CSAF talks cooperation, efficiency at defense conference

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Jess Harvey
  • Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs
The Air Force and the private sector must focus their collective efforts to ensure America's defense needs are met in the face of declining purchasing power, according to the Air Force chief of staff.

Gen. Norton Schwartz made the remarks during a speech to defense industry leaders, service members and others on March 2 at the 2011 Defense Programs Conference in Arlington, Va.

"This is a challenging time for both for the military, as well as for the private sector," General Schwartz said. "Our emergence from economic distress continues to be slow and uncertain, and may remain so for some period of time."

The budget issues the military faces are further complicated by nation states, as well non- and sub-state actors, empowered by the proliferation of highly-capable, yet relatively inexpensive, technologies, the general said.

"Rising to these challenges will require more disciplined spending, efficiency and innovation, while curbing the assumption of risk that past acquisition strategies incorporated in their development plans," General Schwartz said.

Honest and realistic evaluations of requirements and capabilities, pricing and timelines, and development and delivery are needed, General Schwartz said.

"We can't afford to overpromise and under-deliver," he said.

General Schwartz said that the standard for future procurements will be for an open, fair and disciplined acquisition process in which industry and the Air Force work together.

"We all appreciate that the success of industry and the military are mutually related now, perhaps more so than they have ever been," the general said. "Despite having to face a great deal of uncertainty, we can reflect on our collective experience, integrate our individual strengths, and move forward with an unshakeable belief in what we can achieve together."