The fact that Operation Inherent Resolve has not been led by an airman even though it is mostly an air war does not mean an airman could not do the job, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford said. The Army has taken the role because the construct of the Army corps meant an “easy fix,” though Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein said Tuesday he was looking to make better prepared numbered air force commanders to lead a task force, such as Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve. Defense Secretary Ash Carter picked the leaders for OIR because they were the most qualified at the time, but the fact that they were Army generals does not mean an airman would not be ready the next time the slot opens, said Dunford at ASC16. Dunford said could “name names” of airmen who are qualified.
Boeing’s receipt of the 10th lot contract award for the KC-46 Pegasus this week leaves just three lots left to complete the Air Force’s buy of the tanker, although a further buy of 75 additional aircraft as a “bridge” to the Next-Generation Aerial-refueling System (NGAS) seems increasingly likely.