Two years after leaving his position as the Air Force’s top uniformed officer, retired Gen. Norton Schwartz, former Chief of Staff, is urging Congress to accept the Defense Department’s plea for another round of BRAC. Due to aircraft and personnel cuts, DOD must cut bases if there is any hope of productively using its resources, according to a March 11 editorial in Politico Magazine, penned by Schwartz, who currently serves as President and chief executive officer of Business Executives for National Security, and fellow board member William Murdy. With “the cost of refurbishing existing bases and the limited resources expected to be available in the years ahead, we should question whether Congress’ opposition to the base cuts is prudent, or even defensible,” they wrote. Schwartz and Murdy note that the Air Force alone claims a 25 percent excess in basing. “These numbers are due mostly to obsolescence, improvements in operational efficiency, retirement of old systems, and, perversely, the reorganization/consolidation actions” from the last BRAC round.
Three B-1B Lancers from the 7th Bomb Wing flew over the Indo-Pacific alongside F-16s from the Japanese Air Self Defense Force recently, as part of a joint large force exercise. The mission began and ended in the continental U.S., as the bombers flew 31 hours and landed Jan. 11.