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Subject: March AF Policy Letter Digest

U. S. Air Force Policy Letter Digest

March 2002


The Air Force is continuing to focus on transformation to meet the demands and threats of the 21st century, the service's top civilian told Congress during the proposed fiscal 2003 budget hearing Feb. 12.

"We have been afforded numerous opportunities to implement and validate significant changes in the concepts of military operations and in the conduct of war," said Secretary of the Air Force Dr. James G. Roche in his opening statement before the Senate Armed Services Committee. "For the first time in the history of warfare, the entire ground operation in land-locked Afghanistan - infiltration, exfiltration, sustainment of supplies and support equipment - has been accomplished solely by air.

"Operation Enduring Freedom has demanded over 14,000 sorties, some of which have broken records in mission range, hours flown and combat reconnaissance," he said.

Secretary Roche also said tanker support to joint operations, which number more than 6,000 sorties, mobility demands and humanitarian tonnage delivered have all been unprecedented.

"We have encouraged and exploited the rapid advancement and employment of innovative technologies and have taken significant action to implement the findings of the Space Commission in our new role as the executive agent for space," he said.

"We have set a goal as we look at the future to try to return to the era of General Henry 'Hap' Arnold and the Army Air Corps supporting General George S. Patton during the breakout at Normandy," Secretary Roche said. "We are striving to provide near-instantaneous ground attack from the air by working closely with troops on the ground equipped with powerful sensors and communications links."

"There were many cases when special operations forces on horseback, tied in with these space-age technologies to air assets, were able to immediately bring precision munitions to bear in support of Northern Alliance forces, swinging the outcome of the battle in favor of our allies," said Army Secretary Thomas E. White during the hearing. "It made all the difference in the world (during operations) in Afghanistan."

However, despite these accomplishments, the Air Force will not stray from its transformation journey, Secretary Roche said.

Included in the Fiscal 2003 Air Force Posture Statement provided to the committee are the service's plans to develop the capabilities it needs for the future to answer a broad range of challenges posed by potential adversaries.

It also addresses some of the most pressing challenges facing the Air Force, reaffirming the service's focus on people, readiness and transformation.

"Our future success hinges on our ability to recruit and retain highly qualified airmen, and to provide these dedicated warriors with the resources required to accomplish their mission," Secretary Roche said. "We must also take care of our families with adequate housing programs, medical facilities and base support services.

"While the world's security environment changed dramatically, one thing that remains constant is America's need for global vigilance, reach and power," he said. "That is your Air Force vision and what we strive to deliver every day. Fully exploiting our advantages is not an option - the risk of failing to do so is too great.

"We must remain the dominant air force in the business of global reconnaissance and strike and through (continued funding of) recapitalization efforts, we hope to maintain the fundamental basis from which to (continue) our transformation journey," Secretary Roche said.

Realizing this to be a costly and daunting task, Secretary Roche said that integrating systems, mastering real-time targeting and finding new ways to operate are more than objectives, they determine the Air Force's ability to project power on and above the battlefields of tomorrow.

"The future holds sober challenges for America's military forces, but with America's continued support, the (Air Force) is poised for unprecedented success," Secretary Roche said in written testimony. "In whatever scenarios lie ahead, the (nation) will be able to look to the Air Force to ensure our dominance of air and space."


What began with an interservice brainstorming session sparked by Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz on technological transformation became lethal reality in Afghanistan, as Taliban forces discovered last fall.

Much of Operation Enduring Freedom's success thus far has been the result of an Air Force, Army and special operations discussion held at the Pentagon last July at the urging of Secretary Wolfowitz, said Secretary of the Air Force Dr. James G. Roche.

"Last summer, Secretary Wolfowitz prodded the Air Force and the Army to come up with new ways of leveraging our forces in combat," Secretary Roche said. "And thanks to the foresight of Gen. Tommy Franks (U.S. Central Command commander-in-chief), we've been able to test these concepts in real-world contingencies.

"We had a sense last summer that we could have two goals for the Air Force," he said. "One was to have 24-hour, seven-day-a-week, 365-days-a-year, good weather/bad weather focus on a part of a country. We have demonstrated that's possible.

"The second thing we learned is that you can have almost instantaneous attack - someday. We're getting close to it," he said. "It's not a matter of, here's a target and seven hours later it gets (hit)."

