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Gen. Mark Welsh, Deborah Lee James Unveil Air Force’s 30-Year Road Map

Air Force logoU.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh and Secretary Deborah Lee James have released a road map document that highlights the service’s strategic plans for the next 30 years, Defense News reported Wednesday.

Aaron Mehta writes that the “America’s Air Force: A Call to the Future” document aims to address current trends the Air Force can leverage to develop “strategic agility” in facing future threats and challenges.

It says forces must be flexible and be able to adapt to emerging technologies, geopolitical instability, differing operating environments and air, space and cyber domain protection needs.

Mehta writes that the road map also highlights military career development, technology adoption, the acquisition process and relations with industry and Congress to develop strategic agility.

“Breaks in service — or transitions between full-time and part-time — need not be punitive in the advancement of our future airmen. Rather, the experience they gain during their time out of uniform should be recognized for the broader perspective it delivers,” the document said.

It also recommends awarding incentives and opportunities for promotion to forces in specialized fields as well as developing diversity across the active-duty airmen, reserves and National Guard.

The road map stated that a focus on science and technology development in areas such as nanotechnology, hypersonic weapons, unmanned and autonomous systems, directed energy and threat deterrence would also come with enabling faster time-to-market and so-called ‘pivot points’ in the acquisition and requirements process.

Partnerships between the Air Force, industry leaders and Congress are also expected to generate insights to improve the above process as well as ease technology development.

The Air Force plans to release a more detailed 20-year strategic master plan before the end of the year, Mehta reports.

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