Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Top USAF brass to meet, decide on major issues

Air Force Times:
By Erik Holmes - Staff writer

The Air Force’s senior leaders will convene Wednesday to discuss and make decisions about urgent Air Force issues that will shape the future of the service.

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz and acting Secretary Michael Donley are holding the meeting at Bolling Air Force Base in Washington, D.C., an Air Force official said.

In attendance will be the Air Force’s four-star generals, commanders of the major commands and the heads of the Air Staff directorates, the official said.

The issues to be discussed include:

* End strength. With the drawdown ended, how can the service achieve the right mix of personnel for a force of 330,000?

* Uniforms. Will Schwartz push for a lighter ABU? Will he ditch the new service dress or the green suede boots?

* Maintenance reorganization. Should maintainers be in flying units or maintenance units?

* Battlefield training. How can the Air Force best train airmen going outside the wire in war zones?

* Cyber Command. The much-touted command has been put on hold while the new leaders figure out the best way to move forward.

* War-zone intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. The Air Force needs to get more ISR assets into the war zone, and fast.

Decisions on some of these issues could be made immediately, the official said, but most will be announced in the coming months.

“Our intention is to announce any decisions as soon as possible after the [meeting],” the official said. “There are some topics on the agenda which should result in final decisions. But in most cases, issues will be discussed and the way ahead planned so that at a future date, such as the upcoming Corona [leadership summit], decisions can be made.”

The meeting comes after the Air Staff has spent the past few weeks working on “taskers” Schwartz and Donley assigned to inform their decisions on these and other issues.

Most major decisions have been put on hold since Donley and Schwartz took over in late June and early August, respectively.

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