Among issues the head of the House Armed Service Committee, Ike Skelton (D-Mo.), says are “overdue” for consideration is a re-evaluation of roles and missions of each of the services so that they are “properly postured to provide the full range of capabilities the joint force requires, without developing redundant capabilities that waste scarce defense resources.” In an address April 3 at Westminster College in Fulton, Mo., Skelton acknowledged that the recent “development of capabilities in some services that have traditionally resided in others” has, to some extent, come “out of necessity,” such as airmen performing soldiers’ jobs. He sees the Army’s “desire for intra-theater airlift as a sort of regression” back to the days before a separate Air Force. It is becoming clear that Skelton and some other lawmakers do recognize that it’s time to establish clear lanes and eliminate the confusion and waste inherent in duplication—say, with unmanned aerial vehicles (see above.)
Three B-1B Lancers from the 7th Bomb Wing flew over the Indo-Pacific alongside F-16s from the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force as part of a joint large force exercise. The mission began and ended in the continental U.S. The bombers flew 31 hours and landed Jan. 11.