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REPORT OF THE SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE
Since its inception, the Air Force has built a proud legacy defending the interests of America and its allies around the globe. With the transition from the Cold War security environment complete, the Service has reduced its force structure by one–third and its foreign basing by two–thirds. However, post–Cold War foreign policy has required a four–fold growth in the number of overseas deployments since 1989. The Air Force is entering a new era—one in which expeditionary aerospace power is the cornerstone of America’s military strategy and continuous temporary deployments of Air Force resources are the norm. To meet this challenge, the Air Force must convert to an expeditionary force structure, drawing on the Total Force team of active duty, Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve, and civilian employees. The Expeditionary Aerospace Force (EAF) reorganization adopted in 1998, and just recently implemented, meets both current and future national security requirements and brings with it global vigilance, reach, power, and leadership to the nation.
MEETING THE CHALLENGES OF THE GLOBAL SECURITY LANDSCAPE
Allied Force (Kosovo)
Nothing demonstrated the Air Force’s ability to meet the demands of the post–Cold War era better than operations in Kosovo. The Air Force deployed over 18,000 personnel from the active and reserve forces to support Operation Allied Force, and committed 24,000 airmen stationed in Europe to this effort. The operation was a joint and allied effort, and the Air Force comprised nearly 50 percent of the combat force, delivered over 70 percent of the munitions, and provided almost all supporting aircraft. Operation Allied Force represented the most precise air campaign in history, with over 90 percent of the Air Force’s strike assets able to deliver precision guided munitions. The success of the operation validated the Service’s investment in precision platforms; precision, near–precision and stand–off weapons; stealth; real–time communications; unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs); space systems; and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft. Furthermore, the war in Kosovo proved that many of the concepts that are central to our vision of an expeditionary aerospace force in the 21st century work in the way we hoped they would. We deployed to more than 20 expeditionary bases, used satellite communications (SATCOM) to reachback for intelligence, integrated UAVs into our tactical operations, and proved that our logistics system works.
Operation Allied Force served as an effective display of distributed operations, reachback, and employment of UAVs. Through distributed operations, the Air Force leveraged space reconnaissance and communication assets to accomplish a real–time relay of information to analysts and critical planners both in theater and in the continental United States (CONUS). By reaching back to CONUS for real–time support, the joint forces in theater were leaner and better supported than they would have been if the allies had to deploy these assets to the theater of operations. In addition, the joint force effectively used UAVs to complement manned U–2 reconnaissance missions and independently target mobile threats—providing instantaneous precision coordinates and the ability to laser designate those threats for strike aircraft. By combining distributed operations, reachback, and UAV operations into one team effort, NATO forces successfully attacked ground targets within hours and sometimes minutes of identifying them.
Operation Allied Force demonstrated that the Air Force’s logistics system works and works well. The Service surged Air Force depots, established Centralized Intermediate Repair Facilities in theater, supplied robust readiness spares kits, and established logistics command and control (C2) cells, all of which dramatically improved aircraft in–commission rates during operations. Additionally, the Air Force worked with private industry to successfully surge production capacity for munitions and aircraft self–protection (ALE–50 towed decoy) requirements. Air Mobility Command’s Worldwide Express package delivery system also moved material from CONUS to theater in record time. Logistics response times averaged 8 days, a historical record, with 93 percent of replacement parts averaging just 3.7 days of in–transit time.
After 78 days of combat operations and the Operation Allied Force victory, the Air Force quickly transitioned to meet the challenges of the Kosovo Stabilization Force and ongoing Bosnia Stabilization Force. The Air Force remains committed to protecting the fragile peace in the region and continues to support the operation with 1,700 personnel and 20 aircraft. More importantly, lessons learned in Kosovo are being applied to future training and investment strategies.
Contingency Operations and Humanitarian Relief
The Air Force continues to support ongoing contingencies—Operations Northern and Southern Watch in Southwest Asia. On two separate occasions, expeditionary forces in the southern no–fly zone were increased in support of Operations Desert Thunder and Desert Fox to counter Iraq’s defiance of United Nations Resolutions. In both operations, the Air Force added nearly 40 additional aircraft and over 1,200 personnel. During these rapid build–ups, the air mobility forces proved once again why they are critical to our defense strategy, flying over 400 airlift missions and providing aerial refueling for Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps combat aircraft. The Air Force also supported Operation Joint Forge, a NATO peace effort in Bosnia, and Operation Stabilise in East Timor.
