Swing Force

The Air Force’s ability to fulfill its mission objectives in one conflict and then shift its forces to a second contingency in time will be crucial to the US military in the future, said Gen. Philip Breedlove, Air Force vice chief of staff, May 10. “In our new strategic guidance, the ability to swing capacity from one to the second conflict is a key to how well we will support the joint force,” he told the Senate Armed Services Committee’s readiness panel. That will be no easy feat, however, since the Air Force’s capacity is coming down due to the personnel and force structure cuts that the service leadership says are necessary to absorb steep budget cuts while preventing a hollow force. Accordingly, Breedlove said this is an issue of concern for him. “If we’re fully engaged in the first [conflict], will we have time to get to the objectives we need in the first engagement in order to properly support the second engagement with our reduced capacity?” he asked. (Breedlove’s written testimony)