Ideas which first surfaced in that July conference quickly became reality after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

"The war began, and in seven days we were buying the gear and getting it in," Secretary Roche said.

"What we had were sergeants carrying four or five different things, getting off their horses, unpacking and setting up," he said. "These pieces (Global Positioning System, laser spotter and others) were kludged together. The sergeants on the ground were phenomenal."

Secretary Roche described one incident where a forward air controller used this patched-together technology to call in close air support.

"Every time he'd set up he would enter (his coordinates) as a waypoint," Secretary Roche said. "He saw the Taliban overrunning his last position, so he just picked up his radio and called in his last set of coordinates. A B-52 (Stratofortress) happened to be in the area, and 'did in' the bad guys.

"What's interesting," he said, "is we've demonstrated new tactics, (which) returns us to (one of) our traditions. Coming out of the post-Normandy invasion (in June 1944), Gen. 'Hap' Arnold's Army Air Corps and Lt. Gen. George Patton's ground forces combined together very closely. We can do that now. It's not perfect, but we've learned a lot.

"I'd suggest that the people on the ground benefited from the fact that we were doing close air support with B-52s from 38,000 feet," he said.

Another example of OEF transformation involved converting Air Force KC-135 Stratotankers to accommodate Navy aircraft, which use different hook-up systems.

"We modified a bunch of KC-135s to fuel Navy planes, because 55 percent of our tanker sorties supported the Navy," Roche said. "Any tankers we build in the future will be able to (refuel) both.

"But that's how it's supposed to be," he said. "General (John P.) Jumper (Air Force chief of staff), says it succinctly - we'll never fight alone, ever again."

These and other innovations are a direct result of the support received from officials at the very top of the Department of Defense, Secretary Roche said. Such inspiration leads to improvements in other areas, such as recruiting.

"(Defense) Secretary (Donald) Rumsfeld and Secretary Wolfowitz deserve a lot of credit for encouraging us and providing the inspiration to seek innovative ideas," he said. "Such creativity will go a long way toward linking kids and planes, and helping us reach our recruiting goals in the years to come."


"Expect the unexpected" was the message Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld delivered to airmen Feb. 20 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev.

Secretary Rumsfeld held a "town hall meeting" with base people in a Nellis hangar. He said current events should teach Americans the peril of the unexpected.

When then Defense Secretary Robert McNamara went for his confirmation hearing in 1961, no one mentioned Vietnam, Secretary Rumsfeld said. That war consumed McNamara's term as secretary.

Similarly, when Vice President Dick Cheney went for his confirmation hearings as defense secretary in 1989, no one mentioned Iraq. A year later that was all anyone spoke about.

During Secretary Rumsfeld's confirmation hearing in January 2001, "not one senator mentioned the word 'Afghanistan,'" he said. "Not one senator, nor I, mentioned al-Qaeda. And here we are.

"We have to recognize that it is not possible to know every conceivable threat that can be posed against our country, friends, allies or deployed forces," he said. "We have to recognize the kinds of capabilities that exist and deal with those capabilities wherever they happen to come from."

That is why military transformation is so important, he said. More than just equipment must change.

Transformation also includes "the mindset, the way we train, the way we exercise and the way we fight," Secretary Rumsfeld said. "I am personally convinced that the Department of Defense and the defense establishment are up to the task."

Defense Department officials will release a new Unified Command Plan in March. That plan, he said, would stress the importance of homeland security with a new U.S. Northern Command. The plan would also make "a variety of other adjustments across the globe which will improve our capabilities," he said.

DOD is a big bureaucracy, he said, but it has moved surprisingly fast in remaking itself. Changes were brought about by the Quadrennial Defense Review, and changes were made to defense strategy, missile defense and in the way the department assesses risks.

"All this while we are fighting a war against terrorism," Secretary Rumsfeld said. "For an organization that is supposed to be so resistant to change, what's been accomplished in the last year has been impressive."

He assured the airmen that he would continue to work to provide the "pay, housing and benefit improvements that you all need and deserve to do your work."

Secretary Rumsfeld said that their generation has an opportunity to help shape the world for the better well beyond the war on terrorism.