The Air Force was heavily tasked in 1999 for its mobility and infrastructure repair capabilities in support of humanitarian relief operations. When Hurricane Mitch devastated Central America, the Air Force lifted 10 million pounds of food, medical supplies, and relief workers into the region. In addition, Operation Shining Hope became the lifeline support for some 1.6 million Kosovars displaced into Albania—over 850 Air Force personnel provided civil engineering, logistics, security, and more than 2,500 airlift missions. We were also there to support earthquake relief in Turkey and Taiwan with relief missions and U.S. search and rescue teams. On a day–to–day basis, the Air Force continues to lend its expertise to local authorities in the fields of fire fighting, environmental clean–up, explosive ordnance disposal, emergency medical response, and search and rescue.
The Air Force continues to play an important role assisting drug enforcement agencies. The Air Force orchestrates airborne and ground–based radar, intelligence, surveillance, refueling, and reconnaissance platforms to intercept and track smugglers far south of our borders. To combat terrorism, the Air Force created new vulnerability assessment teams and conducted 36 vulnerability assessments at air bases and operating locations around the globe. These teams provided immediate short–term solutions and long–range recommendations to protect Air Force personnel, their families, and other Air Force critical resources.
While the Cold War nuclear threat has subsided, the requirement to demonstrate our national resolve to any potential aggressor remains at the heart of our national security. The Air Force contributes intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), manned bombers, and command and control assets to the joint nuclear deterrent triad. The Air Force is investing in Minuteman III with several life extension programs and is making improvements to the B–2 and B–52 fleets. Air Force B–2 and B–52 bombers remain the most flexible leg of the triad, retaining their importance as a strategic nuclear platform even as their conventional role expands. These programs, along with investments in secure robust command and control, provide the National Command Authorities a secure means to command the triad and ensure the capability to respond, even after an attack.
ORGANIZED TO WIN
Peacetime contingency operations over the past decade have placed heavy demands on Air Force people and equipment. To meet these requirements, the Air Force adopted the Expeditionary Aerospace Force reorganization in 1998 and continued to implement that reorganization and related Total Force and aerospace integration reforms in 1999.
Expeditionary Aerospace Force
In August 1998, the Secretary and Chief of the Staff of the Air Force announced the EAF concept. EAF provides the commanders in chief (CINCs) forces tailored and trained for specific requirements and provides stability and predictability to the force. On October 1, 1999, we made the first deployment of reorganized forces. The new EAF concept enables the Air Force to meet the nation’s 21st century national security challenges. EAF represents a major change to the Air Force’s Total Force structure and culture. The Air Force operationally linked geographically separated units into 10 Aerospace Expeditionary Forces (AEFs), each with a full complement of aerospace power. AEFs are scheduled on a 15–month cycle with 90–day vulnerability periods, while two Aerospace Expeditionary Wings are available for quick response in crisis situations. The EAF also contains five mobility headquarters units that can deploy for humanitarian relief operations. By March 2000, the Air Force will have deployed six of 10 AEFs to support worldwide commitments. The Air Force continues to hone the EAF concept, incorporating lessons learned from ongoing aerospace expeditionary force deployments.
Total Force Integration
The United States Air Force is an integrated force that relies on critical contributions from active–duty members, guardsmen, reservists, civilians, and contractors. Each brings unique and complementary characteristics to produce a strong and versatile team. The active component drawdown, in concert with a shortage of trained aircrews on active duty and the increase in operating tempo, has dramatically increased Air Force reliance on the Air National Guard and Reserve. For example, the Air National Guard is picking up the training mission at Kelly Air Force Base, Texas, and Springfield Air National Guard Base, Ohio, and the Reserve is picking up a key portion of the training mission at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona. In addition, the Reserve is conducting test support at Edwards Test Center, California, flight check functions at Air Force depots, and instructor duties at primary pilot training bases. We have also established reserve associate units alongside active F–16, Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS), KC–135, and C–17 units. Associate units have no assigned aircraft and use active duty aircraft for training and mission accomplishment. In 1999, the Air National Guard and Reserve have been called upon to address a growing range of peacetime and contingency operations with their participation instrumental to success.
