AFA Policy Forum
General John P. Jumper
Chief of Staff, USAF
Conference Address on “Adapting Air and Space Power”
Air & Space Conference 2004 – Washington, DC
September 15, 2004
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General Jumper: Thanks for this great event today, for being here. It's always great to be
here with my boss, Dr. Roche, who grades my paper and will make sure that I said everything exactly right.
But the boss has been a great partner, as we all know. Many of the changes that I'll talk about today that
he did not take credit for in his address, were actually the brainchild of our boss, Dr. Roche.
The theme of this symposium is people, and I think that throughout the whole event we have paid
remarkable tribute to the wonderful people who wear our uniform, who are in the Air National Guard, the Air
Force Reserve, who are our civilians and provide all aspects of leadership throughout our Air Force.
One of the things I get all the time is, “you know, you don't seem like the Air Force on the news any
more. Are you guys over there? Are you guys in the fight? Don't you expect to take less of the budget
because you're not in the news?” The answer to that, of course is no. We talk frequently about the fact
that we're flying 150 sorties a day over Iraq, 75 sorties a day over Afghanistan. We've got 31,000 people
deployed today—5,000 of them are in the Air National Guard; 2,500 of them are in the Air Force Reserve.
They're doing a variety of missions. We're working closely with the people on the ground. Our Joint Force
Air Component Commander, Lieutenant General Buck Buchanan, is engaged every day with his counterparts to
try and figure out how to work the problems of our ground forces.
But you know, it's one thing to talk about the numbers, but the numbers aren't personal. I'd like to
take a few minutes today to bring some of this to life for all of us.
There are recent successes and each of these recent successes has to do with people. People who are on
the fly in many cases, and thinking of new ways for us to go to war, and we've talked about those in the
There was the case of one of our armed Predators around one of our bases in Iraq, and the base in Iraq
was taking mortar fire and the Iraqi mortar crew was sort of doing shoot and scoot from position to
position, firing mortars into our bases from about a mile away, using shoot and scoot tactics similar to
what we saw in Operation Desert Storm with SCUD missiles.
There's an Army ISR system balloon that actually spotted the Iraqis shooting one the missiles, and they
get [inaudible] Major Kevin Maynard and Airman First Class Chris Perry, who were operating the Predator UAV
at the time—an armed Predator. While Kevin and Chris watched, the insurgents fired off another mortar
round which you see in the video behind me. The Iraqis, of course, were unaware that they were being
Our Predator crew followed it into the tree line, as you can see, whereupon they received a small gift
Some of the guys came out of the tree line, many fewer than went in, and we were able to chase them to a
location, as you can see. Our crew did a marvelous job of keeping track of them and delivering yet another
gift. You can see the Hellfire missile in place here. As they think they're hiding behind the fence.
These great Airmen did a great job for us. They continue to do a great jot for us today. Kevin and
Chris, if I could ask you to stand up and please take a bow [applause].
You know, as Airmen sometimes we do our best work in these sort of kinetic environments, but we also do
some of our best work on the humanitarian side.
In the town of Kirkuk, members of our 506th Air Expeditionary Wing got together and decided they were
going to do things for the local people. From the States they gathered up school supplies and backpacks
for children and they got them all together and delivered these supplies up to the village. As a matter of
fact, one Iraqi woman tried to give her infant son to one of our young Airmen, saying that she would like
our Airman to take him to America where he would have a better life. You're tempted to do it, but you don't.
Instead, what they set themselves to do is make a better life for the Iraqis inside their own country.
They renovated two of the local area schools. The schools in that village were separated so that the Arab
school and the Turkmen school and the Kurdish school never got together. They distributed these backpacks
in one area and these kids got together—only blocks apart physically, but centuries apart socially and
culturally—for the first time. They distributed these materials. Not only that, they went in and restored
an old abandoned mosque, doing everything required to get that mosque back into operation.
You never know what effect you're going to have when you do these sorts of things. Part of the 506th was
a medical unit, the 193rd Medical Group, who attended to two seriously wounded Iraqis right there in that
area who had been involved in a car accident. They responded and tended the wounds of these injured Iraqis
while they were still under mortar fire. Some days later, the same Iraqis came forward with some very
critical information that they knew about where a certain high-ranking Iraqi official was hiding in a spider
hole on a farm.
They came forward not because they hated Saddam or wanted to do Saddam in, they came forward because four
medical people of our Air National Guard treated them and brought them back to health and they gave them this
critical information that led to the capture of Saddam Hussein.
