Flying and Fighting, Smarter and Smaller

In talks this week at JB Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, and at Kadena AB, Japan, Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh, together with CMSAF James Cody, repeatedly told airmen they should not spend too much time worrying about the budgeting and planning uncertainty in Washington, D.C. Rather, they should focus on improving their groups, squadrons, and wings, where the Air Force lives and fights daily. “We can never care enough, we have to care a lot,” said Welsh in Hawaii. However, the Air Force has to fight and win when the nation sends it to war, and if it cannot do that, few will care about how well it takes care of people, he said. Although today’s Air Force is the smallest in size since the service’s founding in 1947, it’s going to get smaller still, he said. That’s why the service is conducting the “Air Force 2023” study to examine what the force’s composition will be after a decade of sequestration. “The focus now, is we have to figure out how to do something when we are asked to do everything,” said Welsh during a talk with Pacific Air Forces officials in Hawaii.