Gen. Norton Schwartz, Chief of Staff, used some football analogies to reinforce the Air Force leadership’s back-to-basics message to airmen of the 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing on Oct. 25 at Joint Base Balad, Iraq, the last stop of his week-long trip to Southwest Asia and the Horn of Africa. Indeed, just as the players on a football team must block and tackle properly for the team to excel, so, too, must each airman do his job precisely and reliably for the Air Force to be successful, Schwartz said. “This is a team sport, and everybody’s got to play their position for us to be successful,” he said. “What you need to do for us—for our Air Force family—is just block and tackle,” he continued. Schwartz also reiterated the importance of the Air Force’s nuclear mission, saying it is the foundation for every other service effort, including the war on terrorism. That’s why it is so important to fully restore confidence and faith in the Air Force’s stewardship, he said. “If you don’t like your doctor or attorney, you can find another one,” he said, adding, “But what happens if America loses faith in its Air Force? There’s no alternative.” (Balad report by SSgt. Don Branum)
While the Air Force is keeping a seemingly optimistic outlook about the future of its MH-139 Grey Wolf fleet, despite problems receiving FAA certification, another of the service’s helicopter programs is being prematurely curtailed—and officials are already considering what might come next.