Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein said Tuesday he is not worried about the pace of transition as the Trump Administration fills out top leadership positions at the Pentagon, but he said the military chiefs are still working to figure out how the new administration operates. At a New America event on “The Future of War,” Goldfein told the Washington, D.C., audience that the delay in filling top posts in the Defense Department is “not yet” concerning. He said the Air Force has not been hampered by operating with temporary leaders while the service awaits permanent replacements. “There’s nothing acting about our acting secretary,” Goldfein said, calling Lisa Disbrow’s performance in that role “spectacular.” Goldfein said he was “impressed” with President Donald Trump as “very thoughtful” and “a good listener,” but he also said that he and the other Joint Chiefs are “watching to see sort of how things settle in the administration, where power centers.” This means that two months into the Trump presidency, Goldfein is still wondering, “how does he make decisions?” But instead of worrying about potential conflict within the Pentagon, Goldfein anticipates “creative tension” from a dialogue involving diversity of opinion in the department. “As long as it’s respectful,” Goldfein said, “we’re going to come to a better solution.”
The Air Force overall reduced its size by 120 aircraft in fiscal year 2021, but kept about the same number of fighter, bomber and attack aircraft, according to data supplied by the service. The F-35 fleet saw the biggest increase while the B-1B bomber fleet saw the largest decline.