Some 200 Air Force leaders and scholars gathered Nov. 21 at a forum co-hosted by AFA’s Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies and RAND Corp. in Santa Monica, Calif., to discuss the future of aerospace power. Following opening remarks by AFA President Gen. Craig McKinley, Lt. Gen. Steven Kwast, commander and president of Air University; retired Lt. Gen. David Deptula, Dean of the Mitchell Institute; Maj. Gen. David Allvin, deputy chief of staff for strategic plans and requirements on the Air Staff; and Paula Thornhill, director of the strategy and doctrine program at RAND’s Project AIR FORCE, discussed the role of aerospace power in national security. Pacific Air Forces Commander Gen. Lori Robinson also joined RAND senior analyst David Ochmanek, and Naval Postgraduate School professor Christopher Twomey to discuss ways to secure key interests, reassure allies, and deter adversaries as the US pivots to the Pacific. Other speakers included, Air Force Space Command boss Gen. John Hyten; Lt. Gen. Samuel Greaves, commander of the Space and Missile Systems Center; former AFA Chairman of the Board retired Lt. Gen. George Muellner; Air Force Test Center Commander Maj. Gen. Arnold Bunch; Mark Lewis, director of the Science and Technology Policy Institute at the Institute for Defense Analyses; and Natalie Crawford, RAND distinguished chair for air and space and policy. Former Air Force Secretaries Michael Donley and Donald Rice wrapped things up with their reflections on how far the Air Force has come and where it is headed.
Rumored cuts to the F-35 from the fiscal 2025 defense budget—six from Air Force plans—would not be offset by recent Foreign Military Sales, and will disrupt ongoing Lot 19 negotiations, Pentagon and industry sources said.