The Air Force is committed to further integrating its people and air and space capabilities into a fully capable aerospace force. This objective includes fielding a seamless, integrated aerospace force with the full range of capabilities to control and exploit the aerospace continuum. In FY 2000, the Air Force plans to release an Aerospace Integration Plan, which continues actions to further harmonize its people and systems. The Service’s overarching objective is to master the application of aerospace power to support the nation’s interests. As the Air Force modernizes both its air and space force structure and develops its aerospace leaders, it will continue to pursue opportunities to enhance its warfighting capabilities for the joint team and nation. The Air Force will make tradeoffs between air, space, and information capabilities to achieve desired effects that will produce the right results. In the long term, the Air Force will be prepared to conduct combat operations in, from, and through space should national policy so dictate.
OUR ABILITY TO FIGHT AND WIN DEPENDS ON READINESS
To meet our mission to respond rapidly anywhere in the world on very short notice, the Air Force is expected to maintain a high state of readiness. People, training, equipment, logistics, and infrastructure combine to define and measure that readiness. As Air Force senior leaders have reported, the Service remains ready to meet today’s demands, but the combination of several years of constant high operating tempo, aging equipment, and the cumulative effect of chronic underfunding threatens the Service’s future readiness levels.
The Air Force is the preeminent aerospace force in the world because of the high quality of its people. They truly ensure the success of the Service’s operations worldwide. To remain the world’s preeminent aerospace power, the Air Force must continue to recruit people who are capable and highly motivated, and it must retain people with the skills needed to employ our advanced technologies. However, a constant high deployment rate along with the strongest economy in a generation have made both retention and recruiting much more difficult.
To date, retention rates of our enlisted force are below our desired levels for the second year in a row. First–term retention in FY 1999 was 49 percent, well below the Air Force goal of 55 percent, and retention of career airmen was 91 percent, or 4 percent below the Air Force goal. While retention of second–term airmen has stabilized, at 69 percent, it still falls short of our preferred level of 75 percent. Retention in the officer corps is also challenging. In FY 1999, pilot retention was only 41 percent, down from 46 percent in FY 1998, while navigator retention remained at 62 percent. However, the FY 1999 long–term pilot bonus take rate, a forward–looking measure of pilot retention, rose to 42 percent, up 15 percentage points from FY 1998’s long–term rate of 27 percent, and this permits a measure of guarded optimism. The authority to expand aviation continuation pay, recently provided by Congress in the FY 2000 National Defense Authorization Act, is a significant part of a multi–faceted approach designed to improve pilot retention in FY 2000 and beyond. Retention rates for mission support officers actually improved from 43 percent to 44 percent in FY 1999, while retention rates for nonrated operations officers dropped from 57 percent to 56 percent. Exit surveys indicate that the continued high operating tempo rate remains a leading cause for separations, but the ready availability of civilian jobs, dissatisfaction with pay and allowances, and difficulties with TRICARE are all contributory factors.
In 1999, the President, Congress, DoD, and Air Force have taken many aggressive steps to address these concerns. We implemented the EAF concept, restored the value of military retirements, increased pay and reformed the pay table, increased Aviation Continuation Pay, expanded the Selective Reenlistment Bonus program, and increased promotion rates for our noncommissioned officers (NCOs). All of these programs are expected to positively contribute to improving the Service’s retention rates.
Lower than desired retention also had a direct impact on recruiting. The Air Force had to increase its recruiting goal for FY 1999 by 2,300, from 31,500 to 33,800. In 1999, the number of Air Force recruiters increased by a hundred and, for the first time ever, the Air Force used paid advertising. Nonetheless, the Air Force fell some 1,700 recruits short. Nevertheless, we continued to hold the line on the quality of our recruits. Over 99 percent of our accessions still have high–school diplomas and 76 percent score in the top half of the Armed Forces Qualification Test. To improve our recruiting posture, we are further increasing our recruiter manning, will continue paid TV advertising, will increase prior service accessions, and significantly increase the use of the initial enlistment bonuses.
Compounding manning problems is the increasing seniority of the civilian work force. Due to personnel drawdowns over the past 10 years, new hires have been extremely limited and many experienced employees have gone on to other jobs or taken early retirement. As a result, up to 80 percent of the Air Force workforce at many commands is eligible to retire in the next five years, and there are too few experienced workers to fill the shoes of those who leave. The Air Force is taking steps to reshape the civilian force to ensure that a properly sized pool of experienced personnel with current skills are available in the future to fill key positions. Our new accession strategies, such as investment in interns and other developmental trainee programs, force renewal programs, education and training, partnering with academia and industry, and better separation management, should help provide stability to the Air Force’s long–term sustainment efforts.
