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Air Force Chief Focuses on Threats, Empowering Airmen Who Defend Against Them

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David W. Allvin said his No. 1 priority is ensuring his programs, training and people are ready to deal with threats from high-end adversaries or others.

A man in a uniform gestures as he speaks.
David W. Allvin
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David W. Allvin discusses the state of the Air Force at a Defense One event, March 28, 2024.
Photo By: Screen capture
VIRIN: 240328-O-D0439-001

Allvin discussed the state of the Air Force today at a Defense One event. 

Defense One is a Washington, D.C. media outlet that covers U.S. military and security issues. He spoke today with journalists. 

While Allvin talked a lot about programs and cutting-edge technologies, he was especially passionate about the people who run them.

"We have the best Air Force in the world. Do I worry about the threat? I always worry about the threat," he said during the interview.  

Allvin said he'd like to have 72 fighter aircraft a year coming off the assembly line, depending on the quality and price point. 

Regarding older, fourth-generation fighter aircraft, Allvin said there's a niche capability for them that's a good complement for the F-35 fighters. 

Four military aircraft fly in formation against a bright blue sky.
Birds of Thunder
The Thunderbirds, the Air Force's flight demonstration squadron, fly over Navy Air Facility El Centro, Calif., during winter training, Feb. 28, 2024.
Photo By: Air Force Staff Sgt. Breanna Klemm
VIRIN: 240228-F-XN197-7805X
A kneeling airman wedges a piece of wood into a small door under the wing of an aircraft in a garage.
Tech Tests
Air Force Senior Airman Khala Walls conducts maintenance on a C-130J-30 Super Hercules aircraft at Youngstown Air Reserve Station, Ohio, March 19, 2024. Airmen modified the aircraft to test the operability of the electronic modular aerial spray system aboard the airframe.
Photo By: Air Force Tech. Sgt. Noah Tancer
VIRIN: 240319-F-WH833-1027M
Four military jets fly in formation with one further away from the others and pointing upwards. A snow-covered mountain is in the background.
Missing Man Tribute
Airmen conduct a missing man formation flyover in remembrance of Air Force Staff Sgt. Charles A. Crumlett at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, March 22, 2024. The missing man formation is a military tradition that dates to World War II and is one of the highest honors paid to fallen service members.
Photo By: Air Force Senior Airman Julia Lebens
VIRIN: 240322-F-RJ686-1455

Concerning divesting legacy aircraft, Allvin said it could free up money for capability, but he'd have to work with Congress on that. 

Also discussed was the collaborative combat aircraft program for unmanned combat air vehicles intended to operate in collaborative teams with the next generation of manned combat aircraft, including sixth-generation fighters and bombers and that incorporate artificial intelligence.

"I am very excited about CCA. I really believe that this is our launching point into the future of human-machine teaming of really understanding how we can better optimize both survivability and effectiveness and lethality into the future.  ... I believe it is going to be a game changer," he said. 

As to the force, Allvin commented: 

"We have airmen out there who are doing things that amaze me every single day. I feel like my responsibility and my priorities are to provide them the best training, the best equipment, and the best enterprise that makes them more confident. They wake up every day knowing we expect them to be warriors, and we're going to treat them like a winning team. Every single day, my priorities are to follow through on those examples of how we do great power competition and to honor the service of those airmen who are the best air force in the world," he said.

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