Air Force officials release 2007 posture statement

WASHINGTON (AFNEWS) -- WASHINGTON (AFNEWS) -- Air Force officials released their annual posture statement which articulates the major elements required for the Air Force to fulfill its mission and its priorities over the course of the next year and into the future.

The secretary of the Air Force and the Air Force chief of staff testified before the House Armed Services Committee Feb. 28, delivering the Fiscal 2008 National Defense Budget Request where the 2007 Posture Statement was released.

"Our posture statement further reaffirms our commitment to be good stewards of the resources entrusted to us and our resolve to dominate air, space and cyberspace in defense of our Nation now and in the future," said Secretary Michael W. Wynne and Gen. T. Michael Moseley in the posture statement's opening letter.

The posture statement outlines the key priorities for the Air Force this year: to fight and win the war on terrorism; to develop and care for our Airmen and their families; and to recapitalize and modernize our aging aircraft, spacecraft and equipment.

A key to meeting these priorities and the ever-changing future battlespace the Air Force must be a commitment "to sustaining our position of strength, the asymmetric advantages the Air Force gives our nation -- America's edge," they said.

Maintaining America's Edge

The first segment of the posture statement details the challenges today and tomorrow, cyberspace operations, fiscal constraints and next generation Air Force.

"Our Air Force core values of integrity first, service before self and excellence in all we do -- embodied in every Airman -- guide our actions and ensure your Air Force remains committed and ready to deter, dissuade or defeat any adversary anywhere in the world," the statement reads.

"Your Air Force is dedicated to maintaining, evolving and expanding America's capabilities in air, space and cyberspace. These capabilities are America's edge, the foundation of America's unparalleled global vigilance, reach and power."

Fighting the War on Terrorism

The first Air Force priority is fighting and winning the war on terrorism.

"Your Air Force is in the fight in the Global War on Terror by providing global vigilance through theater-based aircraft, space systems and unmanned vehicles," Secretary Wynne said during testimony. "Air Force assets are surveying, tracking and identifying enemy positions as well as performing critical counter-IED missions.

"Your Air Force is in the fight, not just in Iraq and Afghanistan, but globally," he said. "Your Airmen are the nation's strategic edge."

Developing and Caring for Our Airmen

The Air Force today is a seamless total force, comprising more than 690,000 active duty Airmen, Guard, Reserve and civilians.

In caring for Airmen, Secretary Wynne said during testimony that reducing approximately 4000 officers and 10,000 enlisted personnel from the force was a very difficult task, but one that had to be done.

"We are at the point (in balancing equipment and personnel accounts) that the question is, do we hold onto our Airmen and give them equipment not as capable as it could be, or do we ask our Airmen to take on this duty to ensure the next generation is fully capable in fighting the next generation threat?" Secretary Wynne said to the committee.

Faced with emerging threats, the Air Force must rely on its Airmen by giving them the best equipment available, he said.

This section in the posture statement also details training, education and quality of life issues.

Recapitalizing and Modernizing the Force

This third priority is detailed in the posture statement through listing and explaining more than 25 platforms, systems or operations the Air Force intends on maintaining, investing or recapitalizing through the 2008 budget.

"I have advised our Airmen it is their duty to ensure the Airmen of tomorrow are as confident and as capable against the threat as we are today," Secretary Wynne said. "We can ensure this only by intensively husbanding every resource -- people, flying hours and expenses -- and dedicating freed resources toward recapitalization."

Delivering Excellence

Fighting the war on terrorism, developing and caring for our Airmen and their families and recapitalizing and modernizing the Air Force all require substantial national resources, the posture statement reads.

All the efforts listed in this section of the statement "will lead to greater efficiency, lower operating costs and greater availability of resources for recapitalization and modernization of critical Air Force capabilities. In short, our Airmen are striving to provide an even higher return on America's national security investments," the statement reads.