Reinvention Time

It is time once again time for the Air Force to “stop and take another hard look in the mirror,” and rethink itself, said Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh in an interview with Air Force Magazine last week. Welsh said the Air Force has gone through several periods of reinvention, usually brought on by new technology, world conditions, or, sometimes, disappointing performance. After World War I, the air service decided that “air superiority was really good for airplanes to do.” After WWII, it appeared that “strategic bombardment” was the main mission. After Vietnam, where “we struggled, in some cases, in the tactical arena,” the Air Force developed Red Flag, better fighters, and better tactical systems and methods. It worked well in Desert Storm. But “For the last 10-15-25 years, we’ve been fighting a different kind of fight with a different kind of enemy,” he observed. And given that “it’s been 35-40 years” since the last big shakeup in how the Air Force sees itself, “it’s time to re-look (at) where we are, where we’re going and how we get there.” This effort has been underway “for the last couple of years. It’s time to re-set for the future.”