In addition to retention and recruiting, we continue to leverage quality of life programs to retain a quality force. In 1999, at Air Force urging, Temporary Lodging Entitlement was extended by Congress to enlisted personnel reporting to their first duty station, and for the first time ever, DoD implemented women, infant, and children benefits to families stationed overseas. The Service also accelerated the implementation of the Basic Allowance for Housing, continued work on the 1+1 dormitory standard, and developed the Family Housing Master Plan. With the high personnel tempo, family support is becoming ever important. As a result, steps are being taken to ensure TRICARE Prime enrollees have their own Primary Care Manager located on base with guaranteed access for acute, routine, and preventive appointments. Other programs such as childcare and youth centers, deployed spouse outreach programs, surviving spouse casualty support, and family readiness NCOs continue to demonstrate the Air Force’s commitment to its members and their families.
Training a quality force is instrumental to our readiness. Several new programs are in place to hone the military skills required for expeditionary operations as an integrated aerospace force. The Aerospace Basic Course introduces new officers and select civilians to the concepts of expeditionary aerospace doctrine, Air Force core values, and strategic war planning. Warrior Week at Basic Military Training provides newly accessed airmen a week–long exercise at a bare base site.
The creation of the EAF will also allow the Air Force to structure training programs that peak immediately before the deployment vulnerability period. This improved scheduling process will allow units within the AEFs to focus training and deployment planning on current world events while improving readiness and reducing response times. The Air Force continues to train its aircrews and support personnel by participating in numerous joint/combined worldwide exercises both on the field and through simulation. Programs addressing specific needs of the force, like the Space Weapons School, Aerospace Operations Center, and the Defense Leadership and Management Program, are being continually updated.
Even with a highly trained quality force, equipment readiness levels will impact overall readiness. Engine readiness problems, an aging fleet, spot spares shortages, high operating tempo, and limited funding are driving overall readiness down. The Air Force has taken some significant steps to arrest these declines—for example improved engine funding, engine life management planning, better partnering with vendors, accelerated safety upgrades/modifications, and additional engine maintenance manning have contributed to steady readiness improvements in most of the Air Force engine fleet.
The age of the Air Force’s weapons systems is unprecedented. In 1999, the average age of our aircraft is 20 years and under current modernization plans will increase to 30 years in 2015. The cost of maintaining this older equipment is growing. Fatigue, corrosion, and parts obsolescence are progressively driving up the costs of maintaining older planes and reducing overall equipment readiness. If the Air Force is to continue making readiness affordable, it must aggressively balance the cost of replacing weapons systems and continued modernization efforts.
The Air Force has taken some significant steps to arrest these declines—for example improved engine funding, engine life management planning, better partnering with vendors, accelerated safety upgrades/modifications, and additional engine maintenance manning have contributed to steady readiness improvements in most of the Air Force engine fleet.
During FY 1999, the Air Force addressed an accumulated shortfall in spares of $382 million and managed its depots to reduce backordered parts requisitions. These positive actions, combined with full funding for spares in FY 2000, may allow the Air Force to turn the corner on improving equipment readiness for the warfighter. However, the consolidation of Air Force depot work loads will continue to present major challenges to spare parts production.
The Air Force surged depot maintenance activities in the weeks prior to the Kosovo operation to ensure units deploying to the region had the resources they needed—when they needed them. With commencement of combat operations, depots further increased production through temporary duty recalls, additional shifts, weekend hours, and accelerated contractor and depot repair operations. The depots’ extraordinary actions ensured support to units performing peacetime missions while satisfying operational requirements of the conflict. Depot efforts were complemented by extensive use of Worldwide Express to speed parts to the Kosovo theater. The Air Force surged depot maintenance operations through the end of FY 1999 to support reconstitution and recovery of the aerospace force.
In the past decade, reductions in Air Force manpower and force structure have outpaced those in infrastructure. As a result, the Service is spending scarce resources on redundant/unneeded facilities while struggling to maintain acceptable levels of readiness. To support unneeded facilities, the Air Force has been forced to underinvest in base operating support, real property maintenance, family housing, and military construction at critical operational bases. To reverse this negative readiness trend, the Air Force must be allowed to further reduce its base structure and reinvest the savings into readiness. A good example of the efficiency gained by reducing infrastructure is the Air Force’s depot consolidation effort. By reducing the number of depots from five to three, the Air Force provides efficient and effective work loading of the three remaining depots; ensures a controlled, ready, and sustained source of depot maintenance; assigns workloads to depots that are the best sources of repair; and maximizes public private competitions. These competitions alone have resulted in cost avoidance of over $1.6 billion over the life of existing contracts while ensuring depot capacity is fully utilized.
