Air Force MSgt. Mandy Mueller, 39th Medical Operations Squadron medical services flight chief, reads a holiday letter on Dec. 11, 2019, at Incirlik AB, Turkey. SSgt. Joshua Magbanua
Photo Caption & Credits


Sept. 2, 2022

We love letters! Write to us at To be published, letters should be timely, relevant and concise. Include your name and location. Letters may be edited for space and the editors have final say on which are published.

KC-46 Facts

I applaud you for what I consider a well written article on the KC-46 and its successes and challenges. I’ve been Air Mobility Command’s KC-46 lead for two years and have read every article produced on the aircraft. You were able to accurately capture what the deficiencies we are working though really mean to our boom operators and receiver pilots and yet, simultaneously articulate some of the technologies that make the KC-46 an incredible asset in our nation’s military inventory.

Regardless of how an article about the KC-46 is aligned (positive, neutral or negative), having it factually correct and in the right context is of utmost importance to me. Yours delivered on that! I rarely reach out to authors, but felt the need to as a result of your recent work. Well done.

Brig. Gen. Ryan R. Samuelson,
Air Mobility Command 
Scott AFB, Ill.


The electric copy of this article is eye-opening! [“Four Chiefs” August 2022, p. 52].

No doubt who the author likes; but the amount of money wasted on a series of useless “new” uniforms and other fashions would have funded a lot of warrior equipment. 

In addition his reorganizations made no sense, except to shake up and waste funds on new stationary, flags, signs, patches while adding nothing to function. One wonders if Dugan might not of served the country’s needs better. 

If all Chiefs could fly as well as Jumper or focus on the troops like Fogleman; the Air Force would be in a superior condition. 

The admission that the AEF/EAF was not a stable idea is the first truth about that fantasy I have seen published. The concepts were based upon purely imaginary numbers and never looked at personnel as anything but a series of AFSCs. 

The treatment of the USAF in the 90’s was a disgrace particularly when the Army couldn’t even get assets to Clinton’s military diversion, from his scandal, to fight. 

Since then the requirements for Chief seem to have morphed into lemmings as we have had a series of political appointees. 

Interesting question, why skip Chief [Micheal E.] Ryan?

Lastly, the quality of Air Force Secretary starting sinking around this time and continues to raises serious questions about the support for the warriors vs the ever-changing social engineering experience. 

Charlie McCormack,
Danville, Calif.

 Rules of Engagement

It appears that the former mission of the Air Force, which was ‘to deter any aggression on the U.S. and its allies and if deterrence fails, to defeat the enemy’ has been reduced to four priorities as stated in “A Strategy on the Installment Plan,” Air Force Magazine, June/July 2022. The article cites four priorities of the new National Defense Strategy, briefly to defend the homeland, deter attacks on the U.S. and allies, deter aggression by being able to win wars and build a resilient joint force. 

What happened to “destroying the enemy? Have we lost the ability or the will to do so?  

The article also reflects on a lessons learned from the Ukraine War, mainly the Ukrainians’ will and capability to fight. To me the lessons that should have been learned are that U.S. sanctions, defensive weapons, and standing down U.S. forces and allies only led to the physical destruction of Ukraine.  Therefore, the weapons that should be pursued by the U.S. in defense of Taiwan should be capable of destroying targets which are equivalent to what the PRC attacks on Taiwan. Additionally, U.S. and allied forces need to be deployed to Taiwan’s territory as soon as enemy forces are determined to be preparing for war against Taiwan.

Lt. Col. Russel A. Noguchi,
USAF (Ret.)
Pearl City, Hawaii


Finland and Sweden are poised to apply to join NATO [“Strategy & Policy: The Chinese-Russian Axis After Ukraine,” August, p. 18]. What does this do for NATO’s strategic situation (and Murmansk)?

What steps are being taken to reinforce the NATO nations closest to Russia?

[Re:] Russian blockade of Odessa and Ukrainian wheat: There may not be starvation or malnutrition in some Middle East countries today, but it is likely to come because of the blockade of the wheat shipments (or any shipments) out of Odessa to the Middle East. Could NATO protect ships in the coastal waters of Turkey, Bulgaria, and Romania? This would leave only a 40-mile stretch of Ukrainian coastal waters for these ships to traverse. What would it take to protect ships in this area?

There are many, many aspects of the Ukrainian War that I think AFA should be writing about, but, except for a paragraph here and there, you aren’t writing about the Ukrainian War. Why not? Is there some prohibition about writing about the war? It’s in all the papers, TV channels, 

William Thayer
San Diego