CSAF discusses readiness

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WASHINGTON — Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein addressed rebuilding the Air Force’s readiness during a discussion at the Heritage Foundation April 12, 2017, in Washington, D.C.

Goldfein said his number one priority is readiness; including reaching a manning end-strength over the next several years to help fill in gaps in the mission, such as the pilot shortage. The best option is to retain the pilots; morale is better when readiness is better, he said.

Goldfein added that a predictable budget and communication are important tools for readiness.

While the CSAF is taking steps at the institutional level, the most powerful impacts will be at the wing level. He said wing commanders are trusted to lean forward, talk to their people and make things happen.

“The heart of our culture is at the squadrons,” he said.

He also re-emphasized the importance of investing in nuclear deterrence, cyberspace and space capabilities.

“We have to be ready if war extends into space,” Goldfein said. “This is an obligation I have as a joint chief responsible for the preponderance of the space force and architecture.”

The question of a potential stop loss was raised; the CSAF said he was not considering it at this time.

The CSAF said he is happy with the Air Force’s progression.

“We’re better off today than we were a year ago,” he said.