If I could ask Major Julie Carpenter, a nurse; Staff Sergeant Terry Hall, a medical technician; Staff
Sergeant Beth Shapiro, a laboratory technician; to please stand and take a bow [applause].
There are other non-kinetic things that we do that really do have kinetic effect. Again, the ingenuity
of our Airmen. Up in the fields of Afghanistan we had a Staff Sergeant, Donny Hayes, who is part of the 22nd
Air Support Operations Flight deep in Afghanistan. He was with an Army SOF team. They were taking
intermittent sniper fire throughout the day. They weren't exactly able to locate the targets, but they knew
they were down there arrayed in places. They couldn't exactly spot them so Sergeant Hayes asked a B-1 to
make a supersonic pass up the valley.
Now here you are, it's pitch black, it's the middle of the night. You've got our SOF troops sitting dead
quiet looking over this valley trying to find these snipers, and suddenly out of nowhere comes four 200-foot
long flames accompanied by an eardrum-bursting sonic boom. Donny says, “it's just like God hit you in the
head with a hammer.” They took no more fire that night [laughter].
In Iraq, Staff Sergeant Eric Nielsen put the same technique to use in a separate occasion. Leading the
SOF team, in this case it was an F-16 that did the honors. Twenty-seven Iraqis immediately surrendered with
their ears ringing and the objective was seized without any resistance and almost no collateral damage.
Cracked walls are better than crushed walls.
Neither of them could be with us here today—Eric is stuck at Hurlburt, in the hurricane, and Donny's on
convalescent leave, but both are with us here in spirit and we ought to give them a hand, anyway [applause].
Another one of our great Battlefield Airmen, Staff Sergeant Michael Paulson. He was with the 720th
Special Tactics Group. He was accompanying a group of New Zealand Special Operators. He went on out a
22-day patrol deep in enemy territory. He was manning a security post on the perimeter when they came under
heavy RPG and machine gun fire. Sergeant Paulson engaged those attackers and returned fire and simultaneously
coordinated close air support for the team and also medical evacuation for his wounded team members.
Over the next 36 hours, he controlled flights of A-10s, AV-8s, B-1s, Apache helicopters, HH-60s, NH-47
helicopters, as well as U-2 and E-86B aircraft. He magically orchestrated this stream of airpower and helped
the patrol accomplish its mission and get the wounded out. Michael, please stand up and accept our thanks,
our gratitude [applause].
Of course, we do like the kinetic stuff and it does work well. Working closely with ground forces on the
ground as Battlefield Airmen is one thing we do. We also do it very well from the air.
One of our members earned two Distinguished Flying Crosses in two days. That's not an easy thing to do.
Major Neff was flying an A-10 for the 74th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron during Operation Anaconda, serving
as both the flight lead and the forward air controller. On March 5th the mission was to take off from Kuwait,
fly four and a half hours over into Afghanistan to get to the fight. Once there, it controlled close air
support aircraft, bomber aircraft, UAVs and very high-congested airspace in the Operation Anaconda area with
very little preparation time. It required the highest of skill and control to get that done, and at the same
time forces on the ground were being engaged by enemy infantry and vehicle formations. Major Neff worked long
and hard with night vision goggles, with UAVs with night markers having them look up ravines, deep ravines, to
root out the enemy—a long mission and not a bad day's work.
The next day, the Major found the same situation, returning to the same place. Congested air space, control
of bombers and fighters simultaneously, UAVs, and he took complete control of the airspace for awhile while
other command and control aircraft were out on the tanker. Controlled F-15Es, F-16s, B-1s, B-52s, and strikes.
Took out a weapons cache while also escorting a convoy out of that area in that very congested space of
Two DFCs in two days. Major Andrea Neff, call sign “Pop Tart.” Please stand up and take a bow [applause].
You know, General Lance Lord, Commander of Air Force Space Command, was upset with me for a long period of
time. I used to talk about going to the CAOC and you never get the picture you need. And the guy who had our
picture was this guy that we sort of caricatured with thick glasses listening to tapes, who had no life. We
didn't know where he was, but we knew he had our picture. Lance kept jumping on me about that and he took it
He went out and had PRK surgery. He got rid of his thick glasses [laughter]. He took issue with not having
the life business, too, and so did Mr. Pete Teets, and Pete and Vivian went out and got disco lessons. They do
have a life [laughter].
During Operation Iraqi Freedom we found those guys and found their kids and got them into the CAOC. As members
of the NRO, they were able to take down directly (General Buzz Moseley orchestrated this) imagery and other data
from space, and put it right into the fight.
