In addition to increasing fighter pilot production, the Air Force also intends to “normalize the MC-12”, maintain mobility pilot inventory at sustainable levels, and “scrub” rated requirements based on “inventory realities,” wrote Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz in a Nov. 2 letter to major commands and the Air Staff outlining decisions made at a recent Rated Summit. “Your continued candor and willingness to make the tough calls will help to ensure the viability and sustainability of our rated force as we work to rebalance the rated training pipeline,” wrote Schwartz (See above). “We must move quickly on these decisions in order to synchronize with other major programmatic efforts.” Future summits, which Schwartz said should be conducted on a more regular basis, will look at how force structure changes are impacting the health of the rated force, he wrote. (Schwartz letter)
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.