Watch, Learn: Secretary Kendall on ‘One Crew, One Combat’

March 14, 2023

Division of the Air Drive Secretary Frank Kendall delivered a keynote handle on “One Crew, One Combat” on the AFA Warfare Symposium, March 7, 2023. Watch the video or learn the transcript beneath.


Airmen, Guardians, girls and gents, please welcome to the stage AFA Board Chair, Bernie Skoch.

Bernie Skoch:

Good morning. Guardians, Airmen, distinguished friends, our pals from business, girls and gents, welcome to the 2023 AFA Warfare Symposium. It’s a delight to be with you right here in the present day within the Rocky Mountains. We’ve got chosen this as a brand new location, it was an experiment we underwent about 4 years in the past, and from the appears of this super crowd, I’d say it’s an excellent success.

Occasions like this are an enormous deal to AFA and albeit to our nation. It’s in open moral varieties like this that our senior management, officers, enlisted members and Division of the Air Drive civilians come along with business companions to higher mutually perceive the challenges we face as a nation. To chart a course for enhancing our stature and to assist our pals and allies. By sharing new concepts, rising necessities, and future ideas, all of us achieve larger perception into the challenges, threats, and alternatives earlier than us. It’s AFA’s hope that you just stroll away from this subsequent two days stimulated and impressed. There’s lots to soak up. We’ve bought audio system and a larger quantity than ever earlier than, extra exhibitors than ever at a Warfare Symposium, and now we have an viewers that’s ripe to study and to stretch their considering. We encourage you to dig in, to be an energetic participant, to ask questions, to make pals and connections, and to study one thing new, after which take that new studying again to your own home unit.

Secretary Kendall, seven operational imperatives permeate our agenda and the displays on the present ground. Each session of this convention touches on these imperatives not directly or one other. Just about each exhibitor is concentrated on these idea as nicely. I don’t must inform you that these are difficult occasions, that, and we will see it all over the place we glance. However the Air and House Forces Affiliation has been round for an excellent a few years, longer in actual fact than the USA Air Drive. However consider you after I inform you, by no means has a time been extra essential for an AFA than it’s in the present day. Once I started my profession half a century in the past, America was primarily run and led by veterans. The women and men who gained World Battle II, who fought in Korea and in Vietnam, who gained the Chilly Battle, dominated Congress in these days, they held state and native workplace, led our media and each nook of our economic system. That’s not true in the present day.

In 1974 after I was commissioned into the Air Drive, 82 % of congressional lawmakers have been veterans. 82 %. Guess what that proportion is in the present day. It’s 18 %. In 2018, about 7 % of US adults have been veterans, down from 18 % in 1980 in keeping with the US Census Bureau. I’m not saying veterans have all of the solutions or know higher than everybody else, however there’s little doubt in my thoughts that have counts, and when fewer individuals share a standard sense of navy service that doesn’t bode nicely for our nation or safety. As a proportion of the inhabitants, fewer and fewer Individuals perceive navy service, or the wants of service members or the wants of their members of the family. What it takes to construct and maintain prepared, succesful, and efficient navy forces, and why caring for members of the family of those that serve is so critically essential. For this reason the work we do within the Air and House Forces Affiliation is so crucial.

Actually, if there’s one factor I hope you’ll all keep in mind from my transient feedback in the present day, it’s this. There’s by no means been a time when having a thriving AFA was as essential as it’s in the present day. Our nation wants unparalleled Air and House Forces to make sure our safety into the longer term. And Guardians and Airmen, our House and Air Forces want AFA to assist drive that time residence on daily basis. AFA is right here to offer voice to your wants, to advocate in your behalf, to inform your story day in and time out. By becoming a member of our group, you be a part of your voice with ours, strengthening and amplifying our collective message.

Our world is in a harmful place. Putin’s unjust warfare on the Ukrainian individuals is now in its thirteenth month. The Chinese language spy balloon that captured America’s consideration final month is barely the latest indication of the fraught relations our nation has with China, which additionally occurs to be our best buying and selling associate. The Arctic North is now a spot of strategic maneuver. House, as soon as a benign and peaceable area, is now more and more contested. And cyber pay and our on-line world, which barely existed 20 years in the past in the present day, is now essentially the most contested area of all. That’s the backdrop for this occasion. For the Airmen and Guardians on this room, in our business companions make no mistake, our nation is relying on you and we hope you’ll be a part of us to posture it accurately for the longer term. Thanks very a lot.

