FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
AFA Response to New York Times
To the Editor:
Thom Shanker’s April 22 analysis "Gates Voices Concerns about Military Culture" misses the mark.
First, the Air Force Association is independent of the Air Force and not its “spokesman.” We differ widely from the AF and pentagon on a number of issues.
Secondly, Mr. Shanker dismisses as inter-service rivalry a serious concern – how to get the most UAVs to the theater. The number of pilots doesn’t limit the number of UAVs – the concept of operations does. The Air Force has 85 percent of its UAVs forward. Under the Army’s conops, which organically assigns Predators – only 30 percent will be forward.
Thirdly, the AF budget for FY09 seeks funding for 93 aircraft – 52 of which are drones. The AF seems to be taking its surveillance responsibilities seriously. Characterizing AF leaders as wanting glamorous, white-scarf missions – to the detriment of the troops in combat – is at best a fabrication and demeans all the men and women who serve in the Air Force, and does so while the nation is at war.
Lt. Gen. Mike Dunn (Ret.)
President, Air Force Association
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