Science and Technology
The Air Force is committed to a strong science and technology program to help achieve the Air Force vision of an integrated aerospace force capable of rapid and decisive global engagement. By investing in a broad and balanced selection of technologies, the Air Force will be able to continue a successful legacy of superior technology development and transition more high payoff technologies into warfighting capabilities. The challenge now is to adapt to the faster pace of technology introduction, the widespread proliferation of high–tech products, and the challenges of affordability.
The Air Force continues to reap the benefits of six battlelabs created in 1997. The battlelabs rapidly develop superior ways to organize, train, equip, plan, command, and employ aerospace forces. The six battlelabs—Air Expeditionary Force, Space, Information Warfare, Force Protection, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, and Command and Control—are small focused groups of operators developing high payoff concepts to support DoD’s missions. Some early benefits of the labs include the Enhance Linked Virtual Informations System, Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System(JSTARS) Battlespace Imaging, Network Attack Visualization, Ground–Based Radar Site Protection, Expeditionary Operations Centers, and Space Surveillance Network Optical Augmentation. Each of these innovations brought a cost–effective capability to combatant commanders to enhance joint operations.
The Air Force conducts two major wargames to explore new strategies and concepts, new capabilities, and new doctrine. Each wargame is held biannually on a rotating basis with the other. The first, Global Engagement, explores emerging aerospace concepts and alternative force structures set approximately 10–15 years into the future. The second, Aerospace Future Capabilities Wargame, evaluates strengths and weaknesses of future forces and operational concepts 20–25 years from now by comparing it against our Vision and Strategic Plan. The outputs from these wargames provide insights and suggest additional analyses that eventually feed into experiments, exercises, and the operational Air Force.
Joint Expeditionary Force Experiment
The Joint Expeditionary Force Experiment (JEFX 99) was the second in a series of Air Force sponsored experiments, designed to explore new operational concepts and advanced technologies. JEFX 99 expanded on the command and control experimentation developed in JEFX 98 by enhancing the integration of space capabilities into the Integrated Command and Control System distributed architecture and incorporating coalition forces into the Air Operations Center. In EFX 00, we will emphasize Agile Combat Support, but will continue exploration in Expeditionary Operations, Information Operations, Common Operational Picture, and medical readiness.
BETTER BUSINESS PRACTICES
Defense Reform Initiative/Air Force Management Reform
The Defense Reform Initiative (DRI) aims to improve the way DoD works by reallocating resources from support areas to fighting forces. The ultimate goal is to balance the demands of meeting current requirements with the imperative to invest for the future. The Air Force supports this Office of the Secretary of Defense program to push costs down and quality up. The Air Force has privatized 81 utility systems to date and is processing 450 additional candidates. Funding has been provided and work has begun on the feasibility of selling 238 of these systems. The Air Force is taking the same approach with housing. Since FY 1999, the Service has added eight projects for family housing privatization effecting 8,885 units. This privatization effort is a key tool in our overall housing revitalization program. Public/private manpower competitions continue to be a DRI success story. The Service fully executed its 1999 plan for announcement of OMB Circular A–76 studies, with additional studies programmed for the future. The Service conducted a top–to–bottom review of its manpower authorizations, with an eye toward identifying additional positions that can be subject to competition, yielding additional competitions candidates. This review will be completed annually with the next review pending. Competitive sourcing and privatization efforts yielded 35 percent manpower cost savings. This continues to be a promising initiative.
The Air Force continues to institutionalize areas of acquisition reform. These include concepts such as military specifications and standards reform, Cost As an Independent Variable, and Reduction of Total Ownership Cost. Since acquisition reform is a continuing process, we are pursuing and will continue to look for and pursue new areas where we can improve our ability to deliver weapons faster, better, and cheaper. Additional areas being addressed include the integration of the requirements and acquisition processes, cycle–time reduction initiatives, contractor incentive programs, evolutionary acquisition guidance, commercial services, streamlining the modification management process, and improvements in electronic commerce.
