AFA Policy Forum
The Honorable James G. Roche
Secretary of the Air Force
Conference Address on “The State of the Force”
Air & Space Conference 2004 – Washington, DC
September 13, 2004
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Secretary Roche: I always look forward to the opportunity to talk to the members of the Air Force
Association. The outstanding men and women of our Air Force benefit immeasurably from the work you (AFA) do
on their behalf. For that I am sincerely grateful, as are all of them.
Looking at the agenda for the next day or so, I can tell that the Air Force Association does a superb job
of tailoring this conference to today's priorities. I'm especially pleased that the conference is devoted to
Air Force professional development.
The air forces of various countries around the world recognize our success and model themselves after us,
but they have a hard time because of our people. Our people are just so good. Our people have been our key
to that success. They are professional Airmen, they are professional warriors. They turn hardware into
weapons. Air Force people and technology are the keys to our future, but we need the AFA to help us develop
both and so we thank you.
Over three years ago, I had the honor of assuming the Office of Secretary of the Air Force. Shortly
thereafter, a great Airman, General John Jumper, became Chief of Staff, succeeding another great Airman,
General Mike Ryan. So John Jumper and I knew that from the outset and as a team we would lead the Air Force
through the new challenges that lay ahead. Little did we know at that time, early September 2001, how
momentous those challenges would be. In dealing with them, John and I have become good friends and effective
partners. I could not imagine a better leader with whom to work in adapting the Air Force of the future.
We'll leave it up to you all and to history to determine just what our team stats will be, but I think we'll
be close to the ladies' volleyball team of the Air Force Academy [laughter].
John's predecessor, Mike Ryan, pointed out to the two of us one day that Air Force leaders have an
obligation to build incrementally on the accomplishments of those who have gone before. With that in mind,
I'd like to spend the next few minutes talking about some of the things the entire Air Force team has
accomplished over the past three years as well as a hint of some of the challenges that still lie ahead and
for which we should never lose our focus.
We realize that over the long run our success depends on maintaining excellence in our core competencies
in our Air Force, integrating operations, bringing technology to warfighting, and developing our Airmen.
We have achieved great results integrating our operations with American and coalition air forces as well
as the ground components. In the past, air and space power were planned and executed in concert with ground
operations, but not as part of an integrated campaign. That's changed.
For example, we have fine-tuned our Combined Air Operations Centers (CAOCs) to provide the Joint Force
Commander with the command and control necessary to integrate our capabilities with those of other components
and coalition partners, especially the Combined Force Land Component Commander (CFLCC), even to include
senior liaison in the CFLCC's operation center. Lieutenant General Dan Leaf was there to help Lieutenant
General David McKiernan and it worked great. This is quite an accomplishment.
We have assured that all aspects of air and space power are employed to achieve maximum effect on the
battlefield. That includes space operators, ISR specialists, special operations forces, logisticians—the
entire team. And because we now focus the CAOC’s efforts on combat effects, we recognize it as a weapon
Here's another example of how we've integrated our systems into the fight. A few years ago, the Predator
was an experimental surveillance platform that could pipe real-time video to operation centers. Its mission
was to provide situational awareness and intelligence data to decision-makers and it did a commendable job.
Then a rising general named Jumper realized the effects we could achieve if we added a laser designator, and
even something like Hellfire missiles. This turned Predator from a surveillance tool into a weapon system
that can help shape the battle, and it continues to do so today.
We have now gone further by adding a video link from Predator to AC-130 gunships and to laptops carried
by our Battlefield Airmen. The system, called Rover, allows gunship crews and ground forces to have direct
access to what Predator sees. Soon we hope to implement another, having risen to General Jumper's idea, so
that an Airman on the ground will be able to highlight targets on his or her own position and those annotations
will appear on the picture in the AC-130 gunship or elsewhere. Because of this integrated capability ground
forces are better able to avoid ambushes. We can avoid friendly fire incidents. We can be more efficient in
the use of our systems. And aircrews can more effectively direct fire onto their targets. An individual Airman
on the ground becomes an enormously powerful weapon system.
