Geographic commanders must keep lines of communication open in order to ensure important demands don’t go unfilled, a panel of USAF commanders told ASC15 attendees on Sept. 15. Pacific Air Forces’ boss Gen. Lori Robinson said USAF only has so many assets to work with, which is why the global force management system run by the Joint Staff has to be a fair adjudicator. Commanders must pay close attention to this process, and realize that combatant commanders “have to talk” about conflicting needs. However, the “appetite” for airpower is not likely to be suppressed any time soon. US Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa Commander Gen. Frank Gorenc said he understands COCOMs have responsibilities to describe their requirements, “whether or not they get filled,” but when demands surge, the system sometimes inadvertently impacts the readiness of those permanently assigned outside the US. Permanently assigned forces often “become the buffer” to meet global demands “while we are waiting to get a decision on prioritization,” Gorenc noted. That “takes away from their ability to regenerate and rebuild their [full-spectrum] readiness from their previous deployment … and so I’m very cognizant of that,” he added.
When the Air Force sets a new program baseline for the B-52 re-engining this fall, there will be “some” cost increase, because the project wasn't previously fully funded, and the Air Force has a better handle on actual supplier costs and knowledge from ground testing, program officials said.