Team Player

The Air Force is bearing some of the cost to soften the blow of downsizing ground forces over the coming years, said Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz Thursday at AFA’s Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Fla. After his keynote address, Schwartz was asked if it was fair to say the Air Force had not done as well as the other services in the Pentagon’s Fiscal 2013 budget request. He replied that it would be “inhumane” to try to cut the Army and Marine Corps by 65,000 and 10,000 troops, respectively, “in one year.” The 2013 budget, he explained, is a “snapshot that needs to be taken in a larger context.” The “glide path” for reducing manpower defense-wide “will extend from [Fiscal] ’13 through [Fiscal] ’17 and probably beyond,” he said. He continued, “Because of that reality, there were certain push-arounds associated with the budget.” He said the Air Force will “have our opportunity to alter that snapshot condition in ’13 as we go forward.” Toward the larger question of budget share, he said: “I don’t think anyone can deny the fact that the new strategic guidance is air- and space- and cyber-power friendly. It’s undeniable. We’ll just have to posture ourselves in an economic and efficient way . . . for those requirements.”