Defense Transformation Banner
 
Leader Discusses Innovative Efforts to Fight Terrorists

U.S. Air Force Gen. Bruce Carlson told attendees of the 18th annual Systems and
Software Technology Conference how their efforts play a big part in national defense.

By Bill Orndorff / Ogden Air Logistics Center Public Affairs

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah, May 11, 2006 – Discussing the war on terror and Air Force weapon systems, the commander of Air Force Materiel Command told attendees of the 18th annual Systems and Software Technology Conference how their efforts play a big part in national defense.

U.S. Air Force Gen. Bruce Carlson was the closing speaker May 4 for the four-day conference, held in Salt Lake City.

The conference drew about 3,000 leaders and decision-makers from business, industry, education, government and defense organizations.

Saying that computers and software affects everything the military does, Carlson explained how aircraft operations depend on modern technology to position precision weapons and plan missions.

"We are doing joint warfare with our sister services in a way we've never been able to do before because of these systems that we have that allow us to communicate through the operations centers over there."

U.S. Air Force Gen. Bruce Carlson

"Thirty years ago, if you were to disrupt the software in the A-10, nothing would have happened," he said.

"Today, it creates a vulnerability," Carlson explained. "The people we're fighting today are looking for our vulnerabilities and they have been doing that for the last 25 years."

Outlining terrorist attacks, from the embassy bombing in Beirut, Lebanon, in 1983, to the attack on the World Trade Center in 2001, Carlson noted that the attacks haven't stopped.

"This is not a war about religion. This is not a war against Islam. This is a war about bloodthirsty killers, power and money," he said. "These guys have a campaign plan and are very, very well organized.

"They are empowered on a network that you are all familiar with – they are super empowered by the Internet," Carlson emphasized. "It allows them to be mobile, flexible, it allows them to account for the loss of leadership. They are able to respond very, very quickly because they have mastered the use of the Internet."

The general outlined the five-phase plan that includes expelling Western influences, especially American, from the Middle East; removing moderate or secular government from the region and replacing it with clerics who share the terrorists' viewpoint; eradicating Israel and purging the

Jewish-Christian influence in the area; re-establishing the Muslim empire to what it once was and rule that part of the world; and world domination.

"At the end of what they believe is a 100-year campaign, they will dominate the world," the general said. "When they do, they will tell you what to eat, when to eat, how to eat, when to pray, who to pray to – they will enforce everything they do with the rule of death."

And, despite the terrorist claims, we are winning the war, Carlson said.

"As you read the news or listen to the television, it may not seem that way, but we are killing bad guys every night," he said. "We are employing more weapons today and all of them are precision weapons.

"We are doing joint warfare with our sister services in a way we've never been able to do before because of these systems that we have that allow us to communicate through the operations centers over there," Carlson noted.

"We have made remarkable progress and there are 55 million people over there who are tasting freedom for the first time," he said. " From all indications, they like the taste and they're not going to give it up."

Adding to the complexity of operations is the need to recapitalize the force and upgrade the aircraft fleet, and at the same time work with a reduced budget.

The average age of the fleet is 23 1/2 years, the general noted, and older aircraft like the KC-135E, C-130E, F-117, C-21 and B-52 will need to be retired.

"Thus you see us pursuing programs like the F-22A and the Joint Strike Fighter, new space programs and command and control programs," Carlson said. "There are a number of airplanes that we're trying to retire to make room in the budget and on the ramps for this new fleet of airplanes.

"We're also going to reduce our force. We are forecasting to come down in the next three or four years about 40,000 manpower equivalents – that will mean about 57,000 people and a reduction of some contractor force across the Air Force. That will be painful. People are still and always will be the most important product we have in the Air Force. "

The conference was hosted by the Ogden Air Logistics Center and the Air Force Software Technology Support Center. It was co-sponsored by the Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Defense Information Systems Agency and Utah State University Extension. Activities included general sessions, guest speakers, plenary sessions and a trade show.
DoD Homepage War on Terror News Products Press Resources Images Contact Us
Jul. 31, 2014
Search
  SPECIAL REPORTS
  Defense Transformation Banner
-