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Air Force leaders discuss priorities at summit

10/24/2007 - WASHINGTON (AFPN) -- Air Force leaders met here Oct. 23 to discuss the future beddown of weapons systems over the next several years, outlining a strategy to address the Air Force's most pressing need: recapitalization and modernization of its aging fleet. 

The discussion focused on maintaining, evolving and expanding America's capabilities in air, space and cyberspace.

"I specifically set this day aside to gather top Air Force leaders to set out one plan, one set of roadmaps and one vector to best meet the war fighting requirements of our nation," said Gen. T. Michael Moseley, Air Force chief of staff. "Whether we're programming for a weapons system or developing the next generation of Air Force leaders, we need to prepare today for tomorrow." 

Lt. Gen. Raymond Johns, the Air Force's senior programmer, outlined a comprehensive, capabilities-based force structure plan of 29 weapon systems and operations that the Air Force intends to maintain, invest in or recapitalize through future budgets, some of which will be announced over the coming weeks. 

"Faced with emerging threats, the Air Force must provide its Airman the best equipment available, which involves recapitalization and modernizing the force," General Johns said. 

The roadmap includes the Air Force's top weapons systems procurement priorities to provide America global reach, global power and global vigilance. The KC-X air refueling tanker will provide global reach; the CSAR-X combat search and rescue helicopter, F-35 joint strike fighter and next generation bomber will provide global power; and space assets will provide global vigilance. 

The emphasis across all of the plans is to further enhance the Air Force's total force integration by fully incorporating active duty, Air National Guard, and Air Force Reserve forces across existing and new weapons systems. 

Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Rodney J. McKinley underscored the impact these strategic plans have on Airmen who accomplish the Air Force's mission. 

"I'm very pleased with the level of discussion and critical thinking that went on here today," he said. "Our Airmen should know that their service's top leaders are fully engaged and working hard to ensure that (they) have the right tools at the right time to defend the nation in the fight tonight and the fight tomorrow." 

The summit concluded with senior Air Force leaders -- including major command, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve leaders -- sharing a common vision of a comprehensive, capabilities-based force structure plan to enable continued Air Force mission success. 

"America depends on the Air Force to maintain global reach, global power and global vigilance today, tomorrow and into the future," General Moseley said.

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