On the Ragged Edge

Not too long ago, the Air Force was blamed for “next-war-itis,” but Air Combat Command boss Gen. Hawk Carlisle said when you consider everything happening in the world today, “we needed to think about that.” Speaking Tuesday at ASC15, Carlisle cited tensions in the South and East China Seas, Russian aggression, and the hybrid warfare model that evolved from the crisis in Crimea, North Korea, and potential conflict with Iran, not to mention non-s?tate actors, such as ISIS, al Shabab, Boko Haram, al Qaeda, and the Taliban. “We are on the ragged edge. Our [operations] tempo is unrelenting. If you look at what’s going on in the world today, it’s incredible,” said Carlisle. “The demand for theater airpower across the globe is simply unmatched.” Carlisle praised airmen for their innovative thinking and the great work they do everyday, but said USAF still doesn’t have the capacity to meet all of the requests coming from combatant commanders. The “unrelenting” ops tempo is “burning out” good airmen and the Air Force has got to find a solution, said Carlisle. “We are losing incredible airmen [who] love what they do because we’re burning them out and we’re asking too much of their families,” he said. “We’ve got to figure out the capacity discussion and we’ve got to figure out how to take care of our airmen.”