Air Force leaders will examine a new Air and Space Expeditionary Force at the next Corona senior leaders session that if approved will mean airmen, their leadership, their unit, and equipment will deploy together as one comprehensive package rather than as individuals. The idea is to ensure the most experienced personnel remain assigned to units preparing to deploy and that the Air Force will be better equipped to support global combatant commanders, said Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz during his address at AFA’s Air & Space Conference. “We also will ensure that these teams are appropriately sized across 28 specific air, space, and cyber capabilities,” said Schwartz. “The ultimate goal with this proposal is to ensure predictability for more coherent aggregations of Air Force combat capability, less serendipity in the formation of expeditionary units once they are deployed, consistency with Global Force Management and Adaptive Planning Guidance, and accountability for proper support of combatant command requirements.” CMSAF James Roy said Wednesday during his own address that the concept will help airmen “fight like you train and train like you fight.” Roy said there is a “lot of goodness” in having airmen deploy with their immediate leadership, and said he expects the Air Force “will be launching this forward very, very soon.”
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.