Now it’s my nice honor to introduce a particular man. It’s at all times rewarding to see somebody with the credentials of this gentleman who’s about to handle us. It’s much more rewarding to see somebody who’s seen the sunshine and turned from the trail of darkness to the trail of sunshine. So though Secretary Kendall is a graduate of the U.S. Navy Academy, a distinguished graduate, I would add, he’s now the chief for all Air and House Forces. So please be a part of me in giving a heat welcome to the twenty sixth Secretary of the Air Drive, Frank Kendall.

Secretary of the Air Drive Frank Kendall:

Good morning. I don’t suppose I’m ever going to beat that West Level factor, am I?

Now it’s a pleasure to be with you. That is my fourth AFA convention. Fourth as your Secretary of the Air Drive. I need to thank Orville Wright, Bernie and the AFA crew for giving us this chance to satisfy right here in Colorado. I used to be simply right here snowboarding, so it’s good to be again, though I’m not snowboarding. It appears like now we have an excellent program deliberate. Earlier than I start my remarks, I need to prolong condolences to our Italian colleagues. They misplaced two pilots in a collision close to Rome over the evening someday, and I need to prolong our condolences on behalf of the Secretary of Protection and on behalf of the whole division of the Air Drive. This can be a reminder of the dangers that all of us take within the occupation of being Airmen. So please prolong your condolences you probably have the chance and attain out to our companions as they search peace and therapeutic.

I additionally need to point out, earlier than I begin the presentation that was given yesterday afternoon, I’m sufficiently old to recollect very nicely the Vietnam Battle. Yesterday we heard from three American heroes, Colonel Charles de Bellevue, Colonel Lee Willis and Colonel Jean Smith, Lieutenant Colonel Jean Smith. For those who missed their tales yesterday and also you missed their messages, I’m positive AFA goes to place this up on-line. Provide you with an opportunity to take a look at it. Please see it. These are super tales about individuals who epitomize what it means to be an American Airman and what it’s essential to have to achieve success in a combat with a critical competitor. They’re superb tales. That is thought-about a warfare fighter’s symposium, so I’m going to be speaking about our warfare combating functionality and capability and the way I see it altering over the subsequent a number of years. You’re additionally going to listen to from Basic Brown and Basic Saltzman who may even handle the necessity for change of their shows.

Salty will talk about a concept of success for the House Drive, notably the necessity for aggressive endurance. CQ has been emphasizing the necessity for accelerating change and being built-in with our allies by design. We’re united in our dedication to modernizing the Air and House Forces and attaining the transformation we should have to be aggressive with our pacing problem. China, China, China. First, I need to praise my companions on the division of the Air Drive Senior Management crew and thank them for his or her elements and all that now we have completed collectively so far. First Basic Raymond and now Basic Saltzman proceed to supply the House Drive with visionary management as we have been to create the completely new set of area and counter area techniques we must be profitable. Basic Brown is an distinctive chief with broad strategic views and a considerate measured method to any drawback set. I might hate to lose such an excellent associate, however there’s a probability somebody who out ranks me significantly may see those self same attributes in CQ.

At any occasion, Salty, CQ and I’ll quickly start our spherical of posture hearings to clarify and defend the FY24 price range submission. I hope I’m not jinxing something after I say that I’m trying ahead to the chance. We’ve got story to inform, and in the present day I’ll provide you with a little bit preview of that story. The fourth member of the DAF Senior Management Crew, Undersecretary Gina Ortiz Jones, has stepped down from her duties as undersecretary and can be transferring on to new challenges, Assistant Secretary of the Air Drive for Monetary Administration, Kristin Jones, will carry out the duties of the undersecretary, pending the nomination and affirmation of Gina’s successor. Kristin could be with us, however she’s busy making ready to roll out our ’24 price range. Gina has been a unbelievable advocate for the DAF as now we have labored to safe the assets we must be profitable in our missions.

