Running the Numbers and Airpower’s Importance

The Air Force and the other services are engaged in a series of tough budget talks, but the drills are showing that airpower is key to what the joint force is being asked to do in the future, Air Force Acting Secretary Eric Fanning told AFA’s Pacific Air & Space Symposium in Los Angeles. “We all recognize we are doing things we don’t want to do,” said Fanning about these budget deliberations and the necessary tradeoffs during his Nov. 22 symposium address. He said the Air Force’s Fiscal 2015 budget plan is not going to make anyone happy, especially Congress. But he emphasized that every time he visits Capitol Hill, he tries to get a conversation going about the context of the vertical cuts to force structure that the Air Force is staring at. “Don’t look at cuts in isolation, look at them in the context of sequestration,” said Fanning. When the Air Force pares down its budget needs, in the context of the needs of the joint force, what winds up becoming clear is that the joint force is incredibly dependent on air and space power, he said. “The ability to see and move quickly is important, especially in [the Pacific rebalance],” said Fanning.