Pushing Culture Change

Air Force Secretary Michael Donley thinks that Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz and he have succeeded in changing the culture of the Air Force in the past year. He told reporters at the Pentagon June 26 that the decisions on cutting the fighter force by 3.4 wings and terminating F-22 production are “broadly understood” in the service, “especially by the leadership.” He acknowledged that “it doesn’t mean they’re all of the same mind (see below).” But he said the unconverted are informed by their “personal and professional backgrounds,” which may reflect a prejudiced view of the service’s myriad missions. “The vision of the Air Force as flying fighter aircraft and doing air-to-air combat and dropping weapons from fighter aircraft is a very monocular and narrow-focused vision,” Donley said. Schwartz and he have been trying to steer the service away from undue influence by the bomber and fighter pilot communities, and have made a strong effort to take a “more inclusive view of the contributions of every airman to this work,” Donley said. (For more from Donley’s June 26 press roundtable, read It’s Around Here Somewhere as well as Take a Deep Breath.)