The Air Force Must Embrace The Suck Ahead Of The Next Big War, Goldfein Says

news

The Air Force needs to train to deploy to austere forward bases instead of established installations with mature infrastructure, the service’s chief of staff said on Tuesday.


“Make no mistake: From Bagram to Al Udeid, to Kunsan and Osan, we know how to defend an establish base, receive follow-on forces, and take the fight to the enemy,” Gen. David Goldfein said at the Air Force Association's annual conference in National Harbor, Maryland. “That muscle is regularly exercised and is in excellent condition.

“However, the next fight – the one we must prepare for as laid out in the National Defense Strategy – may not have fixed bases, infrastructure, and established command and control, with leaders already forward, ready to receive follow-on forces,” Goldfein said. “It’s time to return to our expeditionary roots.”

The National Defense Strategy calls for the military preparing to fight near-peer conventional adversaries, such as Russia and China, which tout cruise missiles and other long-range weapons that can destroy fixed air bases from afar. Future enemies will also likely be able to jam U.S. communications and navigation satellites and put U.S. troops under both cyber and electromagnetic attack.

To meet these challenges, the Air Force plans to add 74 new squadrons by 2030 – a 24% increase in the number of operational squadrons. The 386 squadrons would form “the boxer’s fist,” Goldfein said on Tuesday.

“But in addition to preparing portions of their squadrons to deploy forward into a mature base, our operational squadron commanders must be prepared to take their entire organization and the supporting elements – the body behind the fist – forward to establish and lead expeditionary operations at a new base,” Goldfein said. “And they must be trained and ready to reach back to supporting organizations – the body – who enable their operations. And we have to be prepared to execute on combatant commander timelines as the service expected to arrive in days versus weeks or months.”

Related: The Air Force Is Planning A Massive Expansion To Take On Russia And China »

The Air Force’s major command’s leaders will work to update and adopt the service’s plans for supporting expeditionary operations, which was originally established in the late 1990s – before the Global War on Terror, he said.

“Over time, we’ve migrated away from the original design of the expeditionary Air Force from a force organized to deploy forward, establish new bases, defend those bases, receive follow-on forces, establish C2 [command and control], fight the base, and operate while under attack — to a force that often cannibalizes itself to send forward sometimes individual airmen from every wing of the Air Force to join a mature campaign with established leadership, basing, and C2 infrastructure.”

Squadrons must be organized on an expeditionary wing structure so that they can rapidly join joint task forces and instantly conduct combat operations in air, space, and cyberspace, Goldfein said. That also means that security forces airmen must be “the best in the world” at defending Air Force bases.

“We must always take integrated and layered base defense to a new level by increasing investment in our defenders with new equipment, new training, new tactics, techniques, and procedures, and renewed focus at every echelon of command,” he added. “This is the year of the defender because we don’t project power without the network of bases and infrastructure needed to execute multi-domain operations.”

WATCH NEXT:

An undated image of Hoda Muthana provided by her attorney, Hassan Shibly. (Associated Press)

Attorneys for the Constitutional Law Center for Muslims in America have filed a lawsuit against Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Attorney General William Barr and President Donald Trump asking the court to recognize the citizenship of an Alabama woman who left the U.S. to join ISIS and allow she and her young son to return to the United States.

Read More Show Less
U.S. soldiers surveil the area during a combined joint patrol in Manbij, Syria, November 1, 2018. Picture taken November 1, 2018. (U.S. Army/Zoe Garbarino/Handout via Reuters)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States will leave "a small peacekeeping group" of 200 American troops in Syria for a period of time after a U.S. pullout, the White House said on Thursday, as President Donald Trump pulled back from a complete withdrawal.

Read More Show Less
Construction crews staged material needed for the Santa Teresa Border Wall Replacement project near the Santa Teresa Port of Entry. (U.S. Customs and Border Patrol/Mani Albrecht)

With a legal fight challenge mounting from state governments over the Trump administration's use of a national emergency to construct at the U.S.-Mexico border, the president has kicked his push for the barrier into high gear.

On Wednesday, President Trump tweeted a time-lapse video of wall construction in New Mexico; the next day, he proclaimed that "THE WALL IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION RIGHT NOW"

But there's a big problem: The footage, which was filmed more than five months ago on Sep. 18, 2018, isn't really new wall construction at all, and certainly not part of the ongoing construction of "the wall" that Trump has been haggling with Congress over.

Read More Show Less
(From left to right) Chris Osman, Chris McKinley, Kent Kroeker, and Talon Burton

A group comprised of former U.S. military veterans and security contractors who were detained in Haiti on weapons charges has been brought back to the United States and arrested upon landing, The Miami-Herald reported.

The men — five Americans, two Serbs, and one Haitian — were stopped at a Port-au-Prince police checkpoint on Sunday while riding in two vehicles without license plates, according to police. When questioned, the heavily-armed men allegedly told police they were on a "government mission" before being taken into custody.

Read More Show Less
Army Sgt. Jeremy Seals died on Oct. 31, 2018, following a protracted battle with stomach cancer. His widow, Cheryl Seals is mounting a lawsuit alleging that military care providers missed her husband's cancer. Task & Purpose photo illustration by Aaron Provost

The widow of a soldier whose stomach cancer was allegedly overlooked by Army doctors for four years is mounting a medical malpractice lawsuit against the military, but due to a decades-old legal rule known as the Feres Doctrine, her case will likely be dismissed before it ever goes to trial.

Read More Show Less