A microphone. Verbatim. Air Force Magazine. Cornelia Schneider-Frank/Pixabay
Photo Caption & Credits

Verbatim

Sept. 2, 2022

Homeward Bound

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Presidential Office of Ukraine

We will bring freedom to Ukrainian citizens in Crimea, and we will restore justice to all those who suffered from the repressions and abuses of the Russian occupiers. … I know that Crimea is with Ukraine, is waiting for us to return. I want all of you to know that we will return. We need to win the fight against Russian aggression. Therefore, we need to free Crimea from occupation.

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky, speaking Aug. 23 at an online forum called the Ukrainian Platform.

Protect Democracy

An illustration depicts the U.S. and Taiwan national flags. Mike Tsukamoto/staff; Adam Jones; LexieBee Photography

Our delegation came to Taiwan to make unequivocally clear that we will not abandon Taiwan. Now, more than ever, America’s solidarity with Taiwan is crucial, and that’s the message we are bringing here today.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen, who Beijing suspects of pushing for formal independence–a red line for China, during her roughly 19-hour visit to Taiwan [Reuters, Aug. 3].

Safe Space

The protection of civilians is a strategic priority as well as a moral imperative. Our efforts to mitigate and respond to civilian harm directly reflect our values and also directly contribute to achieving mission success. The excellence and professionalism in operations essential to preventing, mitigating, and responding to civilian harm is also what makes us the world’s most effective military force. It is therefore critical that we continue to improve our efforts to mitigate the harm that armed conflict visits upon civilians.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin in a memo to Pentagon leaders, commanders of combatant commands, and defense agency and field directors, introducing a new Civilian Harm Mitigation and Response Action Plan, Aug. 25.

What’s the Point?

An illustration of an Airman with no money in his pockets thinking about expensive housing. Mike Tsukamoto/staff; Pixabay

If you can’t afford your job, why the hell would you stay in the job?

Kate Needham, co-founder of the nonprofit Armed Forces Housing Advocates, on the widening discrepancy between BAH payments and housing market costs, quoted by Associated Press [Aug. 20].

Love What You Do

There’s increased responsibility, there’s increased risk, but there’s increased reward too—more experience across the force, and we do our best to give those days back. But there’s something to be said that we’re here to accept that responsibility of giving our weekends to the Air Force and what we’re supporting.

Capt. Lori Ingersoll, KC-135 pilot at RAF Mildenhall, U.K., on the effect of the Russia-Ukraine war on their ops temp [July 29].

We’re Not Ready

A U.S. Air Force weapons load crew team carry an AIM-9L/M Sidewinder missile. Senior Airman Nick Emerick

The war in Ukraine should galvanize Washington policy makers. It has demonstrated that America’s defense-industrial base isn’t up to the job of supplying the U.S. military with weapons for a prolonged conventional conflict with a major power such as China.

Elbridge Colby, co-founder and principal, The Marathon Initiative, former U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy and Force Development, and Alexander Gray, senior adviser, The Marathon Initiative, former White House Deputy Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff of the National Security Council, in editorial “America’s Industrial Base Isn’t Ready for War With China” [Wall Street Journal, Aug. 19].

Running In Place

An illustration of a fictional jet engine. Mike Tsukamoto/staff; Speed-Modeling/Pixabay

The perception I think that’s out there is that we’re maintaining, if not advancing, our military advantage in propulsion. And that’s always been because we’ve always had the world’s greatest advantage in propulsion. But the reality is that … we’re essentially stagnating, and we’re starting to lose our lead.

John Sneden, director of the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center propulsion directorate, at LCMC Industry Days, Dayton, Ohio [Aug. 11].