Despite grave concerns being expressed about impending budget cuts, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz urged attendees at the Air Force Association’s Air & Space Conference at National Harbor, Md., near Washington, D.C., not to be too downbeat. “This is not a time to despair,” he said at Wednesday’s Four-Star Forum. “We’re still going to be a $100 billion Air Force and we can do a hell of a lot with that,” declared Schwartz, who has served as USAF’s top uniformed official since August 2008.
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.