“Innovation is one of the hallmarks of our service,” Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson said Thursday. “It’s in our DNA.”
Modernizing is not just about “what we’re doing on readiness,” Wilson said in remarks at the Air Force Association’s Air Warfare Symposium. “It’s also about what we’re not doing, including wasting time on stupid stuff.”
In the past 17 months, the Air Force has rescinded 302 outdated or unnecessary instructions, she said, adding that the service’s mission requires more than cutting red tape.
“Our Air Force is too small for what the nation is asking us to do,” she said. “We have 312 operational squadrons, the clenched fist of American airpower. The Air Force we need has 386 operational squadrons. But it’s not more of the same, to be sure. It must be more modern.”
She said that includes changing what and how the Air Force buys.
“We cannot win against rapidly advancing adversaries with an acquisition system from the Cold War.”
U.S. Air Force photo by Wayne Clark