Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Gen (ret) John Jumper: Airmen and the Air Force

Guest blogger Ian Dinesen on former Chief of Staff of the Air Force General John Jumper:

Gen Jumper presented his view on the current state of the Air Force and his thoughts on where it needs to head, specifically with the overall business model for acquisition and fielding of platforms.  While he remained proud of the accomplishments of our Airmen, Gen Jumper characterized the last decade as one that is being dictated by desired outcomes vice the at-hand mission sets.  His views, particularly with the argument of whether current and future aircraft should be manned or unmanned, coalesced with this logic insomuch that the mission ought to drive the outcome.  “When Air Force One becomes unmanned, then [the Air Force] will completely take that next step,” said Jumper. 

Further, he went on to point out that the current thought model in procurement is platform centric – from acquisition to programming through procurement.  This model fails, as the desired platform is driving the mission which thus determines the capabilities; it needs to be the other way around.  Jumper’s bottom line: “We need to know how we are going to fight before we go out and buy the stuff to fight with.”

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