Let’s “Settle Things Down”

The Air Force’s new leadership team, Acting Secretary Michael Donley and Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz, in a visit last week at Hill AFB, Utah, emphasized that they want to “settle things down,” as Donley phrased it, after the Air Force’s recent problems in the nuclear arena and ouster of its two previous leaders. Donley told airmen at Hill, “I’ve found the Air Force a little rocked by some of the decisions that have been made in Washington” and acknowledged that the leadership change is “unprecedented.” Schwartz said, “We have some things we need to work on, and we will.” Both leaders expressed the opinion that matters in the nuclear enterprise area, which Donley said gets “a lot of my attention,” already have improved. Schwartz said, “Your Air Force, in those areas where we’ve had some difficulties, is coming back.” Donley noted, too, that the Air Force is in a “critical time,” entering a normal planning cycle, preparing for a new Administration, and launching work on the next quadrennial defense review. Following planning sessions with Air Force leaders, he expects to “see decisions within the next few months.” (Hill report)