Saturday, February 25, 2012

“Delivering an Operationally Effective Force in Fiscally Constrained Environment” Gen. G. Michael Hostage III, Commander, Air Combat Command

“In the months and years ahead, the future involves difficult choice,” began General Hostage. To consider as we move forward are the nation’s fiscal environment, what we must do to react to that environment, and the requirements involved in that action. Fittingly, for the concluding symposium session of this year’s Air Warfare Symposium, Hostage included the DoD, industry, civilians, and the Air Force family in what he sees as future operation effectiveness in today and tomorrow’s fight—we all must be a part of the solution.

Still a top priority is the care of Airmen and their families. “We cannot break faith with our most valuable resource,” Hostage said. This will include resiliency development for families as well. He sees a need for expanded ISR training and normalizing of the career field, close air support, improver opportunities, and above all, capability. “Capability is a critical concern,” on the operation side, as well as the future of 5th generation fighters.

It is essential to sufficiently modernize the rest of the fleet, which will involve some tough choices. Money spent on one program is money not spent on another program.

Overall, with the latest FY13 budget release, and the increasingly reality of a smaller force continuing to rely on older aircraft, each of the speakers at the conference looked forward with determination and creativity to the future.

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