Headquarters Air Force 2002
Headquarters Air Force (HAF) 2002 brings the HAF into the new millennium in a manner consistent with our vision. It will create a world–class military headquarters that is effective, efficient, and a great place to work. HAF 2002 is a response to the changing dynamics of our Expeditionary Aerospace Force, which necessitate a headquarters that is equally agile in providing the appropriate plans, policies, and resources that our forces need. Early initiatives have included reorganization of information networks and support offices to permit electronic transmission of tasks and documents throughout the HAF, creation of a single Executive Secretariat to manage work flow, and reorganization of public affairs and legislative affairs to permit better coordination of information flowing to Congress, the media, and the public. HAF 2002 seeks to rethink and redesign processes to achieve dramatic performance improvements and to leverage the talents and improve the quality of life for all HAF members by cutting costs, eliminating redundancies, reducing non–value–added work, and creating the agility to better adapt to a constrained resource environment.
The Air Force, as a prudent steward of public funds, is working diligently to comply with the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) and the Chief Financial Officers (CFO) Act. The Service has incorporated GPRA measures into its financial statements. The Air Force passed audit tests on some of the most important portions of its FY 1998 CFO financial statements, including disbursements and budgetary resources provided. The Service has instituted specific organizational and training changes aimed at improving internal controls to help prevent fraud and improve confidence in its financial performance. The Air Force also has an ongoing program to fix its financial systems, a key step in moving toward unqualified audit opinions on all its financial statements. As it improves its financial systems, the Service is focusing first on those improvements that help commanders make better decisions.
ENTERING THE 21ST CENTURY
Time–phased modernization is critical to long–term readiness. The FY 2001 President’s Budget provides funds to maintain our key modernization programs and enhance the EAF by investing in our core competencies. Modernization is guided by the Air Force’s six core competencies—Aerospace Superiority, Rapid Global Mobility, Global Attack, Precision Engagement, Information Superiority, and Agile Combat Support.
Aerospace Superiority—the ability to control the vertical dimension so that the joint force is both free from attack and free to maneuver and to attack—is the key to achieving full spectrum dominance. In the 21st century, air and space superiority will depend on the F–22 Raptor, the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV), the Space–Based Infrared System (SBIRS), and the Airborne Laser (ABL).
The F–22 Raptor will dominate the aerial arena of the 21st century with its revolutionary combination of stealth, supercruise, maneuverability, and integrated avionics. In 1999, the F–22 continued envelope expansion testing, successfully demonstrated supercruise, and operated at high angle of attack post–stall flight with thrust vectoring. The F–22 will enter operational service in 2005.
The EELV will take America’s spacelift capability to 2020 and beyond. New launch vehicles are being developed to replace current Titan, Atlas, and Delta launch vehicles. The first EELV commercial launch is scheduled for 2001, with the first government launch in 2002. This new commercial partnership launch strategy will meet military, civilian, and commercial spacelift requirements, at much reduced cost.
The SBIRS includes both a high and low component that will provide missile warning to national and theater commanders, improved capability to detect and track theater missile launches and cue missile defense systems, and contributions to the characterization of the theater battlespace and the technical intelligence missions.
The ABL is a key Air Force contributor to the nation’s multi–layered theater missile defense architecture and is the DoD’s only boost phased intercept system. In 1999, the Air Force successfully tested an improved version of its flight–weighed laser module, and successfully completed a suite of tests mandated by Congress. In January 2000, we accepted delivery of our first 747 aircraft for modification. ABL is well on its way to this year’s critical design review.
Rapid Global Mobility
Modernization of the Air Force’s mobility assets is integral to the daily execution of our National Security Strategy (NSS). The Mobility Requirements Study FY 2005 (MRS–05), an update to the 1995 Mobility Requirements Study/Bottom–Up Review Update, will determine the mix of end–to–end mobility assets. Using MRS–05 data, Air Mobility Command’s Oversize and Outsize Analysis of Alternatives will determine the most cost–effective strategic airlift fleet mix to achieve our National Military Strategy from various postures of engagement. Additionally, the Tanker Requirements Study for FY 2005, baselined from MRS–05, will determine the number of tankers needed to carry out the NSS. Whether employing on–scene Air Expeditionary Forces or deploying contingency forces in response to a crisis, mobility assets make the difference—in speed and stamina. Our procurement of the full complement of required C–17s; aggressive C–5, C–130, and KC–135 modernization program; and global access, navigation, safety, and avionics upgrades to the entire mobility fleet will ensure Global Engagement well into the 21st century.
