A microphone. Verbatim. Air Force Magazine. Cornelia Schneider-Frank/Pixabay
Photo Caption & Credits

Verbatim

March 26, 2021

Gold Medal Standard

Adam Schultz/White House

We must prepare together for a long-term strategic competition with China. How the United States, Europe, and Asia work together to secure the peace and defend our shared values and advance our prosperity across the Pacific will be among the most consequential efforts we undertake. Competition with China is going to be stiff. … We can own the race for the future. But to do so, we have to be clear-eyed about the historic investments and partnerships that this will require. We have to protect—we have to protect for space, for innovation, for intellectual property, and the creative genius that thrives with the free exchange of ideas in open, democratic societies.

President Joe Biden remarks at the Virtual Munich Security Conference with his fellow G-7 world leaders [Feb. 19].

Brown’s Report Card

AFA

How’m I doing? I’ll let the folks in the field judge, but there’s always room for improvement. I think there are some positive things, but I think we’re also changing the culture of the Air Force … And a cultural change takes a bit of time. And you’ll have some naysayers, have some friction points. But I’ve got to be … consistent and persistent on the focus … to get through all five stages of ‘no’: hell no; no, we’ll think about it; not a bad idea; we should have done it already.

Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr., usaf Chief of Staff, at AFA’s vAWS discussing his “Accelerate Change or Lose” message [Feb. 24].

Son of a Peacekeeper

AFA

We’ve got to find a name for the [Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent]. GBSD just doesn’t hack it. … Because GBSD is very hard to explain to the American people … GBSD requires me to define the term before I actually get into it, so for God’s sakes, Air Force, let’s get a name for the thing and start moving forward.

Gen. John E. Hyten, vice chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, in a recorded panel discussion released at AFA’s vAWS [Feb. 26]. 
 

Puzzled

Mike Tsukamoto/staff; Pixabay

You have personnel who have to take Navy data, put it on a hard drive, fly it to an Air Force network to transmit to another Air Force place, so they can push it out to different elements in the Joint Force. … That’s unacceptable, right? We’re moving data on hard drives … because we won’t allow each other’s personnel access to each other’s networks.

Lt. Gen. Michael Groen, director of the Pentagon’s Joint Artificial Intelligence Center, on the state of information sharing in today’s Defense Department, during a virtual Government CIO event [March 11].

Bipartisanship

Staff Sgt. Trevor McBride

Last week’s airstrikes in Syria show that the Executive Branch, regardless of party, will continue to stretch its war powers. Congress has a responsibility to not only vote to authorize new military action, but to repeal old authorizations that are no longer necessary.

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), March 3.

Golden Age

The new auhorities that we have received—[section] 804, rapid fielding authorities—we are embracing them with both arms, because in my mind, this is the golden age of acquisition for the Air Force, something that people like me … have been waiting for our entire career. [They] allow us to go faster, to experiment, to fail, to try again, and to have the backing that, ‘that’s okay.’

Brig. Gen. Anthony Genatempo, commander, Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center, panel discussion on nuclear systems at AFA’s virtual Aerospace Warfare Symposium (vAWS) [Feb. 24].

Promises, Promises

Marvin Lynchard/DOD

We implemented our side of it in good faith, but it’s fair to say the Taliban have not.

Mark T. Esper, former Defense Secretary, on keeping troops in Afghanistan, in an interview with Brookings Institution
[Feb. 26].