taken steps to delegate decision-making power to the squadron level, reorganize training requirements and retain airmen. The Air Force is also looking into ways to improve how its joint task forces serve combatant commanders, starting with the 9th Air Force at Shaw Air Force Base, SC, Goldfein said.

Modernization and readiness needs are competing for attention and funding as the Air Force looks to the near-term future. Goldfein noted the Air Force would continue shuffling its priorities through the future years defense program as congressional appropriations allow.