While I'm on the subject of unmanned aerial vehicles and remotely piloted aircraft, let me tell you how
Global Hawk has become an integrated part of the fight. We initially developed Global Hawk to provide high
altitude, long dwell reconnaissance capability. When we sent forces to Afghanistan, Global Hawk (still in
development) performed that role very well. Our fleet of Global Hawks did just fine—all one of them. [Laughter]
We called again on our Global Hawk fleet for Operation Iraqi Freedom and expected it to repeat its
superlative performance from Afghanistan. But as you know, Airmen are innately innovative. The newly formed
12th Reconnaissance Squadron knew their aircraft could do more, or at least they wanted to play around and see
if it could. So, starting from a blank sheet, they developed a concept of operations in which Global Hawk was
linked to the CFLCC as well as the CAOC, Special Operations Forces on the ground and strike aircraft. No longer
is Global Hawk limited to strategic reconnaissance. It is also an integrated link in the sensor to shooter chain.
In fact, this justifies the position that John and I have had, which is we would like to develop certain
unmanned and remotely piloted aircraft and not have a committee tell us what we should do and therefore go ahead
and build to that, but build some different kinds of capabilities and turn it over to our captains, our
lieutenants, our majors, because they'll come back and tell us how it should be used in combat to far greater
effect than any committee we can think of. We're going to do that and we are doing that.
There's another important lesson we've learned in the last three years. Our Special Operations Forces are not
a peripheral capability in our Air Force as they may have been viewed in the distant past. You know, the
mysterious entity that operates independently of the air campaign. They're now part of the mainstream. In fact,
we cannot perform our mission without them.
Because they have eyes on the target, we can perform close air support missions from 30,000 plus feet.
Because they enter hostile territory and survey landing zones, we are able to establish bases at a time and
place of our choosing. Because they deploy forward and stand ready, we know Airmen will be returned safely if
per chance they are downed. As you know, all CSAR forces are now part of AVSOC and AVSOC supports ACC as well as
Special Operations Command for combat search and rescue.
Our Special Operations Forces provide the ground component of air and space power just as our space operators
bring that particular dimension to the battlefield. We are proud that we have refocused attention on the
contributions of space power and have further integrated space into our operations. We keep integrating.
One significant change is the creation of Director of Space Forces (DIRSPACEFOR) on the Air Force Forces
Commander’s staff. Not only does the Director of Space Forces provide expertise to the commander and staff, he
or she also coordinates with all Air Force space organizations to leverage their capabilities, but at the
Integration of space does not end there. Space operators are an essential part of the Joint Force Air
Component Commander's staff. The National Reconnaissance Office is represented in the Joint Intelligence Center.
No longer do we see their contributions as something done in a basement vault far away by people removed from
the fight. They are deployed and they are affecting the battlefield each and every day.
These are examples of what the Air Force team has accomplished in integrating operations since 2001, but the
future affords tremendous opportunities to go yet further.
There is more we can do to support the forces on the ground—the Soldiers, Marines, Special Operations Forces,
as well as coalition troops—whose contributions far exceed what their numbers alone would indicate and when
working with air power, their power will be multiplied dramatically.
We learned in Afghanistan and Iraq the importance of air support to land forces from austere locations. We
must be rapidly available to land forces, particularly the American Army, when they need us. That is why we will
procure a short takeoff and vertical landing version of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter in addition to the
conventional takeoff and landing F-35s.
We must also increase the lethality of precision weapons. We have already merged high technology guidance
systems with the eyes-on capability of our Battlefield Airmen. The next step is to perfect our ability to engage
moving targets with precise munitions as well as increasing precision to employ lighter and smaller but as or
more effective weapons. Doing so will permit engaging more targets per sortie.
