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Air Force vice chief of staff: National security is a team sport

  • Published
  • By Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs
Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Stephen W. Wilson highlighted the importance of taking a whole-of-nation approach to expanding the national security competitive space during an Air Force Association Breakfast Seminar in Arlington, Virginia, Nov. 14, 2018.

“National security is a team sport,” said Wilson. “What we need to do as a nation moving forward in this era of great power competition is to be united.”

Unity of effort requires making the challenges of great power competition apparent to academia and industry partners as well as friends and neighbors, Wilson told the crowd.

Equally important to the ability of the U.S. to compete, deter and win against near-peer adversaries is the achievement of strategic alignment on issues of national security, said Wilson. The realization of that alignment depends on budget stability, he continued, thanking Congress and national leaders for the return of regular fiscal order.

For the Air Force’s part, Wilson said Airmen are generating momentum across key areas, including readiness, modernization, and integration with joint teammates, allies and partners.

He went on to explain, what the Air Force does in defense begins and ends with readiness. The primary purpose of the service is to deter and, if called upon, to win wars.

“(The message is clear), today’s modernization is tomorrow’s readiness,” Wilson continued. “We’re laser-sighted on fielding tomorrow’s Air Force faster and smarter.”

Using new authorities from Congress and smart practices, the Air Force achieved a savings of more than $13 billion on contracts for the T-X trainer, UH-1 and GPS, he shared.

In addition, recent exercises with joint and allied partners and the stand up of an independent strategy, integration and requirements Air Staff directorate, he said, serve as examples of how the Air Force is working to develop deeper ties with defense teammates.

So, while the challenges of great power competition are many, the strategic alignment to solve them is in place, and Airmen are moving out to continue securing the great nation, said Wilson.

“America’s [Air Force] is ready tonight to fight and win,” Wilson said. “Each and every day we get more and more ready; we do that because of your help.”