There were no surprises and few substantive changes resulting from the quadrennial roles and missions review recently completed by the Pentagon, says Gen. Norton Schwartz, Air Force Chief of Staff. However, the exercise “crystallized … our thinking about what the Air Force’s core functions are” and set the template for how the Air Force organizes itself and “how we manage our portfolios,” Schwartz said during an interview Dec. 22. There are 12 such core functions. Among them, he said, are “nuclear deterrence operations; air, space, and cyber superiority; special operations; rapid global lift; [and] agile combat support.” The full dozen will be revealed after Congress has had a chance to weigh in on them, Schwartz said. Congress mandated in the 2008 defense authorization act that an R&M review take place every four years as a precursor to the broader quadrennial defense review. One of the goals of this year’s review was to identify areas of unnecessary duplication across the Department of Defense enterprise. The R&M review is due to Congress no later than the Pentagon’s submission of its Fiscal 2010 budget request.
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.