We also face a challenge in handling the exponential increase in information available to warfighters. The
F/A-22 and the F-35 will be data vacuums as well as the Global Hawk, E-10A and other future systems. We must
ensure we can stream the right data to the right user in a seamless network, preferably through
At the same time, we need to develop persistent surveillance, the ability to deny our enemies a sanctuary in
which they can hide and prepare to attack. Tomorrow's targets will be smaller, more fleeting, disbursed, and
located around the world. We must leverage the inherent strengths of satellites, aircraft (manned, unmanned,
remotely piloted aircraft) and unattended ground sensors put in place by Special Operations Forces, and we
should bring it all together.
As we look to the future, we should think of organization integration where it makes sense. We've had the
blended wing at Warner Robbins in the Joint Stars world. It's worked very very well, even though there are
issues between Title 10 and Title 32 that we continue to work through. As we look to the future that particular
model may be modified a bit and we'll do more associate wings. The issue is to do it as a Total Force so that
we gain the advantage of that.
We can't let bureaucratic obstacles get in our way. We have a vision and long after John Jumper and Jim Roche
are gone, that vision will be implemented by officers who think the way we do and will be looked upon by younger
brains—not necessarily brighter brains, just younger brains [Laughter].
The Total Force is something that has worked well for our Air Force. The Air National Guard and Reserves are
terrific and we want them to participate fully in space operations, in the world of remotely piloted aircraft
and other fields. We don't want anybody's ego to get in the way of our Air Force performing its mission with
Even mundane things like the integration of the Secretary of the Air Force's staff and that of the Chief of
Staff have proven to be very very effective. Our decision time loops are faster than any group in the Pentagon,
including those in the Office of Secretary of Defense. The challenges were a little tough, but not that bad
compared to the challenges outside the Air Force and we need to work together, and we need to integrate in ways
that enable mission success for our Air Force.
You may have noticed that many of the innovations integrating operations have a common thread. They exploit
the immense power of leading edge technology. This country has long been an engine for technological development
and we continue that tradition today. However, technology does not increase our strength if it remains in the
laboratory. Technology must be adapted to warfighting. This is our second core competency and we have done
particularly well in this regard.
Four years ago, we were designing our next generation fighter, the F-22. John and I examined the capabilities
of the F-22 and the technology it brought to the fight, we compared that to the effects we need to create on the
battlefield of the future. We spoke with our colleagues. We got input from all over. And from all of that we
developed a perspective that said we can do so much more with the technology than was originally planned and
that's when the F-22 became the F/A-22 and was announced at a prior AFA convention.
It already incorporated new concepts in aerodynamic design and engine performance, including supercruise and
flight controls that give the aircraft unprecedented agility and a greatly expanded flight regime. Combined with
low observable technology as well as advanced avionics for air-to-ground attack, these features have
significantly increased the capability of the system. That in turn enables the Air Component Commander to
support joint operations by controlling the air wherever ground forces operate, even deep inside hostile
territory, and directly supporting them in a ground fight in very heavily defended areas.
Our ability to support land forces will grow as we field the F-35. The Joint Strike Fighter team is doing a
tremendous job developing an aircraft that's lethal, affordable, and adaptable to requirements of joint
operations in the 21st Century for day and night stealth over the battlefield. To this point, I remain confident
of the team's abilities to address the weight issue and the STOVL variant on which they're working at this time.
We can leverage new radar technologies to identify, track and attack moving targets. We know we can do it.
The Multi-platform Radar Technology Insertion Program (MPRTIP) will bring increased accuracy and a faster
revisit rate to the field, significantly shortening the kill chain for fleeting targets. We have made MPRTIP a
scalable modular system that will be at the heart of the A model of the E-10, the E-10A, and it also will be
flown on Global Hawks. The next step is to integrate MPRTIP into other sensors, SIGINT, ELINT, air surveillance
radars, air control radars, and more through machine-to-machine interface and to employ all these systems in
support of the command and control battle management technology that will be in the back end of the E-10 series,
starting with the E-10A.
These are just a few of the areas where we are bringing technology to warfighting. We're doing a great job,
but there's a lot more to do.
