A Journey, not a Destination

The Air Force is focused on a new guiding concept called “strategic agility,” which is more about institutional change than any one mission or capability, said Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh during a speech Wednesday at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. The concept, however, must be tied to realistic spending limits. “The concept is pretty simple, it’s just hard to get there,” Welsh said. It covers everything from thought to training, education to decision making, and acquisitions and operations. “We have to change everything a little bit in order to get to this point. It’s a long-term journey,” he said. This won’t be accomplished in a single budget cycle, but it must be addressed by retooling service strategy and long-range planning. Welsh previously said USAF would make changes to the Air Staff to reflect the concept. “The idea is that we will have a living, breathing strategy,” Welsh said. The first piece will focus on long-range science and technology and concepts, which will be combined into a “master plan” and a more immediate five-year spending plan. “We have got to stop pushing cost into the future, and assuming money will fall into place because that’s not going to happen for the foreseeable future.”