Sharing a “Balanced Approach”

Air Force Lt. Gen. Chip Utterback, commander of 13th Air Force, told attendees at the Royal New Zealand Air Force Chief of Air Force Conference last week that the air forces “in this region need to share a balanced approach taking into account not only our own capabilities but those of our partners.” For instance, he said that, before arriving at an operational site, the two air forces need to ensure compatibility on such things as being able to refuel aircraft at the same pump and having “a common understanding of airspace control.” He noted the 10-year effort by New Zealand to modernize its defense forces and declared that Pacific Air Forces and 13th AF “are committed to our allies and partners in this region” and, in fact, he said, “we consider ourselves a Pacific nation … [and] share a common goal: peace and stability in the region.” Utterback urged the RNZAF that “as airmen, we should find those venues where we can take advantage of our natural relationship, to hone our planning skills and share our capabilities.” (13th AF report by Maj. Sam Highley)