The Thoughts And Vision of Gen. T. Michael "Buzz" Mosley
, Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air
Recently as part of the annual 2007 Leadership Breakfast event the General was invited to the main gust and speaker by moderator Timothy B. Clark,
Editor and President of Government Executive Magazine. The full transcripts, there are two parts, can be found
(Part One) and
(Part Two). While reading what the General had to say in response to
some interesting questions I have complied below the quotes that I personally found to be the most insightful and significant.
Discussion is welcomed on any of the below highlighted experts or on anything else found within the transcript or the linked article.
This article located on Government Executives official website mainly discuss the points the General made in regards to the 2018 "Interim
The Air Force's top general on Tuesday reaffirmed his service's commitment to fielding a new stealth bomber by 2018.
The future bomber will be capable of penetrating sophisticated enemy air defenses day or night, said Air Force chief Gen. Michael Moseley... To
survive daylight raids in heavily defended enemy territory, the bomber would need to be fast and highly maneuverable in addition to stealthy.
"We can make 2018," Moseley said, "because we've asked industry to look at using the existing engines, existing sensors, existing weapons, weapons
bays, just like we built the F-117 in the late '70s and early '80s. We used F-15 landing gear; we used internal structures off of other airplanes."
The 2018 [bomber] will have the signatures and the capability to survive day or night in any of those environments," Moseley said, adding that the
new bombers will "tear up" enemy air defenses. The new fifth-generation bomber will be much stealthier than even the B-2 stealth bomber and F-117
stealth fighter, as those planes used 1970s and 1980s technology, he added.
He said that beyond the 2018 bomber, the Air Force is considering a next-generation one that will incorporate much greater "technological leaps."
New technologies the service is examining include a Mach-5 speed capability and the ability to fly at very high altitudes -- possibly exoatmospheric
Some interesting insight the General had provide for us. First, this new bomber will be designed to conduct mission both during the day and night,
something which the B-2 and F-117 were largely restricted from doing. Although from what I have heard there have been several tests done ever since
the Raptor reached IOC to see if a strike group of B-2's, and F-117's supported by F-22's would be effective at conducting day time missions.
Still, the General also said this new bomber will have greater stealth capability than both the Spirit and Nigh Hawk given the advances made over the
past couple of decades. This, if some remember, would seem to back earlier statements made by a high ranking Boeing defense official in which he said
dual band (low and high) radar frequency stealth was envisioned for the interim bomber. And beyond that, although there is no definitive date, we
again have confirmation that a "high end" bomber, so to speak, is being considered for design. It will likely have the much sought out Sci Fi
capabilities, hypersonic speed, near space operational altitude, likely unmanned etc... Also, the General was keen on stating that the bulk of the
USAF bomber force (the BUFF and Bone) would not be able to penetrate and survey in advance future anti access environments. This leads me to believe
that, although some may see it politically convenient to call this bomber "interim", it will indeed be purchased in large number and have a service
life not unlike it's predecessors.
Now for those quotes... and my semi pointless commentary for each one.
That is our global vigilance piece, to be able to surveil the entire surface of the earth from space or from the atmosphere, and be able to see
activities on the surface. The second piece of that is our global reach, which is the ability to take assets or capabilities anywhere on the
surface... And then the last piece of that is global power, which is the ability to project force; that is, the ability to project firepower anywhere
on the surface because at the end of the day, the soul of an Air Force is range and payload. So the things that an Air Force - that makes an Air Force
unique in today's fight, which sets the stage for tomorrow, is we're the only service that has the mission of global vigilance to be able to surveil
the planet, to be able to see anything that goes on, to be able to range that activity, whether it is with mobility assets or whether it was a strike
assets, to command and control it and to assess the effects.
Interesting, constant global presence in terms of intelligence and information and global force projection, survivability and persistence.
And we haven't even talked about peer competitors; we haven't talked about the rise of a couple of countries that are becoming a bit more
aggressive on the world stage. What does all of that mean? That is what I've talked about when I say that the horizon is a bit uncertain and we need
to be preparing for that horizon while we deal with today's problem. Long answer to a short question.
Great point, while critics would like to focus entirely on the battle of toady the future is not stagnant nor entirely predicable. Planning and
preparing for those future, conventional and traditional threats, once again, is vital.
We are at the point where the F-15, F-16, and the fourth-generation systems, which is everything except the F-22 and the F-35, is at a point of
comparison with the new exported Sukhoi and MiG fighters that are being co-produced in a variety of places, and the surface-to-air missile systems
that are on the open market as well as the early-warning radars and target-tracking radars.
Unfortunate and unsettling but we are rapidly approaching this point, granted our force will still be overall superior due to our combined assets
etc... But on an individual basis parity is begin reached, and party is not how we like to fight, dominance is our goal.
But let me preface that discussion by saying the mission of an Air Force in a theater - of the Air Force in a theater - is to first get control of
the medium and the air domain. If you can't control the air domain and space, and soon to be outer space, then nothing happens on the surface. We
take this very, very seriously. The last time a soldier - a U.S. Army soldier - was killed from an attack by the air was in April 1953.So the
partnership we have with the U.S. Army, Marines, and Navy, this is a big deal for us in the theater, and this is a responsibility that is not to taken
lightly. And it is the first fight in any theater is to get control of the airspace, whether that was the first week or so in Operation: Iraqi Freedom
or wherever we will go next.
Another reason why the critics which seem to focus on the current war scenario and on only a few branches need to realize this is a team effort, each
service working with the other. The effectiveness would never be equal on an individual basis it would when all branches support one another. As such,
there is a need for modernization an focus across the spectrum.
Ok, I have had to reconsider this post, due to the sheer length of both transcripts and the volume of interesting and relevant topics covered it would
be pointless to keep quoting sections. Independent reading will have to suffice...
This interview did leave me with a few thoughts however. First, the Raptor program should never have been gutted by Rumsfeld and congress should
approve recent USAF requests to extend the total production run. Also, from reading the Generals comments I get the feeling the US military, but the
USAF in particular is at a crossroads. We are currently involved in multiple conflicts which are stressing our force, shortening life service
requirements, consuming resources and districting us from other areas or strategic value. This is most concerning since we are seeing a real threat
rising, China, Russia etc... are all increasing in influence, strength and capability. The USAF needs more money and systems, so does the US military
(in terms of budget) as was described by the General. Yet due to incompetent, irresponsible oversight and meddling of the civilian congressional
leadership they are not receiving the appropriate budgetary funds, hence systems not being allowed to independently tae measures to adjust for this
fact. Another imperfection of the civilian-military oversight system.
Anyway, given his views, directs and overall demeanor Gen. Moseley seems to be the right guy, along with Secretary Wynne for this time. He has already
made several crucial decisions with regards to our future force which have been discussed here on ATS and elsewhere. I just hope he is given the
necessary tools and resources to accomplish his goals.
[edit on 2-11-2007 by WestPoint23]