Keys and the Day of the Thoroughbreds

Things are going to get tight around the Air Force in the next several months and years, so it’s best to get used to trying to figure out what each airman brings to the effort and make sure it is actually needed. So says Gen. Ronald E. Keys, the head of Air Combat Command at Langley AFB, Va. In a July 20 statement to his troops, Keys warned, “Soon, we are going to be about 40,000 full-time [troop] equivalents smaller across the active, Guard, Reserve, and civilian force. That means we have to stop doing things that don’t really add value to our force anymore—even if we do them very well,” he writes. He praises some of his airmen for mapping out routines and cutting extraneous steps. “My challenge is to take all of your good ideas and institutionalize them across Air Combat Command,” he added. In the past, Keys warned that the Air Force was “going to have to start shooting thoroughbreds in order to save the rest of the herd,” and it seems the time has now come.