|Jumper: Ingenuity is Key to Transformation|
Jumper: Ingenuity is Key to Transformation
By Tech. Sgt. Tim Dougherty, Air Force Print News.
Washington D.C. -- (AFPN) March 21, 2002 -- "The greatest element of transformation being employed is the ingenuity of our young people," Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. John P. Jumper said March 20 in testimony to the House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense.
During testimony to the House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. John P. Jumper said the war on terrorism has expedited the Air Force's move toward transformation.
Photo by Tech. Sgt. Jim Varhegyi
"Many of you have heard the story of the young special forces troop out there in the hills of Afghanistan riding a horse and carrying a laptop computer hooked up to a satellite, using laser goggles to put a precise designation on targets," Jumper said. "The ingenuity of young people who put together old and new systems to give us the capability we need to deal with a complex situation in Afghanistan is nothing short of amazing," Jumper said.
Sitting a few feet behind the chief of staff and Secretary of the Air Force Dr. James G. Roche was Staff Sgt. Matt Lienhard, a combat controller on the ground in Afghanistan.
"He called in air strikes to targets only 800 meters from his own position from bombers 39,000 feet in the sky," Jumper said. "The ingenuity of these youngsters who put these systems together to get the results that we have seen is a tribute to the quality of the young people we have serving with us, and Staff Sgt. Lienhard is an example of that."
Jumper said that the war on terrorism has expedited the Air Force's move toward transformation.
"It continues to be a fact that conflict in combat encourages transformation behavior," Jumper said. "Having been personally involved in conflicts in Kosovo, we took several very bold steps."
He said that a lessons-learned example from Kosovo was putting a laser designator on the Predator, with further advances in Afghanistan.
"We have, since then, put the Hellfire missile on the same Predator," Jumper said. "In Afghanistan, we have connected it to our combat controllers and others so they could take advantage of the ability to look persistently at the enemy. Combat inspires the need to invent things on the spot when you have to handle difficult circumstances that you have never come across before."
Jumper said that Operation Enduring Freedom has the Navy transforming how they do business as well.
"My Navy colleagues are used to aircraft carrier operations where they take off, perform one strike package and then come back," Jumper said. "They are now taking off in strings of aircraft and flying eight- or nine-hour sorties, which is new to our Navy. So this is not just the Air Force, it's all the services finding different ways to do business."