Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Note from AFA President -- Airpower

For months and months, the Air Force Association has been beating the drum about our aging force.  I, for one, can see the picture clearly.  You can’t build an Air Force overnight.  It takes years of sustained investment to build and train the force to the cutting edge.  And … simply put, we have taken our Air Force for granted.
Yesterday two articles came out that highlighted these points.  The first, in the Weekly Standard, was by Michael Auslin.  In it Mr. Auslin makes the point that the new strategy makes the United States more dependent on Airpower … and this at a time when most of the budget cuts are on the Air Force.  He further points out that our potential adversaries are learning.  They are fielding better defenses and more advanced aircraft.  He concludes with the following: 
“Warfighting is becoming more risky as authoritarian regimes modernize their forces. If the United States wants to retain the ability to respond successfully to crises across the globe with a leaner and more cost-effective force, then our leaders must recognize that maintaining control of the air is the starting point for U.S. military supremacy.”
Secondly, Congressman Randy Forbes (R-VA) has a piece in Politico that raises the clarion call for the Air Force.  He references an article in Air Force Magazine to point out that no US soldier, sailor, or marine has been killed by enemy airplanes in nearly six decades.  He likens Airpower to oxygen:  “You don’t notice it until it starts disappearing.”  He further states: 
“The Air Force provides the central ingredient for nearly all military operations: real-time intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; cybernetworking; battle-space air control; strategic airlift and medical evacuation; full-spectrum bombing; and combat air support, among other capabilities.”
He notes the centrality of Airpower to our ability to conduct military operations: 
“Given the importance of air dominance to our strategy, we must reverse the deterioration of the Air Force or face the likely scenario in which we won’t have enough air assets to do the job of protecting U.S. interests and defending allies.”
We need more voices like these two …
For your consideration.

Michael M. Dunn
Air Force Association
"The only thing more expensive than a first-rate Air Force is … a second-rate Air Force."  --  Senate staff member


Vance48 said...

February 15, 1964 a North Vietnamese fighter (T-28) shot down a USAF C-123.

We should also be talking about the personnel and training issues that is unique to airpower. There are no more 22 year olds being born. There is a shrinking ANG to harvest USAF skilled labor for further surge.

We are headed in the wrong direction.

Vance48 said...

edit...change "is" to "are"....