Technological innovation is not just for strike fighters and surveillance aircraft. We need to examine how
advances in materials and engine technology can be applied to mobility, for example, and we need to develop and
implement strategy for our long-range strike capabilities.
We need to continue to develop and field new weapons like JASSM, JASSM-ER, small diameter bombs, and weapons
capable of attacking moving targets and hard and/or deeply buried targets. Doing so with appropriate evolution
of doctrinal procedures will make legacy systems like the B-1B effective for this new era. That's one of the
things we did with the B-1B.
We have an aging tanker fleet that must be recapitalized. Perhaps we can replace them with a smaller number
of more flexible, efficient tankers. These tankers can perform other missions while on station—SIGINT collection
by static air and ground surveillance, communications relay, possibly linking the control of remotely piloted
aircraft. To an electronics specialist, the future tanker has a lot of real estate and there's no reason in the
world why they can't be passive apertures that do not interfere at all with its main mission, and as long as
it's in the battle, and it is in the battle. Those of you who think it's not, ought to talk to General Moseley
about the two Distinguished Flying Crosses he presented to crew members—actually more than two—of a tanker that
found itself just to the west of Baghdad wondering why am I here? It was there to support F-15s who were looking
for one of our downed aircraft—looking for the crew.
We should also examine lift requirements in light of the emerging new doctrines of the Army and Marine Corps.
Land forces will operate in smaller, more widely disbursed maneuver units. We should consider how we adapt our
airlift fleet to better support this concept, and we'll have to create corridors that are protected in order to
re-supply these folks. They're not going to be weighed down with a lot of trucks full of artillery shells. We
will be providing them power, and we may have to do it in hostile defenses.
We are bringing technology to warfighting on the ground as well. I've mentioned our Battlefield Airmen. They
are now using advanced systems to designate targets, control aircraft, rescue isolated personnel, and gather
vital meteorological data. We must recognize that they are key enablers for air and space power and further
develop technology that leverages that capability. Already we have halved the weight our combat controllers must
carry while simultaneously providing them with the ability to do such things as designate targets over ten
kilometers away with an average precision of a weapon drop of less than five meters and accomplishing the entire
sequence up to the bombing aircraft in well under three minutes. This is a change to war.
Our goal should be to further decrease the weight of their gear, increase decision aids for information
handling, and assure their equipment is interoperable with other air and space assets. By increasing the
effectiveness of our Battlefield Airmen, we'll multiply the effects of air and space power. And as we look at
space power, the technology there, and how it will contribute to warfighting, we are very much interested in
joint warfighting in space. How can we take a particular area and bring space to bear on it so that we have all
the transparency we want in the battle and the enemy has none?
How can we do that best? How do we get new technologies for our Special Operations Forces? For in-fill,
ex-fill? And then, while mundane, it is terribly important that we continue to strive (even if sometimes we fail)
to look at new acquisition models, to find ways of serving our Airmen better and more efficiently without having
to carry the cumbersome burden of excessive bureaucracy. It's not easy, as some of us can tell you, but it's
worth trying. If in the end we can provide our Airmen with better systems and an acquisition system that is
highly adaptable, very flexible, and can respond very quickly to the needs of our Airmen in the field, we will
have accomplished our jobs.
This is something that's a continuous process to be improved over and over and over.
This brings me to a final core competency, perhaps the most fundamental—developing Airmen. General Jumper and
I are especially proud of the progress our Total Force has made in the last three years in capitalizing on the
potential of great Americans who serve with us.
Tonight we will pay tribute to the Twelve Outstanding Airmen of the Year. Each has shown selfless dedication,
technical excellence, and exemplary leadership. While their achievements are extraordinary, they are not unique.
The 12 represent all the Airmen with whom they serve, whether active duty, reserve, guard, or civilian.
Earlier today, we had the distinct pleasure of being present for honoring and awarding the Silver Star to two
of our Airmen whose accomplishments could not see the light of day for decades. While their courage is most
certainly exemplary, it is not unique.
