James Sworn in as Secretary

Deborah James is now the 23rd Air Force Secretary after her swearing-in at the Pentagon. “I think our Air Force is in great shape given that we’ve been living through some difficult times,” said James in her first comments as Secretary during the Dec. 20 ceremony. “I’m enormously optimistic about the future of our Air Force. We have nothing but opportunities to face in the upcoming years,” she said. James added that she was confident the Air Force is “going to remain No. 1,” but would become “smaller,” according to the service’s release. As the Air Force begins force management programs to cut end strength by some 25,000 over the next five years, she said service officials “are going to be as transparent as possible” and get information to airmen as quickly as possible. “We don’t want them to be consumed by worries of the future,” said James. President Obama nominated James for the position in August. She comes to the Air Force from Science Applications International Corporation where she was president of the company’s technology and engineering sector. (See James’ video message to airmen.)