The Air Force’s emphasis on the Total Force is not going away when the Total Force Task Force wraps up its work this fall, said Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh on Wednesday. “The idea is that the Total Force Task Force as a named thing will go away,” said Welsh at AFA’s 2013 Air and Space Conference in National Harbor, Md. However, the Air Force has learned a lot from it in a very short period of time, and Welsh said he intends to capitalize on that. “We want to integrate [Total Force] into the whole Air Staff,” he said. The idea is that officers in all three components will be “groomed over time, almost like a joint designator,” he said. Eventually—though Welsh acknowledged this will not happen overnight—an airmen’s Total Force knowledge will play a significant role in certain career progressions, he said.
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.