HomeNewsArticle Display

Welsh champions communication, airpower in Air Force update

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III presents the annual Air Force Update keynote address at the Air Force Association's 2013 Air & Space Conference and Technology Exposition Sept. 17, 2013, in Washington, D.C. Welsh presented the Air Force update on the second day of the three-day, 55-session conference covering various topics pertaining to the total force (U.S. Air Force photo/Michael J. Pausic)

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III presents the annual Air Force Update keynote address at the Air Force Association's 2013 Air & Space Conference and Technology Exposition Sept. 17, 2013, in Washington, D.C. Welsh presented the Air Force update on the second day of the three-day, 55-session conference covering various topics pertaining to the total force (U.S. Air Force photo/Michael J. Pausic)

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III shakes hands with Airmen who he highlighted during his Air Force Update keynote address during the Air Force Association's 2013 Air & Space Conference and Technology Exposition Sept. 17, 2013, in Washington, D.C. During his address, Welsh emphasized how each Airman contributes to Global Vigilance, Global Reach and Global Power for America. (U.S. Air Force photo/Michael J. Pausic)

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III shakes hands with Airmen who he highlighted during his Air Force Update keynote address during the Air Force Association's 2013 Air & Space Conference and Technology Exposition Sept. 17, 2013, in Washington, D.C. During his address, Welsh emphasized how each Airman contributes to Global Vigilance, Global Reach and Global Power for America. (U.S. Air Force photo/Michael J. Pausic)

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III presents the annual Air Force Update keynote address at the Air Force Association's 2013 Air & Space Conference and Technology Exposition Sept. 17, 2013, in Washington, D.C. During his speech, Welsh gave an update on the Air Force’s current status, capabilities and issues ahead. (U.S. Air Force photo/Michael J. Pausic)

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III presents the annual Air Force Update keynote address at the Air Force Association's 2013 Air & Space Conference and Technology Exposition Sept. 17, 2013, in Washington, D.C. During his speech, Welsh gave an update on the Air Force’s current status, capabilities and issues ahead. (U.S. Air Force photo/Michael J. Pausic)

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III was greeted with cheers and laughter from the crowd as he walked onto the stage wearing a Captain America mask during the Air Force Association’s 2013 Air & Space Conference and Technology Exposition 2013 Sept. 17, 2013, in Washington, D.C. After sharing an inspiring Air Force video he pointed to his mask and said the “A” in the mask stands for air power. (U.S. Air Force photo/Michael J. Pausic)

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III was greeted with cheers and laughter from the crowd as he walked onto the stage wearing a Captain America mask during the Air Force Association’s 2013 Air & Space Conference and Technology Exposition 2013 Sept. 17, 2013, in Washington, D.C. After sharing an inspiring Air Force video he pointed to his mask and said the “A” in the mask stands for air power. (U.S. Air Force photo/Michael J. Pausic)

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III presents the annual Air Force Update keynote address at the Air Force Association's 2013 Air & Space Conference and Technology Exposition Sept. 17, 2013, in Washington, D.C. During his speech, Welsh gave an update on the Air Force’s current status, capabilities and issues ahead. (U.S. Air Force photo/Michael J. Pausic)

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III presents the annual Air Force Update keynote address at the Air Force Association's 2013 Air & Space Conference and Technology Exposition Sept. 17, 2013, in Washington, D.C. During his speech, Welsh gave an update on the Air Force’s current status, capabilities and issues ahead. (U.S. Air Force photo/Michael J. Pausic)

WASHINGTON (AFNS) --

The Air Force chief of staff discussed airpower and the service’s warfighting capabilities across its core missions at the Air Force Association’s 2013 Air & Space Conference and Technology Exposition here today.

Gen. Mark A. Welsh III presented the Air Force update on the second day of the three-day, 55-session conference covering various topics pertaining to the total force.
 
Welsh described what the Air Force must do to remain dominant in air, space and cyberspace domains. He noted the service’s 690,000 members performing air-related duties compared to the Navy’s 70,000 personnel, the Marines’ 39,000 and the Army’s 34,000.
 
“There is one Air Force in America, and you’re in it,” Welsh said. “If the combatant commander wants airpower, there’s only one number to call.”
 
