Innovation and flexibility crucial to basing for attack

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Natalie Stanley
  • Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs Office
Experts underscored the Air Force’s ability to project power against advanced enemy capabilities during a panel at the Air Force Association’s Air, Space and Cyber Conference Sept. 19, 2017.

“Our adversaries watch what we do,” said Gen. Terrence J. O'Shaughnessy, Pacific Air Forces commander, U.S. Pacific Command air component commander and Pacific Air Combat Operations Staff executive director. “We have seen potential adversaries trying to change the game so we have to innovate and think about how we’re going to project power.”

To overcome threats in a dynamic, rapidly changing environment, the Air Force needs a strategy to maintain freedom of movement, commitment to partners and demonstration of resolve.

“This isn’t a power point level idea,” said O’Shaughnessy. “This is something that we as Airmen can innovate and we can find ways to actually execute…not because we want to but because we have to.”

O’Shaughnessy and Gen. Tod D. Wolters, U.S. Air Forces in Europe, Air Forces Africa commander, discussed how the Pacific and European theaters employ deterrence, anti-access and aerial denial strategies.

“This is not a Pacific problem, this is something we all as Airmen need to address and take on,” said O’Shaughnessy.We know we no longer have that pure competitive advantage we had in the past and so we have to be innovative and find new ways to do business.”

While basing for attack strategies create unique and varied responses throughout the Air Force, the measure of success works better when unseen.   

“I often tell our folks in the European theater that if you can go another 24-hour segment and you still have peace, deterrence has continued to work,” said Wolters.