"Will it be a world where freedom is allowed to flourish? Or will it be a world where terror spreads like a creeping evil from country to country until the world is infected with fear and hate?" he asked.

"You are the people who stand on the very front line between freedom and fear," he said. "You stand against an evil that cannot be appeased, cannot be ignored, and it must certainly not be allowed to win. And you are doing a magnificent job."

ROCHE STRIVES TO BUILD 'OPTIMUM' FORCE by Tech. Sgt. Scott Elliot, Air Force Print News

Seeking to attract and retain the "optimum mix" of Americans to keep the U.S. Air Force aloft as "the historically finest and dominant military force in the world" is the goal set by Secretary of the Air Force James G. Roche.

Secretary Roche's comments came during a keynote speech at a power breakfast with Historically Black College and University deans, here.

The breakfast was part of the annual Black Engineer of the Year award event Feb. 16 in Baltimore, Md.

"The optimum mix for the Air Force is one which reflects the same society which we serve, at the officer and civilian level as well as at the enlisted level," he said.

Currently, Air Force demographics show that African-Americans comprise about 7 percent of the officer corps and 18 percent of the enlisted force. African-Americans make up about 11 percent of Air Force civilian employees.

Overall, about 16 percent of Air Force manpower is represented by African-Americans - which Secretary Roche says is higher than the national average of about 11 percent of African-Americans employed in the workforce.

"But that is not good enough," Secretary Roche said. "There is talent out there that we need."

That optimum mix of talent includes more technically minded, scientific and engineering officers and civilians, Secretary Roche said.

"Each year we welcome about 40,000 new Americans into the Air Force. More than 18 percent of these are African-American," the secretary said. "Every single one of them joins a team that thrives on diversity, and remains proud of our heritage and the legacy we associate with minority contributions to this nation's security - especially the heritage of the Tuskegee Airmen.

"I want more African-Americans in our cockpits, leading our squadrons, groups and wings, or leading our labor and design team," Secretary Roche said.

The optimum mix also includes full representation of minorities and women in senior ranks.

"We're doing pretty good on women (who comprise about 20 percent of officers), but not so good on African-American males," Secretary Roche said. "We've got to build a deeper bench.

"Despite the fact that some of our most influential and decorated leaders have been minorities, historically, we have not been as successful at promoting and creating opportunities for minorities in senior management and leadership positions," he said.

To promote and develop the optimum mix, Secretary Roche turned to the educators themselves.

"Our educators know the necessity to encourage and prepare young people while they are still in school," he said. "By the time our youth reach college age, they need to have already completed quality math and science courses. In fact, I believe they need to have a good foundation by the time they reach high school."

Toward that end, the secretary said, the Department of Defense established Junior ROTC.

"This is a high school citizenship program, funded and directed by DOD, that aims to provide educational experiences for inner-city and at-risk youths."

The Air Force currently runs more than 600 JROTC programs throughout the country, with more than 92,000 students enrolled. "It is more a citizenship program than a recruiting tool," he said. "At its basis is opportunity. It provides motivation, strong counseling, discipline and mentorship.

"The Air Force goal is to increase our number of programs up to our authorized limit of 945," he said.

"The future of the Air Force will depend on cutting-edge technology and a diverse team of people combining to fulfill our missions," Secretary Roche said. "Talent and brain power come in many packages.

"My view is a first-hand view," he said. "A clear perspective that having the best in us, as diverse as we are, means strength and vitality.

"American strength comes from the diversity of our people, united by the common vision we share: Freedom," he said.

'T-BOLTS' USE NEW BOMBS DURING COMBAT MISSIONS By Capt. Kelley Thibodeau, 366th Air Expeditionary Group Public Affairs

Aircrews from the 389th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, nicknamed the "T-Bolts," are using inertially aided munitions during Operation Enduring Freedom combat missions from their deployed location.

"While our basic suppression-of-enemy-air-defense mission hasn't changed, we have added some weapons to our quiver," said Lt. Col. Tom Lawhead, 389th EFS commander. "We were brought to Operation Enduring Freedom specifically for our ability to drop inertially aided munitions."

Instead of using lasers or television cameras, CBU-103 wind-corrected munitions dispensers and GBU-31 joint direct attack munitions use navigation systems to steer to the target.

