Over the past 70 years of Air Force History, America’s Airmen have always been there
providing our nation with Global Vigilance, Global Reach, and Global Power. Whether it is
operating in the Air, Space, or Cyberspace, Air Force capabilities remain a critical part of
the joint warfighting team. We are the world’s greatest Air Force, but 26 years of continuous
combat operations and on-going budget uncertainty have taken a toll on our Airmen,
our readiness, and our equipment. The capability and technology gaps we hold over our
adversaries today are quickly closing. Sufficient funding, stable budgets, and flexibility will
allow us to maintain the balance necessary to support today’s readiness and capabilities
needed in the future.
Today, the National demand for Air Force capabilities is insatiable and it continues to grow.
Looking towards the future, both state and non-state actors will present a trans-regional
and multi-domain challenge. You can always count on your Air Force to be there, serving
from over 175 global locations, as a critical part of the Joint Force and strategic partner with
our allies. Mobility aircraft take off every 2.8 minutes and more than 100,000 Airmen stand
watch in deployed locations across the world. We lead the fight against Violent Extremist
Organizations, conducting over 70 sorties a day and participating in 70% of the more than
26,000 coalition airstrikes in Iraq and Syria since the campaign began. In addition, we
expend over 40,000 munitions every year, conduct 2,300 command and control sorties
every month and track 23,000 objects in space every day. All while 30,000 Airmen stand
alert 24/7 supporting two legs of our Nation’s Nuclear Triad.
To meet these demands, the Air Force’s FY2018 budget request continues our emphasis on
our readiness recovery, fills critical gaps, and improves lethality. The budget request invests
heavily in Airmen, readiness, nuclear deterrence operations, space and cyber capabilities,
Combat Air Forces, and infrastructure. It supports the end strength growth we need to meet
Combatant Commanders’ requirements while also focusing on pilot production. We will
continue to maintain and modernize the nuclear enterprise. We prioritize space resiliency,
future capabilities, and modernization to continue to operate in increasingly contested
domains. The budget request also allocates resources to research, develop, and field gamechanging
technologies. All of these investments allow us to deliver credible and decisive
power in times of peace, crisis, and conflict.
However, we still had to make tough choices in balancing capability, capacity, and readiness
while focusing on modernizing weapons systems and infrastructure. With additional topline
we would recapitalize additional aircraft and further invest in game-changing technologies.
Furthermore, we will continue to modernize our nuclear enterprise, accelerate investments
in space capabilities and invest in additional enterprise-wide cyber technology. Lastly, we
would restore aging infrastructure vital to our strategic posture.
America’s Airmen, both military and civilian, are ready to answer the Nation’s call 24 hours
a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. We are ready today, in every mission, in every domain,
and in every location. The FY2018 budget request optimizes the use of taxpayer dollars,
ensuring we get the right capability, at the right time, and at the right cost. It also allows
our Airmen the resources they need to continue fighting and winning for our nation, joint
partners, and our allies.