Salty, CQ and I’ll have a a lot simpler time in our posture hearings and the Division of the Air Drive has a significantly better useful resource path to the longer term largely because of Gina’s advocacy, each inside and out of doors the Pentagon. Gina’s been the Division of the Air Drive consultant with the 2 service chiefs, vice chiefs, and the Deputy Secretary of Protection’s Administration Motion group the place all main program and price range points are debated. Gina’s additionally been a powerful and efficient advocate for fostering larger variety, fairness, and inclusion inside the Air and House Forces. A latest Folks Journal article highlighted two B-1 pilots, each majors, each weapon college graduates, each married, on this case to one another, however solely one among whom is pregnant. Now do, largely to insurance policies that Gina championed, each can now preserve their profession momentum. Please be a part of me in a spherical of applause for Gina and for this unbelievable crew.

My precedence as a secretary stay these of Secretary Austin, mission, individuals and groups. The steering now we have on the Nationwide Safety Technique and the Nationwide Protection Technique are the premise for every thing we do. My explicit focus, as you all know nicely by now, is responding to the Folks’s Liberation Military’s Navy Modernization program, a program aimed straight at buying the flexibility to defeat energy projection by the USA and its allies. The PLA has been working for many years to amass the flexibility to forestall and, if wanted, to defeat U.S. intervention within the area. The ruling CCP has regional and international ambitions, and the potential for aggression within the Western Pacific is actual, notably towards Taiwan. However warfare isn’t inevitable and there’s no motive to consider it’s imminent. Actually, there isn’t any particular timeframe wherein battle might be predicted to happen. The Division of the Air Drive’s mission is to assist stop a battle with China, or any potential adversary from occurring at any time, but when deterrence fails and warfare does happen, we have to be prepared always.

Semper supra, at all times above, and airpower anytime, anyplace. Our service mottoes and mission statements say all of it. Right this moment I’ll be speaking about three related timeframes. It’s known as the primary, the present timeframe, the place now we have comparatively little and talent to have an effect on change within the composition of the division, however wherein we should preserve our present forces prepared and capable of deter or meet any risk. The second is the midterm timeframe, wherein we will really feel larger portions of techniques and capabilities already nicely into growth or in manufacturing. Lastly, there’s a long run timeframe past the present five-year program wherein we will really feel completely new transformational capabilities, however provided that we begin down the highway to these capabilities now. In our posture assertion and hearings final 12 months, we instructed the Congress that onerous selections lay forward. We have been proper. We additionally instructed the Congress that the Division of the Air Drive was utilizing a listing of seven operational imperatives to focus our work on defining and buying the Air Drive and House Drive we have to meet our pacing problem.

The operational crucial work has had a significant influence on our FY24 price range. We’re nonetheless a number of days away from submitting the price range, so I can’t be very particular, however I may give you a common sense of what we’ve been capable of embrace. The laborious selections have come as we stability funding the present pressure and our investments within the warfare combating capabilities of the mid and longer phrases. We’re sustaining our present pressure at satisfactory ranges to satisfy the threats that they face. Importantly, we’re taking steps to assist and enhance the standard of life for our most essential useful resource, our individuals. Nonetheless, now we have no alternative however to prioritize the Air and House Forces we should have to stay dominant sooner or later. The operational threat posed by our going through problem are rising over time. Emphasizing the present pressure on the expense of the pressure of the longer term is a highway to operational failure.

We’re persevering with to divest older and fewer succesful or related platforms as we improve midterm functionality and capability. Requiring plane in manufacturing, we can be buying plane in manufacturing at increased charges than beforehand deliberate. Generally, our beforehand… Let me say that once more. We can be buying plane at present in manufacturing at increased charges than beforehand deliberate. Generally, our beforehand initiated packages are persevering with as meant. For the long term, and because of our work on the DAF operational imperatives, we can be requesting shut to twenty new or considerably enhanced efforts. I’ll attempt to provide you with a way of what that entails with out offering any budgetary specifics. In his remarks, Basic Brown will cowl the standing of every of the Air Drive’s 5 core capabilities and discuss in regards to the six fights the Air Drive should win. As he’ll focus on, the six fights are sometimes coupled to the modernization program outlined by the operational imperatives are tightly coupled.

