HomeNewsArticle Display

The Air Force We Need: 386 operational squadrons

The Air Force We Need

(U.S. Air Force graphic)

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. (AFNS) --

 Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson announced the results of an in-depth analysis aimed at outlining what the Air Force needs to implement the National Defense Strategy while speaking at the Air Force Association's annual Air, Space and Cyber conference Sept. 17.

“The analysis says what every Airmen already knows,” Wilson said. “The Air Force is too small for what the nation is asking us to do. We have 312 operational squadrons today. The Air Force We Need has 386 operational squadrons by 2030.”

The National Defense Strategy, Air Force leaders said, marks the reemergence of long-term, strategic competition with China and Russia. The Air Force’s imperative is to compete, deter, and win this competition by fielding a force that is lethal, resilient, rapidly adapting and integrates seamlessly with the joint force, allies and partners.

Wilson said the analysis of the 386 squadrons needed to support this strategy is based on estimates of the expected threat by 2025 to 2030. At the end of the Cold War, the Air Force had 401 operational squadrons.

“Today, we are the best Air Force in the world,” Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein said. “Our adversaries know it. They have been studying our way of war and investing in ways to take away those advantages. This is about how we stay in front.”

Wilson said the Air Force chose to focus on operational squadrons—fighter and bomber squadrons, attack and special operations, space, cyber, tanker, airlift and other frontline units—because they’re the core fighting units of the Air Force.

 “Our operational squadrons are the clenched fist of American resolve,” she said.

The analysis, according to Air Force senior leaders, presents an honest assessment of the Air Force America needs to fight and win in future conflicts. The analysis was driven by strategy and not by budget.

“We usually have the dialogue about the Air Force we can afford,” Goldfein said. “This is different. This is about the Air Force we need to present credible options to compete, deter, and if deterrence fails, win.”

Wilson understands it will take time to build the support and budget required for the Air Force We Need.

“We aren’t naïve,” she said. “But we have an obligation to be honest with our countrymen and tell them, as those who came before us have done in their time, what should be done… What we must do.”

Engage

Twitter
RT @HQ_AFMC: Thanks to the conservation upgrades, Keesler AFB expects an annual savings of 113,840 million British Thermal Units, a 15.8 p…
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: .@Spangdahlem_AB was the first wing in @HQUSAFEAFAF capable of Agile Combat Employment. Being agile & persistent is a m…
Twitter
After catastrophic flooding in Germany & Belgium, @Spangdahlem_AB volunteers provide relief. “80% of people on Sp… https://t.co/6roLIRoFT0
Twitter
RT @Southcom: Supporting our partners in #Suriname: A @usairforce C-17 from @TeamCharleston delivered a field hospital to Suriname July 1…
Twitter
Congratulatons! 🎓 https://t.co/dzK8o0E9rK
Twitter
RT @AETCommand: On the latest edition of the Air Force Starts Here Podcast, we discuss the modernization of the @usairforce Career Developm…
Twitter
F-16s from the 555th Fighter Squadron fire munitions at the Graf Ignatievo Air Base range during Thracian Star 21 i… https://t.co/aYEY5PoEWD
Twitter
The #AirForce Civil Engineer Center, in partnership with the USAF Installation Contracting Center, has streamlined… https://t.co/8iFGwfrYHR
Twitter
A-10 Thunderbolt II's auxiliary power unit insulation is on the path of modernization as the Ogden Air Logistics Ce… https://t.co/3vWCDmV8Sf
Twitter
.@GenCQBrownJr made his first trip to Europe as CSAF, to visit European counterparts in France, and virtually at th… https://t.co/fnK8dTaHA4
Twitter
RT @AFResearchLab: Have you ever had that lightbulb 💡 moment where a new game changing idea pops into your head? Well the @usairforce, @S
Twitter
RT @SecDef: We train to win future conflicts. @NORADCommand and @USNorthernCmd are currently leading #GIDE3 with all 11 combatant commands…
Twitter
“Our human capital is our ultimate weapon.” - Maj. Gen. Eric Hill, @AFSpecOpsCmd deputy commander, remarked recentl… https://t.co/SijxHO8VVX
Twitter
.@Hanscom_AFB introduces newly designed female body armor. “It’s exciting to feel represented as a female, and it’… https://t.co/fniK9XlzDh
Twitter
ICYMI: @amccommander Gen Van Ovost approves the Centerline Drogue System as the KC-46A Pegasus’ first Interim Capab… https://t.co/ACrozwmm1e
Twitter
The 128th Air Refueling Wing with the Wisconsin @AirNatlGuard is supporting #TeamTyndall's F-22 Raptors @NASKeyWesthttps://t.co/uRlpW1Jmt3
Twitter
.@EielsonAirForce Airmen are conducting Agile Combat training, aimed at developing combat habit patterns for use in… https://t.co/8BoWN2gE2I
Twitter
RT @USNationalGuard: Airmen from the @109thAW hosted two @USAFReserve Airmen while they completed their hands-on training as aerial port sp…
Twitter
.@Creech_AFB's 556th Test and Evaluation Squadron completed successful testing of the MQ-9 Reapers' Automatic Takeo… https://t.co/BnckGjqO76
Twitter
RT @USAFRecruiting: Air Force Chief of Staff, @GenCQBrownJr, has a message for those considering a career in the @usairforce: Regardless…
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,353,946
Follow Us