QDR Directs Air Force Future
QDR Directs Air Force Future
By Senior Airman J.G. Buzanowski, Air Force Print News.
Washington D.C. -- (AFPN)
February 3, 2006 -- The Department of Defense released the results of the
quadrennial defense review Feb. 3 here.
"The QDR guides and supports Air Force transformation in pursuit of key
joint, interdependent combat capabilities that enable us to deliver more
sovereign options for the defense of the United States of America and its
global interest," said Lt. Gen. Stephen G. Wood, Air Force deputy chief of
staff for strategic plans and programs.
Southwest Asia (AFPN) -- A Global Hawk taxis down the runway after landing at
a desert base. The Department of Defense’s quadrennial defense review will add
to the unmanned aerial vehicle program.
U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Mike Hammond
The QDR is a congressionally mandated review of
how the armed forces plan to fund current and future projects specific to each
“The QDR was an exhaustive look at how each service operates and supports the
combatant commanders now, as well as how they will support them in the future,”
General Wood said. “The studies and analyses provide us a guidepost that will
improve the capabilities and sovereign options the Air Force provides the
The QDR re-affirmed the strong role the Air Force plays in special operations
and irregular warfare. Furthermore, it added strength to that effort with
increased combat aviation advisors, dedicated Predator units and
recapitalization of the special operations fleet.
In addition, the QDR reinforced the Air Force importance in emerging missions
and strengthening the Air Force’s role in space and cyber operations. To
underwrite investment in new capabilities, the QDR calls for easing restrictions
so the Air Force can trim the number of older aircraft it operates such as the
C-130 Hercules, KC-135 Stratotankers and B-52 Stratofortresses, he said.
General Wood is positive about the Air Force’s future based on the initiatives
in the QDR.
“The QDR process was a reaffirmation we’re
headed in the right direction,” he said. "Several credible and independent
agencies both in and outside DOD examined the needs of the Air Force and came
to the same conclusions we have -- that flexibility, stealth, speed and new
advanced technology are necessary for our ability to project airpower and
support our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen.”
Other additions the QDR calls for are:
-- A new long-range bomber in the next 12 years
-- A significant increase in the fleet of unmanned aerial vehicles
-- More special operations forces
-- Fielding more battlefield Airmen to support our sister services on the ground
-- Airmen trained to fight with emerging technologies, such as protecting the
nation through cyberspace
“The Air Force is focused on the global war on
terror and we’ll continue to transform the force to provide combatant
commanders with the tools they need,” General Wood said.
Those transformations will affect the total
force -- from added weapon systems to a decrease in manpower. The Air Force will
further reduce its strength by roughly 40,000 Airmen; 88 percent will come from
“This is a team effort and the Guard and
Reserve are part of that team,” General Wood said. “So while 12 percent of our
manpower cuts will come from them, the future of the Air Force will also see
Guard and Reserve Airmen in our newest missions and equipment.
All in all, the QDR process was lengthy and drew
input from a number of sources.
“It really is a credit to the Secretary of Defense as well as Air Force
leadership that we were able to voice our opinions about how the Air Force
should evolve for the future,” General Wood said. “Tough decisions had to be
made, but what’s most important now is that we’re all on the same page and we
know what we have to do. Now we just have to get out there and do it.”
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