Gen. Timothy Ray, commander of the Air Force Global Strike Command, said that having long-range precision strike capability is critical to deter great power competition, which has been the focus of the Department of Defense's National Defense Strategy.
Ray told the audience at Rand Corporation’s fifth annual West Coast Aerospace Forum in Santa Monica that the U.S. needs to maintain such capability in the short term until it gets new bombers and intercontinental ballistic missile as well as upgrade its command, control and communications technologies, the Air Force said Monday.
AFGSC is set to receive the new MH-139 helicopter for testing in mid-December, Ray said, adding that the program resulted in about $1.7B in cost savings. The MH-139 is the first ever aircraft acquired by AFGSC.
Rand Corporation's WCAF event is designed to foster collaboration and discussion between Air Force officials and national security experts.
Key speakers at the event included leaders from the Navy, Air Force, Pacific Air Forces, Air Force Space Command, think tanks and academia.