Keeping the nation ahead of adversaries in the air and space theaters will require a continued focus upon rebuilding the nuclear triad, updating technologies and capabilities, retiring legacy platforms, and replacing them with new ones, Air Force and Space Force leaders has stated.
“Maintaining our aging weapon systems is costly now and, without change, will mortgage our future,” Air Force Secretary John P. Roth told the House and Senate Armed Services committees in a May 7 posture statement, which was also signed by Gens. Charles O. Brown, Jr., and John W. Raymond – the respective chiefs of staff for the Air Force and Space Force.
As important as upgrading technology and tools are, the three placed emphasis on ensuring that the service members who use the equipment are able to do their jobs.
“Airmen and guardians are our most precious resource,” they testified. “We need multi-capable professionals who bring diverse ideas, leverage digital tools, and outmaneuver and out think our adversaries.”
The statement reiterated the commitment to four key areas:
• Diversity – which service leaders believe is an essential requirement for an effective fighting force.
“This includes removing barriers to service – from reviewing our accession and assessment tools and career development, to expanding outreach to underrepresented minorities through diversity recruiting and increasing scholarships at minority-serving institutions,” the panel told the lawmakers.
They also stressed the importance of providing support to families as well as those in uniform.
• Sexual assault and prevention response – focusing on a determined effort to eradicate it from the ranks through research-based prevention.
“When sexual assault does occur, the Department [of the Air Force] is dedicated to supporting its victims and prosecuting those who would harm others through the chain of command and the Uniform Code of Military Justice.”
• Suicide and personal violence prevention – which the three admit “remains a difficult challenge.”
They described a plan for service leadership to take a public-health approach toward resolution of the issue, with help from academia, industry and the other armed services.
Roth, Brown and Raymond also stressed that they will continue to work to quelch all forms of interpersonal violence.
“Domestic violence, child maltreatment, workplace violence, and sexual assault negatively impact victims, families, units, million effectiveness, and the department as a whole,” they wrote. “Should these acts of violence occur despite our prevention efforts, we are committed to providing victims the necessary care and holding perpetrators accountable.”
• Quality of life – in which they emphasize the importance of providing good professional development, housing, child care programs, health care, education, and spousal employment.
“We are integrating the availability of quality housing, health care, occupational licensing reciprocity, and school caliber into our strategic basing criteria – ensuring that our families have the best support possible,” they wrote.