In two days, General Jumper, Chief Murray and I will participate in the groundbreaking for the long overdue
memorial to this nation's Airmen. It is dedicated to all Airmen, beginning with the pioneers who developed the
airplane, brought that technology to warfighting, and integrated it into operations in the angry skies over
Europe and Asia. While their fortitude is inspiring, it is not unique.
We do not name Twelve Outstanding Aircraft of the Year. We do not award medals to machines. We do not dedicate
memorials to doctrine. We are the greatest Air Force in history because excellence, courage, integrity, and
fortitude are fundamental qualities for our Airmen. These traits are the sine quo non of America's Airmen. Our
challenge has been to realize the potential of our Total Force on an individual basis and as a cohesive whole.
The Air Force has always benefited from having a smart, educated force. But education is not something one
achieves and then never bothers with again. In the 21st Century, learning is a life-long endeavor and that's why
we have emphasized the right education for the right Airman at the right time.
Gone, hopefully, are the days when our officers gave up two nights and a Saturday a week to earn a degree with
marginal utility for our Air Force and sometimes for them [applause]. By the way, that applause there was led by
someone who got a degree from a university and he doesn't know where it is [laughter]. But he remembers the
extension course, and he remembers not being home with his children. We all would have been better having had
We're getting out of the business of filling squares for promotion. If we believe an officer needs a
particular degree, we will send him or her. And all officers will have an opportunity for an advanced degree.
All officers will have an opportunity for advanced degree because we want it to be so. We want it to be so. And
when someone tells me all you're doing is using taxpayer money to help these people with second careers, I crack
up laughing. I say the second career may be with us. Why would we want to dumb down the leadership of the finest
enlisted force the world has ever seen? It amazes me.
We will pay for the education in time and money and we will ensure that the education is relevant. Remember,
very few of our officers took their two nights a week and Saturdays to get an advanced degree in aerial
engineering or double E because that would have been too much. We need bright officers. We need officers who can
deal with the technologists and corporations and understand and not be frightened by it and not be bamboozled by
So our focus in education is certainly something that we take seriously and it's not limited just to our
officers. The Community Collage of the Air Force is a terrific idea and the benefits we derive from it for our
enlisted members are meaningful.
John and I take great pride in one program in particular. The old paradigm said non-commissioned officers
don't need a degree, let alone a graduate degree. Perhaps that was true when I was a junior officer 40 years ago,
but today's NCOs are performing very technical, specialized work and shoulder a much greater share of
responsibility, and many of them have taken the time to earn a baccalaureate degree in fields important to our
Air Force on their own time.
John Jumper and I responded to a question from one of those NCOs by asking why not send a select few of our
NCOs to graduate school? By the way, the sergeant who asked the question pops into our lives at always the right
time. He just sent a message this morning saying, "Just thinking about you. Thinking about what you've done." I
think to myself that Horace Booker somehow knows my itinerary backwards and forwards, but he was the originator
of the idea.
So the next time you're at Wright Patterson, stop by the Air Force Institute of Technology. Mingled in among
the bright young faces you will see other faces that are not quite as young, but definitely just as bright.
Perhaps I should say wise.
The first NCO graduates are applying their advanced degrees in labs, depots, and elsewhere and we have observed
that they are often the source of feverish bidding among general officers at assignment time.
We also made officer education more relevant by integrating academic and professional military education. Let
me give you one example of something that's academic, but is as professional as can be. We note that almost every
program we've had difficulty with suffers from a lack of good systems engineering. We're not the only service who
suffers such a problem. We don't necessarily need 300,000 systems engineers, but we do need line officers who are
comfortable with and understand systems engineering notions. That's why there is now a Systems Engineering
Institute at the Air Force Institute of Technology, and that's why it’s a full a major at the Air Force Academy.
In fact, we looked at schools like SMU in Texas and others to help foster this idea, and increasingly we'll start
to look to our ROTC program to make sure that our ROTC cadets have opportunities at universities to also spend
time in systems engineering. It's what makes something as complex and as complicated as the Air Force work.
