The Air Force has pushed hard to move cargo for the Afghanistan troop surge, Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz said Tuesday. Speaking at an Air Force Association-sponsored Air Force Breakfast Series presentation in Arlington, Va., Schwartz said that USAF has mounted 2,800 airlift sorties into Afghanistan since January, moving more than 85,000 tons of cargo. The daily average has been raised 50 percent from a pre-surge tally of 800 short tons a day “to 1,200 short tons a day,” he said. The peak came on March 16, when more than 1,600 short tons went in, he noted, adding that the Air Force isn’t done yet. (For more from Schwartz’s presentation, see Extension Chord above.) (For more on USAF’s support of the surge, read Afghanistan and ISR and Beyond CAP Fixation.)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.