Big Shoes to Fill

Lt. Gen. David Deptula, who is retiring as the Air Force’s first intelligence-surveillance-reconnaissance boss, was not a “rogue voice,” says Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz. Speaking at Deptula’s retirement dinner last Friday at Bolling AFB, Washington, D.C., Schwartz said Deptula did not freelance his frequent, logical, and articulate comments about the value of airpower, often to the chagrin of the other services. “Everything that Dave did or said, he was asked to do” by USAF’s senior leadership, said Schwartz, praising Deptula as a loyal officer and a singular visionary. Deptula is credited with devising the winning air campaigns in both Gulf Wars, for being USAF’s point man in various Defense Department reviews, and for pulling together the service’s previously disparate ISR enterprise. “Someone like Dave Deptula only comes along every 10 years or so, or maybe only once in a career,” said Schwartz. He added, “There is no one else like him, and we cannot replace him.”