Jumper Sees Challenge to US Air Supremacy

Gen. John P. Jumper, in a farewell talk with reporters, worried aloud about current and future challenges to US air superiority—something that most Americans and even many defense and military officials (who should know better) take for granted. “Everybody says the United States can’t be challenged, but we see airplanes and SAMs that can challenge the best of what we have today,” said Jumper on Aug. 29, only a few days before he stepped down as USAF Chief of Staff. That fact “has to be paid attention to.” To counter these threats and others to come in the global environment over the next 20-30 years, Jumper says the US must proceed with production of sufficient numbers of the new F/A-22 stealthy fighter. “This is the capability that is needed.” Jumper added that the nation needs to get on, generally, with the recapitalization of an old and declining Air Force fleet.