It's systems engineering, for instance, that will stop the potential infinite growth of our CAOCs. Because
it's ashore, we can keep building a building, and building a building, and building a building, and building a
building. One of the things we like in this whole notion of the MC2A, or battle management C3 in the back of a
E-10, is thank God it's a constrained amount of space [laughter]. This means we will learn to put 20 pounds of
something in a five-pound bag—systems engineering.
Many field grade officers who are selected for development education, what we used to call PME, will find
themselves at civilian institutions studying a technical discipline while earning their developmental education
diploma. That's why we don't refer to this as Professional Military Education any more. We now call it exactly
what it is—developmental education. We are developing developmental education for our career enlisted force as
This notion of development is not segregated to academic and military aspects. They are two sides of the same
coin. Development encompasses the experience offered by each assignment. We replace assignment teams with
development teams composed of senior leaders in each career field. The mandate for these teams is to create a
deliberate progression for each member. Through target education, training, and mission-related experience we
will develop professional Airmen into joint force warriors with the skills needed across the tactical,
operational and strategic levels of conflict.
The most gifted leaders assume the rewarding duty of command. That duty carries with it some of the most
gut-wrenching responsibilities an Airman can shoulder, especially in a time of war when the lives of good men
and women depend on the decisions of their commanders. We have allocated command to its proper place of honor.
We established a Command Pin to recognize those who carry that responsibility or who have carried it in the past.
Now, when our general officers see an officer wearing that pin, they and we know that he or she has endured the
edifying trial we experienced when we had the privilege and the burden and the responsibility of command.
Achieving the potential of our Airmen also involves creating the proper environment for them and their
families. That's why General Jumper, Chief Murray and I have placed so much emphasis on quality of life issues.
Airmen with families cannot devote full concentration to their duties if they know their loved ones are living
in substandard housing, for example.
Four years ago, competing budget priorities kept us from properly investing in deteriorating quarters. Through
military construction and housing privatization and a lot of friendly encouragement from our Secretary of Defense
Don Rumsfeld, we are now ensuring that Airmen and their families live in good homes. Over the next three years,
the Air Force will renovate or replace more than 40,000 homes through privatization. In addition, we will
renovate or replace an additional 20,000 homes through military construction.
We are also committed to quality of housing for our young single Airmen. Our fiscal year 2005 budget
submission invests $128 million in seven dormitory projects, or over 1,100 rooms. We're on track to meet the
SecDef's goal to replace all inadequate permanent party dorms by 2007, and our own goal of replacing all
inadequate technical training dorms by 2009.
Our challenge for the future in developing Airmen is to resist the temptation to slip back into old,
comfortable ways, to make cutting these investments in our future the first things we do when budgets get tight.
We have to resist that. We might see temporary fiscal relief in delaying quality of life upgrades, we might
decide education does not produce any immediate tangible benefit to which we can point on a spreadsheet, we
might look once again at command just as another assignment instead of charging our command selection boards to
only pick the very best to command.
We also can never go back to the way the United States Air Force Academy used to be. We cannot. We want to
retain the very best of this wonderful tradition. But I'm here to tell you today that I think I'm finally at the
point, and I think my partner is too, to tell you that if you choose to send your son or daughter to our Air
Force Academy that child will find the finest educational, inspirational—both academic and military—experiences
they could have. It is once again a superlative institution [applause].
So in our pantheon of heroes, John Jumper and I also make sure there's a spot for Lieutenant General J. R.
Rosa, Brigadier General Johnny Weida, Colonel Debra Gray and a few others who have put themselves in what are
only to be thought of as high risk jobs, investing in our Air Force for our country's future. They deserve our
applause, they deserve our prayers, they deserve our thanks.
And we're looking at ROTC in new and innovative ways thanks to General Don Cook. Trying to make sure both the
ROTC programs and our Air Force Academy programs are increasingly like our Air Force. And of course that causes
us to take a look at our Air Force. So when we had our issues of sexual assault in the Air Force Academy that
led us to say, “well, it's not like the Air Force. Let's just double check.” One of the nicest things about my
job is working with senior four star colleagues who have the guts to look at something that could be not quite
right and to say, “This is wrong, this needs to be fixed.”
