Ready for Anything, Because it Happens

Regardless of the type of conflict in which the United States is currently engaged, the Air Force must ensure it is always capable of performing the full spectrum of its key missions—from airlift and close air support to long-range strike, said Air Force Assistant Vice Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Frank Gorenc on Sept. 27. “We have been caught short many times in our history, and things happen that were unthinkable,” he said during an AFA-Air Force Breakfast Program speech in Arlington, Va. “One of the things we’re looking at is making sure that we meet the charter of the 1947 . . . to maintain a holistic view of all of the capabilities that are required to execute airpower,” explained Gorenc. For example, in the midst of counterinsurgency fighting in Afghanistan, the Air Force had to react to traditional armed threats overnight in Libya in 2011, he noted. “There was a classic integrated air defense system that had to be dealt with to establish the no-fly zone” over Libya, he reminded.