Calm in the Storm

The new combat air forces strategic plan is meant to provide the Air Force with an enduring path of stability for how it shapes itself both now and in the future in the face of great turbulence, says Gen. John Corley, commander of Air Combat Command. “We have to have a structure, a framework, [and] we have to know where we are going,” Corley told attendees at AFA’s Air Warfare Symposium Feb. 27 in Orlando, Fla. The document lays out the strategy so that the Air Force may continue to dissuade and deter potential adversaries, enjoy decision superiority over them, and have the capacity to apply persistent pressure on them. “That’s what underpins our Air Force” and our national strategy, said Corley. But the plan also addresses how to do this against a whole spectrum of challenges (i.e., the turbulence). “I don’t know about you, but my assessment of this 21st century strategic environment is that it presents some pretty uncertain and some pretty dynamic pictures,” said Corley. He said the turbulence comes in many forms: fiscal uncertainty, the dynamics of an aging fleet, the war on terror, and the rise of sophisticated near-peer or peer threats.