Basic Saltzman will focus on the wants for House Drive and the requirement to ship that prepared whole pressure. He’ll give attention to the idea of aggressive endurance, additionally straight supported by the operational imperatives. I’ll give attention to our built-in modernization program to handle the pacing problem in our areas of highest threat. Since final 12 months’s price range submission, we’ve come a great distance in defining the wanted area order of battle. As Salty will focus on, the nonetheless very younger House Drive should endure a change unparalleled by another navy service at any time in historical past. We’ve got to amass the resilient techniques wanted to assist the joint pressure throughout a battle. We’ve got to create the operational capability to disclaim adversary assist they more and more obtained from area. Critically, now we have to guard the joint pressure from focusing on by our potential adversaries. The President’s FY24 price range will handle all of those objectives.

This system we initiated to create a brand new missile warning and monitoring structure that addresses the complete spectrum of missile threats, together with hypersonics, will proceed and speed up, whereas we concurrently present threat mitigation with present know-how within the close to time period and the midterm. The House Improvement Company is now absolutely built-in into the House Drive and transferring ahead with the fielding of early variations of the area transport layer and House Improvement Company’s contribution to the missile warning structure. Whereas some packages are categorized, I can guarantee you that the FY24 price range contains funding that addresses every of the House Drive’s necessities. Because the final main AFA Symposium, now we have moved ahead with our efforts to outline and fund the subsequent era of built-in command management and battle administration. I’ve been utilizing a metaphor to assist individuals perceive the evolution of this effort. A number of years in the past, we envisioned an attractive C3 battle administration palace known as JADC squared. On this stunning palace, info might transfer effortlessly from any room to another room, and ideal operational selections would consequence.

That was a pretty, even compelling, imaginative and prescient, however the laborious work of designing or costing the palace had not been completed. Fairly quickly, there have been lots of people in our neighborhood speaking about how they have been constructing bricks that may match completely into this stunning palace. Nonetheless, we lacked a way of what bricks we truly wanted, or how they might come collectively to create the palace. And eventually, we would have liked a extra exact and life like definition of what we have been going to construct. We wanted a single technical chief working carefully with the air and area operational communities to outline that aim technically and guarantee our acquisition efforts have been aligned in progressing in live performance with operational ideas for C3 battle administration. Therefore, the creation of the brand new division of the Air Drive, PEO for built-in C3 battle administration.

Our new PEO for built-in C3 battle administration has organized this crew and is transferring ahead, however to make progress, they’ll want the assets we can be requesting in FY24. The DAF senior management crew just lately carried out its first quarterly evaluation of this effort. It’s off to begin. We envision main efforts to develop the subsequent era of air operations planning and administration, and we additionally envision a parallel program to create the primary era of area battle administration for a doable battle with a peer competitor who has fueled a full suite of counterspace capabilities. Basic Brown will speak about how our subsequent era of air battle administration capabilities should plan and management the six fights. Basic Saltzman will discuss in regards to the operational ideas, coaching and tools wanted for efficient area battle administration in pursuit of area superiority. The DAF PEO for built-in C3 battle administration is ruthlessly targeted on fixing these operational challenges in partnership with the superior battle administration system cross-functional crew, a mixed crew of Air and House Drive operational consultants.

Critically, we’re working carefully with joint and OSD stakeholders, and the intelligence neighborhood, integrating all these capabilities right into a single efficient and resilient kill internet that additionally helps joint and worldwide companions, and it is a main enterprise, however we should succeed. There isn’t any alternative. Well timed focusing on of transferring property, maritime, air and floor, is a prerequisite for the employment of the weapons that may defeat acts of aggression. Over the previous 12 months, now we have labored carefully with the intelligence neighborhood to outline and price range for a transferring goal heart system designed, constructed for the real-time dynamic warfare combating mission, whereas nonetheless offering seamless assist to clever capabilities.

