The Air Force needs to foster innovative ideas wherever they come from and recognize that no group of airmen has a monopoly on good ideas, said Gen. Norton Schwartz, Chief of Staff, during a Feb. 26 meeting with reporters at AFA’s Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando. Schwartz was explaining his unconventional speech minutes earlier, which devoted considerable time to competing theories about the invention of moveable type in the 15th century and to ancient Athenian law that prohibited slaves from practicing in the arts. Asked what the takeaways should be from those histories, Schwartz said no one has the market on wisdom cornered, and USAF will seek good ideas wherever they originate. Moveable type, for example, was a classic case of ordinary people seeking solutions to everyday problems during hard times. Innovation will be particularly important to the Air Force during periods of austerity—such as now—Schwartz said during his speech.
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.