The Heavily Committed Force

More than half the Air Force is directly supporting combatant commanders worldwide, the Chief of Staff said Tuesday, explaining that it is a higher portion than any other service. Speaking at AFA’s Air and Space Conference, Gen. Michael Moseley noted that USAF has 30,000 airmen deployed to the US Central Command area of responsibility alone—that is more personnel than the Marine Corps has in theater. Some of the unified command assignments are obvious, such as airmen flying over Afghanistan, or performing “in lieu of” jobs for the Army, like combat convoy operations. Others are less obvious—Gen. Kevin Chilton, chief of Air Force Space Command, said that AFSPC’s operational airmen are all chopped to warfighting commands, whether it is to perform the nuclear missile mission for US Strategic Command or satellite communications work for the various regional commanders.