The House Drive continues to develop further tactical space-based sensing techniques to allow enlargement to further courses of targets. We’ve got designs and plans for the software program and communications that can be wanted to attach all of those facilities along with further Air Drive and joint weapons supply platforms. Particulars are categorized, however with assist from Congress, we should always be capable of transfer ahead with the resilient suite of airborne and space-based facilities and the related processing and knowledge distribution wanted to carry out these capabilities. We’re deeply appreciative of the cooperation we’ve had for the Nationwide Reconnaissance Workplace and the Nationwide Geospatial and Intelligence Company as we work to outline the wanted built-in multi-roll techniques.

The DAF is transferring ahead with a household of techniques for the subsequent era of air dominance, that can embrace each the NGAD platform and the introduction of uncured collaborative plane to supply inexpensive mass and dramatically elevated cost-effectiveness. We can be requesting the assets wanted to maneuver these packages ahead, together with related threat discount actions that can enable us to discover operational, organizational and assist ideas, in addition to lowered technical threat. Basic Brown and I’ve just lately given our planners a nominal amount of collaborative fight plane to imagine for planning functions. That planning assumption is 1000 CCAs. This determine was derived from an assumed two CCAs per 200 NGAD platforms, an extra two for every of 300 F 35s, for a complete of a thousand. This isn’t a list goal, however a planning assumption to make use of for evaluation of issues similar to basing, organizational constructions, coaching and vary necessities, and sustainment ideas.

The CCAs will complement and improve the efficiency of our crude fighter pressure construction. They won’t influence deliberate crude fighter stock. A method to think about CCAs is as remotely managed variations of the charting pods, digital warfare pods, or weapons now carried below the wings of our crude plane. CCAs will dramatically enhance the efficiency of our crude plane and considerably cut back the danger to our pilots. As we thought-about present midterm and long run funding choices, one operational space that we realized could possibly be improved comparatively shortly was the resilience of our ahead deployed air property. We are able to transfer ahead with hardening our ahead bases and with a assist construction wanted for agile fight employment, with out having to attend for growth program. With well timed investments, we might considerably enhance our ahead tactical air resiliency. This effort has robust synergy with our built-in deterrent technique in each the Western Pacific and in Europe.

We’re hopeful that with the Congress’s assist, we will make significant present and midterm enhancements on this space. The B-21, which we rolled out just some months in the past, would be the centerpiece of our international strike household of techniques. The B-21 is projected to start flight checks later this calendar 12 months. Our aim is to get into manufacturing as shortly as doable with acceptable concurrency threat related to overlapping some testing with manufacturing. With the Congress assist, we intend to pursue different capabilities, some outlined because of the operational crucial work, that can improve each the survivability and effectiveness of the B-21. We’ve additionally made good progress at defining and addressing the necessity to make sure that all of the techniques and amenities we rely upon to go to warfare will perform as desired below duress. Underneath the seventh operational crucial, and thru concurrent administration initiative efforts, we outline the assets wanted to purchase down info know-how, technical debt, which were accumulating for years.

Addressing this want will take a while, however we will’t make progress with out the extra assets we’ll request within the price range submission. Whereas the work on the seven operational imperatives has recognized quite a lot of options to our operational issues, it has additionally uncovered further wants. In some instances, this has led to persevering with work on the unique seven imperatives, however it has additionally spurred the creation of efforts to handle three cross-cutting operational enablers, mobility, digital warfare and munitions. Work in these areas is comparatively latest and is usually targeted on the FY25 price range. I want to point out one state of affairs wherein this work has already led to a big change in our plans, and that’s mobility. One attribute of the dynamic pacing problem we face is the continual improve in engagement ranges towards our property. Specifically, our mobility fleet can now not function ahead with relative impunity.

