|Task Force' Mind-Set Is Service's Roadmap for Future|
'Task Force' Mind-Set Is Service's Roadmap for Future
By Tech. Sgt. Scott Elliot, Air Force Print News.
Washington D.C. – September 18, 2002 -- Citing the need to transform within a "task force" concept of operations, the secretary of the Air Force laid out the service's plan for the future at the 2002 Air Force Association National Convention here Sept. 18.
Secretary of the Air Force James G. Roche addresses approximately 1,200 attendees gathered for a luncheon in his honor during the 2002 Air Force Association National Convention and Aerospace Technology Exposition on Sept. 18 in Washington.
Photo by Tech. Sgt. Jim Varhegyi
"These (concept of operations) help us analyze the problems we'll be asked to solve for joint force commanders and identify the capabilities an expeditionary force will need to accomplish its mission," said Dr. James G. Roche at a luncheon he hosted during the convention
According to Roche, the future has never been brighter
"We're entering a new age of air and space power," he said. "It's an age that goes beyond the promise of airpower theorists who predicted many years ago the role the airplane would have in waging war."
The successes of recent air operations in Iraq, the Balkans and Afghanistan are showing potential enemies that air and space power can achieve swift victory for America, regardless of distance, terrain or adversary, the secretary said
"While we've been very successful in the past decade, our potential adversaries have come to accept our overwhelming military strength and, as a result, have grown increasingly less willing to engage our forces directly," he said
But, Roche said, those successes have brought forth new challenges
"We face a new reality; one in which our traditional defenses may be of limited effect," he said. "This new reality highlights the absolute necessity of transforming our air and space capabilities
"Transformation is one of our principal missions," Roche said. "By transformation, we mean to provide the strategies, systems, training and support required to affect the strategic environment in which we find ourselves."
At the air staff level, that means developing doctrinal approaches appropriate to this new era and, where necessary, retooling approaches to organizing and employing forces, the secretary said
"We're in the business of global reconnaissance and strike, which includes the deployment and sustainment of troops and systems," he said
"Our task is to focus our strategy, people and concept of operations on staying No. 1 in this business and bringing the compelling effect of air and space power to bear against terrorism and other asymmetric threats."
The future force, Roche said, will employ multimission aircraft systems with multispectral, fused air and space sensors and robust, all-weather weapons delivery with increased standoff capability
In addition, the secretary said he sees future deployments with reduced logistics tails, and attack capabilities that feature improved range, payload, speed, maneuverability and precision
"We will network these systems in ways that enable us to find, fix, track, target, engage and assess in timelines unimaginable just a few years ago," he promised
"It is our goal to have consistent, persistent intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance," Roche said. "And once the decision to attack is made, we will attack with impunity."
To that end, the secretary noted several systems already in development: the multimission command and control aircraft, the "smart tanker," the small diameter bomb, airborne radar, and an entire generation of unmanned aerial vehicles, including Global Hawk, armed scout Predators and the hunter/killer UAVs
And then, there is the F/A-22 Raptor
"(The F/A-22) will bring stealth into the daylight and multiply the effects of our air and ground forces," Roach said. "(It) is the most dominant, versatile and revolutionary aircraft in the history of military aviation
"We are in the midst of truly revolutionary transformation of our organization, equipment and operational concepts, making service in our Air Force today as exciting as any time in our history," he said