According to Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne, speaking to airmen during a visit last week at Balad AB, Iraq, the Army really likes having airmen serving as in-lieu-of soldiers because the airmen bring “such innovation and imagination” to the mission. In fact, said Wynne, “we have a hard time convincing our Army colleagues that they shouldn’t have airmen doing [ILO missions].” The Air Force’s top civilian was complimenting airmen for performing well in whatever task given, but Wynne and other USAF leaders have made it clear that continuing to provide ILO support is costing the Air Force time and money. Last year Wynne told lawmakers USAF was pressing the Army to reduce the use of ILO taskings. We bet we’ll hear more on this during upcoming budget hearings, especially since the Air Force plans to continue its drawdown in 2009 toward an end strength of some 316,000 active duty airmen. (Balad report by SSgt. Ruth Curfman)
While some of the Air Force's newly announced changes will happen quickly, it may take most of Chief of Staff Gen. David W. Allvin's tenure in the job to accomplish the rest, he said in a Brookings Institution event Feb. 28.