Two of our heroes, Mr. Jeff Decker and Mr. Craig Massey, were over in that fight. They stayed during
Operation Iraqi Freedom. They brought the power of space directly into the CAOC. We can't talk about the
details, but what they did for us was due to that integration of manned, unmanned and space that we've been
striving so hard to get, and they made it work magnificently for all of us. They would be here today but they
volunteered to go back and they are both back over there now. Let's give a great hand to two of our great
We also have great blue suiters in the space business. One of them is Major Mark Mains. Mark is part of this
cadre of space warriors that we're developing. He's a graduate of our Space Officer Weapons Course at Nellis Air
Force Base, where warriors of all disciplines get together and integrate themselves at the tactical and
On the 3rd of April 2003, he was the space duty officer in the CAOC when an F-14D with two crew members
aboard—Jumper 13 was the call sign—ran into mechanical problems and had to eject over Southwest Iraq, still an
area where we were worried about heavy surface-to-air missile activity.
Already well integrated into the CAOC, the space cell went to work. They coordinated with the Air Operation
Center at Vandenberg Air Force Base and other elements of the space community to get the exact location of the
downed crew members and to provide threat data from around that area so that search and rescue forces could get
As a result, when the CSAR forces launched off they knew exactly where the downed crew members were and
exactly one hour and a half from the time those two guys hit the ground they were picked up by combat search and
rescue. It's Major Mains who took the search out of search and rescue. Mark, please stand up and take a bow
Our job is to continue with innovations and integration of the type we have talked about today. In Orlando,
Dr. Roche and I outlined a plan, a rough plan for the future that we will put more bones on and more flesh on as
we continue in our last year of tenure here—as we adapt air and space power for the missions that we see
emerging and that we anticipate will be before us tomorrow.
A future warfighting organization that puts our air operation centers directly in the hands of component
commanders working directly for joint force commanders, networked throughout the world, up 24/7, all the time,
working in war planning and wartime execution, engaging in more countries around the world where we can deploy
forces, knowing where those bases are, knowing who the people are who run those bases, and being a part of that
preparation all the time.
We're doing things like linking up 14th Air Force and 8th Air Force into Air Force Strategic (AFSTRAT), a
component commander, that will bring the power of information, of space, and of global strike to the commander
of Strategic Command.
We've stood up an office headed by Brigadier General Eric Rosborg, who's going to work the problems out, the
details of these problems. We're going to reduce manning in our air operations centers. As Dr. Roche points
out, we will never be incentivized to reduce the manning in the AOC as long as we're able to build buildings as
big as we want to. We've got to make sure that we work this AOC weapon systems down to the point where we have
crew positions that work specific tasks and we do it in numbers that are predictable and interchangeable as we
press on with the AOC weapon systems.
We've talked about joint warfighting space, and General Lance Lord and Lieutenant General Brian Arnold and
those of our space heroes are out there right now trying to figure out how we can take space and bring it in a
focused way to the operational and tactical level of war. Launch vehicles that carry 1,000-pound payloads, and
let's have 1,000-pound payloads be the benchmark. What can we do with communications? What can we do with Blue
Force tracking? What can we do with limited [sight] apertures, with microsats, with small sats? How can we put
this to work so that we launch these satellites reliably in hours instead of weeks, days and months? And put
them into orbit over a focused point on the earth to deal with the specific situation for a certain amount of
Let your imagination go. How do we meld this with the concept of near space, that area between 65,000 feet
and about 300 kilometers, which is governed neither by treaty nor by other convention, where we can put things
that do not orbit nor do they fly, but they are lighter than air. They can position themselves for months over
a certain portion of the earth. They can surveil, they can persist.
What happens when you integrate the terms, the ideas, the concepts of near space in orbit space? That's what
we're going to do with future warfighting space and we're going to do it in a way that serves joint force
commanders, and as a military chain of command that integrates with national space in the appropriate ways and
leverages space power to commanders in the field.