Welsh also addressed the issue of readiness, especially in light of current budget constraints. “We have to minimize the impact where we can -- it’s not going to be good.”
 
The general acknowledged other impacts to the force, including scale-backs to exercises and weapons schools but said he remains confident in Airmen.
 
“Our force is better educated than it has ever been, and we need to empower our Airmen -- they’re remarkably capable.”
 
Welsh encouraged the use of social media to facilitate two-way communication and buffer against communication pitfalls such as “stove-piped information.”
 

“Chief (Master Sgt. of the Air Force James) Cody and I are on Facebook and Twitter, which is terrifying,” Welsh said over laughter. “Follow us.”

Welsh said the newest “Global Vigilance, Global Reach and Global Power for America” document is internally focused and designed to help Airmen understand their role in the broader scheme of the Air Force. He also described Air Force 2023, an effort in progress to incorporate resources and strategy.
 
“Then we start turning the ship and heading to whatever that picture of 2023 looks like,” Welsh said.
 
With budget woes casting a haze of uncertainty on the future, the general called the furlough “a breach of faith” that he hopes does not occur again. He acknowledged the challenges of Air Force civilians who’ve been without pay raises for three years.
 
Welsh also expressed concern about retaining the Air Force’s best Airmen, specifically pilots, as training hours dwindle and units are grounded.
 
“Our rated force has options,” Welsh said. “They served well and now they have choices to make … If we’re not letting them keep their edge, they’ll walk.”
 
The Air Force’s recapitalization priorities include the KC-46 tanker, the F-35 Lightning II and the long range-strike bomber -- all critical in engaging with a determined, well-armed, well-trained opponent, the general explained.
 
Welsh said when people ask him if he worries about the Air Force’s future, the response is simple.
 

“The answer is no … I’ll never worry,” he said. “Not while (they) are on our side,” Welsh said of several Airmen he asked to join him on stage. “This is our Air Force.”

Engage

Facebook Twitter
A F-22 Raptor from @TeamTyndall flies alongside a F-35 Lightning II from the @TeamEglin over the Emerald Coast. The… https://t.co/asgdBrptNN
A C-21A Learjet taxies to the flightline @RamsteinAirBase. @NATO’s Rapid Air Mobility initiative allowed the aircra… https://t.co/uFkj2RUbwy
Thoughts about #MemorialDay from Lt. Col. Jeremy Guenet @129RQW. @AirNatlGuard https://t.co/arwZC9MIow
RT @SecAFOfficial: #MemorialDay is a time to remember those #Americans who made the ultimate sacrifice while protecting and guaranteeing ou…
RT @thejointstaff: #GenMilley: This #MemorialDay, we pause to honor the more than 1 million Americans who made the ultimate sacrifice since…
RT @ArlingtonNatl: The 152nd National Memorial Day Observance to honor America’s fallen military service members at Arlington National Ceme…
RT @thejointstaff: #GenMilley: "We have a solemn duty to remember all those who've gone before us & fought & died for the cause of freedom.…
Today, we honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice while serving our country. #MemorialDay https://t.co/AO5mxOx7Gf
Yukari Brown, spouse of 2nd Lt. Mark Brown, at Moody AFB, poses for a photo after a ballet class. Brown uses video… https://t.co/2WkjPszC7J
As our adversaries evolve, we have to be ready to withstand a digital 'sucker punch'. To mitigate this threat, cybe… https://t.co/2gZuHzaEAD
Robert Miller discusses what it means to be a caregiver. @AFW2 https://t.co/1cTLbO7ZV4
Hugo, a military working dog, is going from "paw-trolling" to the couch. Well-earned retirement! @17TRW_GAFB https://t.co/pycRotL4EK
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: This #MemorialDay remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our Nation. Brave Americans who died pr…
RT @AirmanMagazine: Maj. Gen. Mark Smith is the 24th National Commander of the @CivilAirPatrol. We sat down with him to discuss mentorshi…
U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Morgan Nowick, a geospatial analyst @9thRW, practices archery for her own resiliency a… https://t.co/LwMnu3R0V5
An F-15E Strike Eagle assigned to the 494th Fighter Squadron takes off @48FighterWing. The 494th FS conducts routin… https://t.co/1kXLSw86s3