The air risk is turning into far more extreme with rising vary. Our explicit concern is the survivability of our tankers, which should be far sufficient ahead to refuel fighters that function inside a number of hundred miles of the risk. Our preliminary evaluation is that it will mandate a extra survivable tanker, one that’s not a by-product of a industrial plane. In consequence, now we have begun the hassle to outline the idea for this new functionality which can be competitively procured. One chance is a blended wing physique design. There are lots of others. We intend to conduct an evaluation of alternate options for this new functionality, which can be a single platform or a household of techniques. We’ve got named this effort the Subsequent Technology Aerial Refueling System, or NGAS. Catchy acronym there. We intend to maneuver shortly, whereas persevering with the present KC-135 recapitalization program, doubtlessly with further upgraded KC-46 plane till NGAS enters manufacturing. The enterprise case supporting KC-135 recapitalization will full within the first half of this 12 months, supported by our closing market analysis.

CQ and Salty and different audio system right here may have far more to say about a few of these matters and about different features of the Division of the Air Drive Enterprise. Earlier than I shut, I do need to contact on one topic that’s absorbing a variety of our consideration and that’s recruiting. Recruiting is a direct contributor to caring for individuals and constructing robust groups, each key parts in fact, of Secretary Austin’s and my priorities. We’re at present projecting a few 10 % shortfall this 12 months within the Lively Air Drive and extra within the Guard and Reserve. We’re swimming upstream towards a lowered propensity to serve nationally throughout the board and a restricted proportion of certified candidates. We’d like this neighborhood to assist unfold the phrase to America’s youth. They’re nice alternatives within the U.S. navy, particularly within the Air Drive and House Drive. In all elements, Lively, Guard, and Reserve.

As proof of that reality, retention numbers look excellent. We’re protecting the people who we get, however we have to get extra individuals. Folks coming into the Air Drive are staying with us, so please attain out to your communities and assist us counter unfavorable perceptions of our navy service and share our constructive and correct messages. This 12 months we rejoice three essential anniversaries, the seventy fifth anniversary of the desegregation of the navy, the seventy fifth anniversary of the Girls’s Armed Companies Integration Act, and the fiftieth anniversary of the All Volunteer Drive. Right this moment and at all times, I’m deeply proud to be part of a crew that empowers and helps all of its individuals, embraces innovative know-how, and performs missions that can decide whether or not our future is brilliant and free or not. All of the know-how and cash on the earth can not change the devoted professionals that make up our whole pressure. Our individuals will stay our best benefit.

My remarks in the present day have been largely about time. I began every posture listening to final 12 months with a quote from Basic MacArthur to the impact that navy failure might virtually at all times be summarized in simply two phrases. Too late. Time is an asset, this was talked about yesterday, that may by no means be recovered or changed. As our pacing problem continues to modernize creatively and aggressively, we will’t afford to seed the benefit of time. We’ve got finished an excessive amount of work over the previous 12 months to research and clear up our operational issues and to outline the packages wanted to handle them. As we submit our FY24 price range within the subsequent few days, we’re grateful for the assist of the Secretary of Protection and the President. We’re additionally grateful to the Congress for the assist we acquired in FY23, particularly in permitting practically all requested divestitures of legacy techniques and in finishing authorizing and appropriations previous to the tip of the calendar 12 months.

It says one thing that getting it earlier than by the tip of the calendar 12 months, vis a vis the tip of the fiscal 12 months, is no matter success, however that’s the life. That’s the truth we stay with. Our most sacred obligation is to supply our combating women and men, in our case, Airmen and Guardians, with the instruments they should defend the nation. It would quickly fall to the brand new Congress to enact each an authorization and appropriations invoice on time. The DAF Senior Management crew is prepared and desperate to work with the Congress. The numerous new efforts I’ve described, and that now we have spent over a 12 months analyzing and planning, can not start with out congressional approval. My best worry in the present day is a delay, and even worse, a failure, to supply the Division of the Air Drive and Division of Protection with well timed authorization and appropriations. That might be a present to China. It’s a present that we can not afford. One crew, one combat. Thanks.

Bernie Skoch:

Mr. Secretary, I believe the 1000’s of individuals you see right here earlier than you and 1000’s extra who’re viewing this occasion on-line can see that unquestionably we’re led by an excellent visionary chief. We thanks for that and we thanks on your assist of the 12 months and House Drive Affiliation. It’s my honor to current to you our new coin, which displays our dedication not solely to supporting and advocating on behalf of the Air Drive, however each bit is dedicated to the House Drive. Thanks, sir.