We’ve talked about long-range strike in this conference. What is the next generation of long-range strike
technology? How do we work things like hypersonics? How do we work things that are trans-atmospheric? How
fast do we have to go to a place surrounding the earth and what do we have to do when we get there? How do we
solve problems of hardened, deeply buried targets, of mobile targets under the weather? How fast do you have to
get there and how far does it have to go? If you can't get there in one step, what's the intermediate step you
have to take? And from there emerges concepts like the F/B-22 and other notions of a regional bomber that has
the characteristics that we value today. Those characteristics to be able to penetrate and be able to defend
oneself with a stealthy aircraft, be able to penetrate the worst threats we see coming in surface-to-air missiles
using stealth and supercruise. What are the characteristics of those vehicles? We're working on this. We have
money to get started, and we will meld these with other concepts like DUCAs to determine whether these things
need to be manned or unmanned. In the unmanned versions, how long do they persist? How well can they defend
themselves? Difficult questions that will be the product of analysis and research that is ongoing to solve
We talked a lot today about the Battlefield Airmen. It's our Airmen that join our soldiers and Marines on
the ground to bring air power to bear. It is the Airmen who know the art of airspace control, who can meld
bomber traffic with UAV traffic, with fighter traffic, with transient traffic, with all categories of these
remotely piloted and unmanned vehicles, that go from the tactical to the operational and strategic level. That
can blend in tanker airspace with surveillance airspace. And when you look at an operation like Anaconda, over
a very congested piece of space, you can see that all the things that were going on required the abilities of an
expert to control them.
Four of the Twelve Outstanding Airmen of the Year you recognized this week were Battlefield Airmen. What
we've done under the boss’ direction is we've melded the specialties of combat rescue, special tactics, tactical
air control parties, and combat weather into this term “Battlefield Airmen.” And in working with our four star
leadership, we're going to determine how to set ourselves up a course of education and training with these
Battlefield Airmen that can take advantage of both the white world and the black world of special operations and
the conventional operations of these Airmen on the ground.
We've taken great steps, again under Dr. Roche's leadership. We instituted programs that have reduced the
weight of the kit that our Battlefield Airmen carry by almost 50 percent. There is more to do in that regard.
We have funded these things now in a line program and taken them out of the end-of-year funding category that
limps along from year to year.
We have instituted new training in some of the convoy operations missions that we've got to help the Army
with, to give our Airmen the proper skills to carry off those missions.
We've gotten off to a good start, but there's more to do. There's more to do in technology. As we put our
Airmen on the ground, they can look directly at the pictures from the Predator UAV and other UAVs, take a digital
light pen in what we call the John Madden Mod and be able to circle a place on the screen and send that back-up
to the airplane much the way John Madden diagramed plays for millions of years on ABC Monday Night Football. Why
can't we do that for our Airmen on the ground? A simple thing like that does wonders for friendly fire incidents
when you can say, “hit the target that I circle. The X is where I am. Please do not hit that.” It's very
simple [laughter]. A simple and welcome solution for our people on the ground.
Special Operations Forces. As we look to modernize our combat search and rescue aircraft, our personal
recovery vehicles for the future. What sort of a helicopter do we need to do that to augment our V-22 force,
our CV-22 force of the future?
What is the next generation of gunship? How much stealth is appropriate in a Special Operations mission?
How much can you get away with? Those are questions that we will continue to pursue as we look to the
technologies that will further the capabilities of our Special Operations Forces. We expect to see the CV-22
replace our MH-53s and we're looking for an initial operational capability in FY09 and a full operational
capability in FY15. The boss and I will go fly the CV-22 with the Marine Corps here in a few days and take a
look at this vehicle ourselves.
As you can see, ladies and gentlemen, there is much to do. I'd like to ask the people who were recognized
here today, our Airmen who came to be recognized, to come forward please and join me on the stage. All of you,
please come on up here. This is unrehearsed gang, so bear with me. They didn't sign up for this [laughter].
We owe it to these people who wear the uniform of our nation to do everything we ask them to do and so much
more. We are so proud of their efforts and all that they bring to this nation and to our Air Force.
We stand here before the generations who have gone before us, veterans from World War II, and we've seen them
in this conference. The heroes who received Silver Stars from the early days of the Cold War, the RV-47 crew
that got shot down over the chilled waters off the coast of the Soviet Union. We couldn't even talk about it.
We add to that these warriors today who are inventing new ways to handle problems that the senior ranking
officers in the front row of this stadium never had to deal with themselves. These youngsters are figuring out
how to do this day in and day out.
We owe it to our predecessors, those that have gone before us, our heroes that have brought the legacy of air
and space power to this day. And you've heard me say it before, whenever we gather such as this, you know they
are here with us, you know they stand among us and they judge us. And we have to ask ourselves if we are worthy
to lead Airmen such as this into our future.
I'm proud to say that because of this, because of these people, we are indeed the greatest Air Force on the
planet. God bless all of you and God bless the United States of America [applause]
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