May 23, 2007

US Airforce: F-22 and F-35 Program Focus

F-22 and F-35 Program Focus

The first step in recapitalizing our aging fighter fleet is fielding the F-22 to replace the F-15C as our front-line Air Dominance fighter. Controlling the skies is the first and most fundamental step in any Joint operation. Potential adversaries continue to develop and field advanced aircraft, cruise missiles, and surface-to-air missiles in an attempt to project power in friendly airspace or deny our forces access to their airspace. Let there be no doubt about it – the F-22 will be the primary aircraft responsible for countering these threats, clearing the skies of bad guys, and ensuring our Nation’s air, land, and sea forces access for many decades to come. On my watch as the lead Airman of this great Air Force I will not allow Air Dominance to be taken for granted. This is a no-fail mission!

To ensure Air Dominance, Raptor pilots must be trained and the F-22 must be equipped for Air-to-Air combat in any arena – from homeland defense to anti-access environments. Since one of the keys to Air-to-Air success in anti-access environments is the ability to destroy enemy surface-to-air threats, I want Raptor pilots trained and F-22s equipped to conduct the Destruction of Enemy Air Defenses (DEAD) mission as well. If the current focus of the Raptor program – including training syllabi, ready aircrew program (RAP) requirements, designated operational capability (DOC) statements, modernization plans, test plans, or the Weapons School – isn’t on Air-to-Air and DEAD, then it is wrong and I want it fixed, and if we’re spending precious Raptor modernization dollars or training sorties on the core missions of our other aircraft, such as CAS, SEAD or Interdiction, that is also wrong and I want it stopped.

Since we’re drawing down the F-15C inventory as we stand up the Raptor, I’m directing that 100% of the new active duty pilots entering the Raptor community be previous F-15C pilots. This is the logical place to put these Airmen as we retire our F-15Cs, allowing us to transition the Air Dominance skill sets from our 4th Generation Eagles to our 5th Generation Raptors. With the previous inclusion of F-15E, F-117, and F-16 pilots…this should provide the right squadron mix as we look to man-up the 3rd Wing at Elmendorf.

We’ll make the same logical step as we field the F-35 Lightning II in the coming years. We’ll draw on the experience of our A-10, F-16, and F-15E pilots to ensure we don’t lose the CAS, SEAD, and Interdiction knowledge base we’ve built over the last 25-30 years in those platforms.

At the end of the day our Air Force must be able to hold global targets at risk for our Nation. The first piece of that equation is gaining access to the skies – which the F-22 will provide – and the second piece is range, payload and precision – which will be delivered by the combination of our long-range bombers and our programmed inventory of 1,763 F-35s.

These are exciting times for our Air Force. We have the best Airmen in the world, and our recapitalization and modernization efforts will ensure they have the world’s greatest aircraft to do their mission.

Fly, Fight, and Win!



5/22/2007 - SAN ANTONIO (AFPN) -- The CSAF's Scope focuses on current topics the Air Force chief of staff feels are of special importance to today's Airmen.

Among Gen. T. Michael Moseley's top issues this month is the Air Force's air dominance in the future.

Two key parts of the Air Force's future success in air dominance focuses on the F-22 Raptor and the F-35 Lightning II.

"The first step in recapitalizing our aging fighter fleet is fielding the F-22 to replace the F-15C (Eagle) as our front-line air dominance fighter," General Moseley said. "Controlling the sky is the first and most fundamental step in any joint operation."

Let there be no doubt about it -- the F-22 will be the primary aircraft responsible for countering aerial threats from the bad guys, and "ensuring our nation's air, land and sea forces access for many decades to come," he said. "On my watch as the lead Airman of this great Air Force, I will not allow air dominance to be taken for granted."

In this month's CSAF's Scope, the Air Force's top Airman also addresses the importance of the role the F-35 will play on the battlefields of tomorrow.

"We'll make the same logical steps as we field the F-35 Lightning II in the coming years," the chief of staff said drawing on the vast experience of the Air Force's A-10 Thunderbolt II, F-16 Fighting Falcon and F-15E Strike Eagle pilots the last 30 years.

"At the end of the day our Air Force must be able to hold global targets at risk for our nation," he said.

Other topics on the CSAF's Scope include unmanned aerial vehicles, the Airman's Creed and test, as well as Air Force medical care. The general has written a brief explanation of each topic so Airmen can better understand the issues he is working and why they are important to the Air Force's senior leaders.

The CSAF's Scope is available on the Air Force official Web site at http://www.af.mil/library/cscope.asp.

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