The Binding, Decisive Force

The Air Force is the crucial connective tissue of the joint force and airpower alone can be decisive, Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh said April 2. Speaking at an AFA-sponsored, Air Force breakfast in Arlington, Va., Welsh made the case for the Air Force, saying that while no service “is any more important than any other,” USAF’s airlift, precision navigation, timing, communications, air refueling, and command and control “are the things that bind the Joint Force together … we’re the only ones who can bring all that.” He praised the other services as being the best in the world at their specialties, but said while every service has “their piece” of the mission, “ours is the integrating, enabling piece.” However, because of that, “people kind of forget … that airpower can be decisive. And anyone who says otherwise has no idea what they’re talking about.” While airpower doesn’t always have to be “the primary factor in every conflict,” and may not even be “appropriate in every scenario,” its potential—especially “when you’ve got to get there fast”—must not be discounted, Welsh said.