Balancing Act

Air Force Secretary Michael Donley gave no specifics regarding the Air Force’s coming budget in his address Thursday at AFA’s Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Fla. No word, for example, on the fate of the F-22. But he did provide the lay of the land in terms of the budgetary climate in which the air service finds itself and how this is shaping decisions to support the current fight and prepare for tomorrow’s likely conflicts. “With potentially fewer resources ahead,” he told the audience, “more than ever, we need assurances that our acquisition programs can be executed successfully.” This means there “can be little margin or tolerance” for cost or schedule overruns, new starts will be approached more cautiously, and there will be less willingness to accept high levels of technological risk, he said. Plus, the Air Force will seek greater partnerships with other US government agencies with national security equities and will look for more cooperation with international friends and allies, too, he said.