The JDAM uses a special tail kit that reads Global Positioning Satellite coordinates to steer the 1,000- or 2,000-pound bomb to the target through any kind of weather with an accuracy of 13 meters or less.

"Adding inertially aided munitions gives us a better probability of hitting enemy air-defense targets," Colonel Lawhead said. "This new category of weapons also opens up the use of the F-16 (Fighting Falcon) for interdiction missions and close air support missions such as in this conflict."

Training for the use of CBU-103s and GBU-31s started in 2001 at training ranges used by units flying out of Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, and included "train-as-we-fight" scenarios with different threat aircraft and simulated surface-to-air missiles.

"I am incredibly proud of the hard work that my maintainers, weapons specialists and pilots put in to get us to the point where we could drop the new munitions," Colonel Lawhead said. "We've been working on the upgrade since last summer, and I was very pleased to see all the work come to fruition during such meaningful sorties."

Since the F-16 added inertially aided munitions to its inventory, the platform becomes an even more lethal and adaptable weapon for the United States and its allies.

"The combination of the F-16 and the WCMD and JDAM weapons now allow Air Force fighters to better support the combined forces air component commander," said Col. Bill Andrews, commander of the 366th Air Expeditionary Group. "During Desert Storm, we had to dive close to our targets to ensure a hit, exposing our pilots to increased threats. Now, we can be extremely accurate from high altitude."

Because of the all-weather capabilities of the munitions, pilots say they can drop the new bombs through clouds, fog and snow.

"They are almost as precise as laser-guided weapons, but we don't need to have the target in sight," Colonel Lawhead said.

"We can drop through the weather," he said. "We also have the capability to drop the weapons visually based upon a geographic location or (a) target identification from ground forward air controllers."


The president's proposed defense budget for next fiscal year seeks $3.46 billion in funding and an end-strength of 75,600 reservists for Air Force Reserve Command.

The fiscal 2003 request, which covers the fiscal year starting Oct. 1, asks for 900 more reservists and $249.6 million more than the budget approved by Congress for fiscal 2002.

Senior Department of Defense officials announced the overall defense budget request of $379 billion Feb. 1.

The Air Force is to get $87.2 billion. AFRC receives funding from three separate appropriations: operations and maintenance, Reserve personnel, and military construction. Although allocated separately as a DOD procurement account, the National Guard and Reserve Equipment Appropriation also supports command needs. Most of AFRC's portion of the fiscal 2003 president's budget request - $2.19 billion - is earmarked for O & M funds to train, organize and administer the command.

The Reserve received $2.01 billion in O & M funds in fiscal 2002. Another $1.24 billion goes to the Reserve personnel appropriation. The appropriation includes a proposed 4.1 percent across-the-board military pay raise, some targeted pay raises for certain grades, and the addition of 61 full-time active Guard and Reserve people.

The requested Reserve personnel appropriation represents a $182.4 million increase compared to the fiscal 2002 budget. Requested funding for military construction in fiscal 2003 is $31.9 million, which includes four major projects at Portland International Airport, Ore., to initiate the 939th Rescue Wing's conversion to KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft. MILCON funding also covers unspecified minor construction, as well as planning and design.

This year the Reserve is getting $74 million for military construction, $21 million more than the president requested. Under his 2002 budget, the president recommended $53 million, which included renovations at AFRC headquarters at Robins Air Force Base, Ga., as well as a construction project at Keesler AFB, Miss.; another at Grissom Air Reserve Base, Ind.; and two at Maxwell AFB, Ala. Congress added $21 million to the request to cover projects at March ARB, Calif.; Luke AFB, Ariz.; Homestead ARB, Fla.; and Minneapolis-St. Paul IAP Air Reserve Station, Minn.

The fiscal 2003 president's budget proposal must pass both houses of Congress and be signed by the president before becoming law.


"Whatever you think you'd like to be doing in your life or with your life, you ought to look in the mirror and be proud of what you are doing with it today. If you are wearing the uniform, there is no more noble cause or calling that could guide your life and your actions than what you are doing today and the nation needs us more than ever. I am proud to be wearing the uniform and I hope you are, too." Gen. John P. Jumper, Air Force chief of staff

//signed// RONALD T. RAND Brigadier General, USAF Director of Public Affairs

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