It started with General Bill Begert in the Pacific. The theme was picked up by General Cook both at Sheppard
Air Force Base and throughout AETC, and then by all our commanders. And so, when something comes out in the press
that says the Air Force reports things worse than they thought, that's good news ladies and gentlemen. It's good
news. Because if we can honestly look at ourselves, we can get better--but we cannot go backwards. We cannot go
backwards, neither in our Air Force, our Air Force Academy, or any place else. We cannot go backwards, and we're
We won't be finished until someone is appreciated for their excellence, their commitment, their talent, their
drive, their brains, their dedication to our Air Force, and not their color, their race, their gender, or any
other artificial thing [applause].
I'm especially delighted that we have some Air Force ROTC cadets here helping the Air Force Association
because the burden to make sure this is so is on their backs. We can only get it started.
We have another area we have to work harder on. Too many of our Airmen are giving up on life and committing
suicide, yet we want so much to have them turn to one of us so we can say please don't take a permanent solution
to a temporary problem. We have to think about how to do this better. We have to get our commanders more
involved. And even if we can just get to every one of our young Airman and say it is a permanent solution to a
temporary problem. Give us a chance to help you with your temporary problem, then we can make progress. But it
just shows we always have room to improve.
Before I leave let me say one more thing about developing Airmen. We must sustain the level of excellence of
the young men and women who choose to serve America in our Air Force. Even though our retention rates are high
and we are temporarily in excess of our authorized manpower total, this is the bad news coming from good news,
we must still get the word out to the high quality youth of America that their Air Force needs their talents and
wants them to join us.
So, once again, I'm delighted to premier for you our newest television ads. ESPN got a little bit ahead of us,
so some of you may have seen one or two of these already. They do a tremendous job showing the link between
youthful potential and fulfilling service in the U.S. Air Force, but they also emphasize traits we are looking
for in our future Airmen, such as passion for one's calling, compassion, proficiency with technology, leadership
and competence. You know, an ad for our Air Force doesn't have to show someone blowing somebody else up.
Remember, war is an extension of policy by other means, and sometimes bringing a force that does have
compassion, is able to withstand cultural asymmetries, and is able to work with people, can be far more
effective than bombing. But yet when we have to bomb, we will do so at any distance, at any place, with dramatic
These commercials that you will see feature real Airmen, not Hollywood's depiction of an Airman. So at this
time let's see the commercials. As you see the Airmen in the ads, I ask that you reflect on the accomplishments
we've made and the challenges we have for the future to sustain our unrivaled ability to deliver air and space
power in the service of our country.
[Goto www.af.mil/main/welcome.asp and click on TV, then
select Air Force Ads under channels]
With your indulgence, please let me please introduce Captain Morgan Bayless Johnson, who you just saw floating
in space. She's a member of the Air Force Reserve and assigned to Los Angeles Air Force Base. Come up here for a
second—they couldn’t see you. Thank you [applause].
One of my favorite actors who’s about to knock off Tom Cruise, Airman First Class Tranquilino Hererra, a C-17
loadmaster from McCord Air Force Base [applause].
Major Rod Stefan who flies the B-1B at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas [applause].
I regret to tell you that Staff Sergeant John Weed is unfortunately is unable to be with us today. Sergeant
Weed is an airborne operations technician flying the Joint Stars out of Robbins Air Force Base, Georgia
Now ladies and gentlemen, without a team composed of professionals like my colleagues here we could not and
would not be the world's greatest air and space power. But they are professional warriors and that is why we are
the best in the world. I'd like to thank them, their families, and all of those Airmen whom they represent for
their dedication and service to our great country. We've come a long way, but there's more work to be done. I
think we're on the right path. John Jumper thinks we're on the right path. Therefore, let's keep rolling.
Thank you [applause].
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