Maj. Gen. Stephen Wilson, 8th Air Force boss, released a memo for all personnel under his command, outlining his views on the state of the organization, which oversees USAF’s B-2A and B-52H dual-role bombers, and his priorities going forward. Wilson, who assumed command in June, said he will uphold the numbered air force’s mission to be America’s “best prepared force to apply global strike capability across the spectrum of conflict should deterrence fail.” This means continually improving personnel and forces, while strengthening both conventional and nuclear capabilities, he said. To achieve this, Wilson emphasized five priorities: First, to deter potential adversaries by guaranteeing that America’s strategic nuclear forces remain safe, secure, and effective. Second, to defend by continuously improving strike capability to hold any target in the world at risk. Third, to integrate with the combatant commands to win today’s fight, while preparing for tomorrow’s challenges. Fourth, to prepare by conducting “demanding and realistic” training, exercises, and assessments. Fifth, to execute by enhancing 8th AF’s ability to employ global striking power and intelligence-surveillance-reconnaissance rapidly, effectively, efficiently, and decisively.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.