Global Attack assets allow our nation to successfully conduct military operations across the spectrum of conflict. Global Attack programs include modernization of the B–1, B–2, and B–52. Coupled with precision–guided munitions, these platforms produce a potent force for deterrence of both nuclear and conventional conflict.
The B–2 can meet any global task, anytime, anywhere. The Air Force continues to improve the B–2’s low–observable coatings and integrate advanced weapon systems to include the Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) and Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW). The B–1 and B–52 continue to provide firepower to the joint force. Upgrades to the B–1 include the capability to carry JDAM and improved defensive systems. Deployments in Operation Desert Fox and Allied Force show how potent these weapons are. The B–52H is now operationally capable of employing JDAM and communications and navigation system upgrades will keep it viable through 2040. In addition, the Air Force is replenishing its conventional air–launch cruise missle stocks to allow the B–52 to continue its important stand–off role.
The F–15 Eagle and F–16 Falcon, the Air Force’s legacy fighters, provide a potent mix of air–to–air and air–to–surface capability. Operation Allied Force reinforced the Air Force’s need to ensure a viable fighter force structure until legacy systems are replaced. The A–10 adds capability to support ground forces in both the close air support and combat search and rescue roles. The F–117 Nighthawk plays a key role in precision employment as it penetrates dense threat environments and delivers precision weapons against high–value, highly–defended, and time–critical targets. The Air Force continues to modernize these weapon systems to improve capability, survivability, and sustainability in the 21st century.
The Joint Strike Fighter program will develop and field an affordable, highly–common family of next generation, strike fighter aircraft for the Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and our allies. Current program emphasis is on facilitating the evolution of fully validated and affordable joint operational requirements, demonstrating cost–leveraging technologies and concepts, and completing the Concept Demonstration Phase. First flights of the contractor demonstration aircraft are scheduled for the spring of 2000. The Engineering and Manufacturing Development phase will begin in FY 2001.
As shown in Operation Allied Force, theater commanders must have the ability to precisely strike targets in adverse weather conditions while minimizing risk and collateral damage. The Air Force’s new generation of guided weapons uses the Global Positioning System (GPS) coupled with Inertial Navigation System (INS) to precisely put bombs on targets, night or day, in all weather conditions. The Joint Air–to–Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM), JSOW, JDAM, and the Wind–Corrected Munitions Dispenser (WCMD) are among the Air Force’s high–priority Precision Engagement programs.
JASSM is a highly accurate, stealthy, standoff missile which will enable the Air Force to destroy heavily defended, hard, fixed, and relocatable targets with virtual impunity. As a result of acquisition reform, JASSM was delivered at a quarter–of–the–cost and in half–the–time of similar missile programs. JASSM is currently undergoing flight tests during Engineering and Manufacturing Development and is scheduled to begin production deliveries in 2003.
JSOW is an accurate, adverse–weather, unpowered, glide munition. The Air Force will use it to deliver cluster munitions that seek and destroy armored and soft targets at ranges up to 40 nautical miles. The Air Force began taking delivery of JSOW in the last the quarter of 1999.
JDAM provides the Air Force the capability to deliver 1,000 and 2,000 pound, general–purpose, and penetrator warheads in adverse weather with precision accuracy. The Air Force will use JDAM to destroy high–priority, fixed, and relocatable targets from multiple platforms. The first operational use of JDAM was from a B–2 during the first night of Operation Allied Force.
WCMD is an INS–guided tail kit that enables the Air Force to accurately deliver dispenser weapons from medium to high altitudes. WCMD tail kit equipped weapons are expected to be available in late 2000.
The capability to collect, process, and disseminate an uninterrupted information flow, while exploiting or denying the adversary’s ability to do the same, will be critical to success in future military operations. Our evolutionary modernization plan to support the Expeditionary Aerospace Force includes upgrades to many systems within the information superiority core competency.
The Aerospace Command and Control, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Center (AC2ISRC) is the key Air Force organization to standardize C2 and ISR systems across the joint and coalition arenas. AC2ISRC is working to rapidly identify, through Joint Experimentation, advanced capabilities to transition to the theater commanders that will enable them to get inside an adversary’s operating cycle and use information against him.
