Deborah Lee James said Monday at the Air Force Association’s Air, Space and Cyber Conference that addressing workforce issues remains as her top priority as secretary of the U.S. Air Force.
James told audience at the AFA event it is necessary to replace and modernize a fleet with an average aircraft age of 27 years old to help address challenges facing the Air Force’s readiness.
She said the service branch works to update its space enterprise culture in an effort to help secure assets in case conflicts on Earth extend to space.
The Air Force secretary forecasts the passage of a long-term continuing resolution would reduce overall Air Force funds by approximately $1.3 billion, limit airmen training and readiness and affect National Guard and Reserve drill weekends and flying hours.
James added a long-term CR would cap the production of KC-46A Pegasus, delay the development of B-21 Raider aircraft and postpone 50 major construction projects.