Who You Gonna Call?

Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh said on Tuesday he is really tired of answering the question: Why do we need an Air Force? “You’ve got to be kidding me? We’re still on that,” he said during his speech at AFA’s 2013 Air and Space Conference. “Let’s just shoot this one in the head,” he said. Whenever a commander needs airpower, noted Welsh, he calls the Air Force. Welsh emphasized his point by showing a briefing slide mapping out the number of personnel per service who do “anything airpower-related.” The Air Force, with 690,000, far surpassed the other services. The Navy came in second with 70,000, followed by the Marine Corps at 39,000, and then the Army at 34,000. Welsh said what the other services do is just as important, but there is only one service that can do what the Air Force does.