The Air Force’s capacity to do multiple big operations either simultaneously or in quick succession will end when the service implements budget cuts now in development, said Lt. Gen. Herbert Carlisle, deputy chief of staff for operations, plans, and requirements, Thursday. The force is being shaped in order to “deal with a high-end adversary,” if necessary, he said during an Air Force Association-sponsored Air Force Breakfast Program presentation in Arlington, Va. The Air Force, he continued, “probably couldn’t do what we did last March,” when it supported not only operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, but also a new shooting war in Libya and a major relief effort in Japan. “We all know . . . what budget constraints we’re under right now,” said Carlisle. “Currently, we’re kind of a budget in search of a strategy.”
NASA, SpaceX, and United Launch Alliance are all preparing to launch their next-gen rockets from Florida’s Space Coast, two of them before the year is out. One is expected to liberate the U.S. launch enterprise from its reliance on Russian-made RD-180 engines, while all three rockets could eventually carry astronaut crews.