No Doubt, None

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz said last week that, although the combat search and rescue replacement vehicle program was canceled, “we didn’t cancel a mission.” Speaking at a National Aeronautic Association-sponsored event April 16 in Washington, D.C., Schwartz said, “there is no doubt in my mind—none—about the need for a vertical-lift capability which can bring Americans and our friends home from denied space.” But, how this will be accomplished, whether jointly, or by each service independently, is a matter for discussion in upcoming defense reviews, he said. Earlier this month, Defense Secretary Robert Gates axed the CSAR-X program, saying it was shaping up misguidedly as a single-service platform for a joint mission. (See below, “Roles and Mission Shift?”)