The Air Force should focus on its core capabilities, and invest in them, or it faces an uncertain future where its global role could diminish, former Chief of Staff Gen. Michael Moseley said Thursday. Speaking at an AFA Mitchell Institute for Airpower Studies event in Arlington, Va., Moseley said the United States has a poor record of predicting its security challenges, from the Korean Peninsula to the invasion of Kuwait in 1990 to seeing airliners crash into buildings on 9/11. But, that’s exactly why the Air Force—which is unique among all the military services—is so important, he added. The Air Force is expected to see anything, range anything, and hold any target at risk around the globe. These tenets are the core obligation of the service to the joint force, Moseley said. Investment in the technology and the capabilities to carry these tasks out make the difference between being a global air force and being a regional one he said, adding Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh’s three core priorities (the F-35, the KC-46 tanker, and the long-range strike bomber family of systems) embody this thinking. “You have to go out and defend the faith,” Moseley urged airmen, adding you can’t “take a knee.”
More than 100 B-21s will be needed if the nation is to avoid creating a high demand/low capacity capability, panelists said on a Hudson Institute webinar. The B-21's flexibility, stealth, range and payload will be in high demand for a wide range of missions, both traditional and new.