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


March 28, 2024

De-Sapping Space

Brig. Gen. Devin Pepper, Deputy Commanding General, Operations, and Vice Commander, Space Operations Command, at AFA’s Warfare Symposium in Colorado. Mike Tsukamoto/staff

Space has been overclassified for years and I want to applaud what Dr. Plumb and the OSD staff just recently produced as far as being able to ‘de-sap’ a lot of our space capability. … From an operator’s perspective, the lower the classification level the better I can integrate into a fight. … You don’t want to be that person going to a combatant commander at the 11th hour with a briefcase and going, ‘Hey sir or ma’am, I’ve got something that’s going to help you with your fight.’ We have got to integrate these capabilities early on into the campaign.

Brig. Gen. Devin R. Pepper on the value of reducing the number of programs under Special Access Program (SAP) restrictions, during the AFA Warfare Symposium, Feb. 13.

Info Ops

I’m not concerned about TikTok as a thing to look at videos and cats, but what I am worried about TikTok, … is the information in the way the algorithms can push specific things to each of us … to shape our perceptions, that type of disinformation and misinformation, that really, we’re allowing ourselves to be influenced by the PRC.

Lt. Gen. Kevin P. Kennedy, commander of Air Forces Cyber, which is being elevated to a direct-reporting unit to the Chief of Staff, in recognition of the growing role information and cyber plays in great power competition.

More With Less

U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Allvin. Ralph Alswang/Courtesy photo

It’s cost-prohibitive to be able to say that we’re going to build enough Air Force to do it the way we did before and have air superiority for days and weeks on end. That’s probably not affordable. It’s also not necessary.

Air Force Chief of Staff David W. Allvin speaking at the Brookings Institution
[Feb. 28].

Just Do It

You don’t need to wait for somebody to tell you what to do about readiness. … Start thinking now about, what do we need to do to be more ready—and then do it. You don’t need to wait for that. The conflict can happen at any time, and we need to be as ready for it as we possibly can. … Buckle your seat belt. Don’t sit still. Go ahead and move forward. … Don’t wait for guidance on this. … We don’t have any time to waste.

Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall on the DAF re-optimization at the AFA Warfare Symposium Feb. 14.

Low Blows

Mike Tsukamto/staff; Pixabay

China’s hackers are positioning on American infrastructure in preparation to wreak havoc and cause real-world harm to American citizens and communities, if or when China decides the time has come to strike. Low blows against civilians are part of China’s plan.

FBI Director, Christopher Wray, testimony at House Subcommittee on China, warning that China was ramping up an extensive hacking operation geared at taking down the United States’ power grid, oil pipelines, and water systems in the event of a conflict over Taiwan
[The New York Times, Jan. 31].

End Game

Satellites in low Earth orbit. Mike Tsukamoto/staff; WikiImages/Pixabay

We would potentially be looking at a cascade of collisions of defunct satellites that would render large bands of low-Earth orbit effectively unusable for all of humanity.

Ankit Panda, nuclear policy expert, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, commenting on Russia developing a space-based capability to attack satellites using a nuclear weapon [The Washington Post, Feb. 16].

Lucy and the Football

Homage to Charles Schulz; by Mike Tsukamoto/staff

Many of you have seen the famous chart of precision munitions in the first Gulf War. … Saddam invades Kuwait, all of a sudden, production shoots up, peaks, and then two years later, plummets. People are laid off, the line shuts down. 9/11 happens, boom: 2003, peak, 2005, crash. … It’s Lucy and the football. Let’s try this time not to do that. … We’re trying to be smart about this in the future … that we have the ability to surge. It’s not a new concept.

William LaPlante, undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, on the need to end boom-and-bust cycles for munitions production [March 7].