On Monday, Acting Air Force Secretary Michael B. Donley spelled out the top priorities for the Air Force in the months before a new Administration takes office. Speaking at AFA’s Air & Space Conference in Washington, Donley said the top priority will be an overhaul of the service’s nuclear posture; possibly to include a new organization that would focus solely on the nuclear mission. Second will be to continue to prosecute the war on terror; third, to take care of airmen and their families; and last, to “modernize our aging air and space fleet.” Donley also said numerous reviews and studies are underway to build portfolios of options for the next Administration on a host of issues, all of which need quick attention. Without reciting the litany of top-level firings, acquisition missteps and leadership reshuffling USAF has experienced in the last few months, Donley dryly opened his remarks by noting: “It was an interesting summer.”
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.