Good Question

Asked what the Air Force can do to keep aerospace talent intact until the next round of combat aircraft design begins—possibly five years or more—Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz, speaking at AFA’s Air & Space Conference Sept. 15, pointed to the $140 million in unfunded priorities that it identified to Congress as one way to address it. He acknowledged that engineering and design talent in the industry is “graying” and that flat budgets will defer new programs a while. “There are things we’ve invested in to keep it underway,” he said, but how to keep the industry viable without work until the next big program “is a question.”