HomeNewsArticle Display

Meeting global air requirements in a time of austerity

Heidi Grant, the Air Force International Affairs deputy under secretary (U.S. Air Force photo)

Heidi Grant, the Air Force International Affairs deputy under secretary (U.S. Air Force photo)

Gen. Frank Gorenc, the U.S. Air Forces in Europe commander (U.S. Air Force photo)

Gen. Frank Gorenc, the U.S. Air Forces in Europe commander (U.S. Air Force photo)

Gen. Lori Robinson, the Pacific Air Forces commander (U.S. Air Force photo)

Gen. Lori Robinson, the Pacific Air Forces commander (U.S. Air Force photo)

WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- In a conference room filled with international air forces, three Airmen led a discussion on solutions to meeting global air needs in a time of austerity during the Air Force Association Air and Space Conference and Technology Exposition, Sept. 15.

Heidi Grant, the Air Force International Affairs deputy under secretary; Gen. Frank Gorenc, the U.S. Air Forces in Europe commander; and Gen. Lori Robinson, the Pacific Air Forces commander, took turns presenting their thoughts to the audience.

Grant opened the discussion with a look at some of the global challenges currently facing air components. Shrinking budgets, natural disasters, asymmetric threats, insurgency and aggressive nations were among the challenges mentioned. She went on to say that demand is stretching the U.S. Air Force to capacity and current global demand cannot be carried by the U.S. alone.

“The global challenges that we face today require even stronger global partnerships,” Grant said. “The only way we can successfully take on daunting challenges is through building upon these global partnerships.”

She applauded strong, long-standing, successful partnerships with the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand, but pointed out partnerships should not be overlooked with countries once thought of as adversaries, giving special recognition to the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force, which she recognized as one of the U.S. Air Force’s strongest partnerships and friends.

Grant stressed that the time to develop stronger relationships is now, and urged leaders not to wait for the next global disaster to develop plans, deepen relationships or exercise jointly.

“Delivering global power, global vigilance and global reach requires global partnerships,” Grant said.

Grant noted Airmen are embracing international relations and encouraged Airmen at every level to continue growing their cultural awareness.

“People are the driving force behind international partnerships and all Airmen should embrace a commitment to security cooperation,” she said.

Grant suggested focused areas for growth and partnership should be intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, mobility, and command and control. Gorenc is already working on these areas in Europe and in Africa.

“You can’t surge trust and you can’t surge relationships,” said the USAFE commander echoing Grant’s call for Airmen to develop meaningful partnerships before coordination is required. “This is work that has to be done in a very steady and methodical way to make sure if and when something happens that requires the bringing together of a coalition or alliance, or the combination of both, we’re interoperable and we’re able to accomplish the mission in a very swift way.”

Robinson expressed concern for the future of the Pacific theater operating continually at a high operations tempo with a reduced staff and a reduced budget. She cited a cancelled joint exercise in 2013 that resulted in a partner country’s air chief calling into question the U.S. commitment, stating they needed the U.S. to remain good partners.

Continuing resolution weighs heavily on the component major command, with a responsibility for more than 52 percent of the globe. Robinson expressed thanks to other Pacific theater international air chiefs, who she credits with truly ensuring stability in the region.

“We engage very easily in small groups with our international partners,” Robinson said. “As I look to the future, I wonder, ‘Can I keep up this same engagement?’ I worry about what happens in an austere environment. Without stability, the region would be at risk.”

The panel encouraged continued cultural growth by the U.S., financial investment from partnering nations, and proactive, consistent planning by all nations with an interest in global stability.

Engage

Facebook Twitter
RT @AETCommand: Transforming the way we learn with technology is one of our key priorities here in the First Command! Check out the photos…
RT @AirNatlGuard: This week, @ChiefNGB visited the @PRNationalGuard at Muñiz Air National Guard Base to meet with senior leaders and discus…
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: YOU are the most important reason for our mission success. Take care of each other & preserve the connections & commun…
RT @AirmanMagazine: When it comes to acquisitions, the @usairforce has the need for speed. Equipping Airmen with the best technology start…
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: A distinct privilege to help unveil the F-117 exhibit, establishing this remarkable aircraft in its rightful place in…
RT @AirNatlGuard: “For me personally, the CAP and Air Guard go hand in hand. When I look back at any state active duty or state support we…
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: Honored to participate on a panel with my fellow Service Chiefs at the @ReaganInstitute. May our leaders of today & th…
It was just a childhood dream but it crescendoed into this #Airman becoming the only woman in the #AirForce to both… https://t.co/vzGjPe7Vri
RT @USAFReserve: Loadmaster first Reservist to complete USAF Weapons School Advanced Instructor Course (Story by the @403rdWing) #ReserveRe
.@secafoffical will speak about America’s footprint in space going forward at 5:45 EST. Watch live at https://t.co/aSlw5ceGJj
RT @DeptofDefense: LIVE: @EsperDoD delivers keynote remarks at the Reagan National Defense Forum. #RNDF https://t.co/ZXhuaTOQTm
Today, we help Col. Charles McGee, a Tuskegee Airman, combat veteran and American legend, celebrate 💯 sorties aroun… https://t.co/bcmcDr4IYW
December 7, 1941. #PearlHarbor and six other #military bases on the Hawaiian island of Oahu were attacked, beginnin… https://t.co/4GvB8yPpGV
RT @US_TRANSCOM: Take a look at @usairforce Airmen assigned to the @109thAW using their ski-equipped C-130s to deliver supplies to the Arct…
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: Thank you to Gen CQ Brown & the @PACAF team for the outstanding work organizing one of largest gatherings of Pacific A…
RT @DeptofDefense: Flying side by side gets the mission done. @usairforce and @RoyalAirForce participated in exercise Point Blank with @NAT
RT @HQUSAFEPA: Getting to see a chaplain in a remote location is a #blessing. Archbishop of U.S. Military Services Timothy Broglio recently…
RT @AFWERX: Did you catch @EdwardsAFB’s first-ever @TEDx event? There’s no doubt their theme, “Laying the Foundation for Tomorrow’s Innovat…
RT @DeptofDefense: Press ▶️ to get motivated by watching this video of exercise #MobilityGuardian19, Air Mobility Command's largest full-sp…