The JSTARS and AWACS provide theater commanders real–time, wide area surveillance of enemy ground and air movements. Four JSTARS aircraft will be delivered in FY 2000. The AWACS fleet is projected to achieve Initial Operational Capability with the Radar System Improvement Program (RSIP) in June 2000. RSIP provides increased detection capability.
The Air Force’s UAV programs (Predator and Global Hawk) are maturing rapidly to support ISR operations. The U–2 and RC–135 Rivet Joint continue to be the primary DoD aircraft for ISR data collection to support the joint forces commander. The Air Force is currently upgrading the U–2’s defensive system capabilities and synthetic aperture radar to provide near real time targeting capability for precision guided munitions. The first reengined Rivet Joint is undergoing flight testing and will provide improved battlefield coverage as a result of higher altitude and longer loiter times.
GPS navigation information is being integrated into nearly all facets of the modern battlefield. The Air Force is fielding GPS navigation warfare upgrades that protect U.S. and allied forces’ ability to operate GPS on the battlefield and prevent adversary forces from using it while at the same time avoiding disruption of civil GPS use.
Military satellite communications systems, notably the Defense Satellite Communications System and Milstar, continually support contingency and current operations. These systems place powerful communication tools in the hands of battlefield commanders worldwide, enabling information reachback to CONUS and continuity with the National Command Authority. Global Combat Support System (GCSS) is a Joint Chiefs of Staff–approved strategy for building and fielding combat support systems to provide Agile Combat Support. The long–term vision is that GCSS–AF will provide a vehicle to provide the user with a complete picture of the combat support environment.
The Air Force’s Discoverer II partnership with the National Reconnaissance Office and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency will develop and demonstrate space–based radar technology against time–critical moving ground targets in FY 2005. Discoverer II will demonstrate affordable satellite manufacturing which leverages off commercial processes, key enabling technologies for advanced radar payload, and operational benefit for the deep look, broad area coverage against an adversary’s ground moving targets. The Discoverer II demonstration promises to provide information critical to future space–based radar objective system program decisions.
The Global Command and Control System (GCCS), a DoD flagship program, will be fielded at all of our bases, Major Commands, Numbered Air Forces, and Air Operations Centers. The Theater Battle Management Core System will become the GCCS system of record for Air Tasking Order development and dissemination. GCCS, together with the Secret Internet Protocol Router Network (SIPRNET), form the backbone of Air Force expeditionary command and control.
As we look at expanding expeditionary operations, the Service views the GCSS as a vital complement to GCCS. The Service formed an interim GCSS Requirements Integration Directorate to tie the full range of combat support system requirements (medical, logistics, finance, personnel, etc.), resources, and programs into a coherent, integrated effort. GCSS–AF will be our strategy to provide timely and responsive expeditionary combat support to operational commanders.
To ensure operational mission success, it is imperative that our information be trusted, timely, accurate, and in a form that is useful in our daily operations. The Air Force is protecting critical infrastructures in accordance with Presidential Decision Directive 63, continues to evolve our computer network defense capabilities, and is a full partner in the recently established Joint Task Force for Computer Network Defense. The Air Force continues to shore up our defenses through a well–funded and rigorous defense–in–depth program that will deliver the information and mission assurance vital to our expeditionary operations.
Agile Combat Support
Agile Combat Support (ACS) utilizes the logistics and combat support communities to create, deploy, sustain, and protect personnel, assets, and capabilities across the spectrum of operations. Effective beddown support and sustainment allow deploying forces to downsize the amount of equipment to start–up and sustain base operations. This reduced deployment footprint lowers the need for prepositioned assets and airlift requirements. To meet these needs, the Air Force is revamping its logistics systems in many areas. Time–definite delivery provides users with reliable, predictable delivery of mission–critical parts and reduces inventory investments. Reachback provides ready access to rear or CONUS–based organizations for support, reducing the deployment footprint and saving associated costs. Log C2 and other logistics decision support tools, leverage information technology, enhance ACS C2, improve base support planning, and enhance tailoring deployment packages for specific locations and scenarios. Other leading edge technologies, such as Global Combat Support System and Survey Tool for Employment Planning, will continue to enhance ACS in the future.
Our national security depends on aerospace power. It will be the dominant force in expeditionary operations in the 21st century. The United States Air Force is organized to win, prepared for the future, and committed to supporting our nation’s security needs—anytime and anywhere.
F. Whitten Peters
Secretary of the Air Force
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