VOL. 26 - NO. 2
JAN 17 - 24, 2021
PO BOX 13283
OAKLAND, CA 94661-0283

510.595.7777 FAX

Joint Forces Journal is published privately, and in no way is connected with DoD, the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force or Coast Guard. This website and the printed newspaper are intended for the members of the Armed Forces and their families. Contents do not necessarily reflect official views of the U.S. Government, the Department of Defense or the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force or Coast Guard, and do not imply endorsements thereof. The marital status, physical handicap, political affiliation, or any other non-merit factor of the purchases, user or patron for advertisers prohibited. If a violation or rejection of this equal opportunity policy by an advertiser is confirmed, the publisher shall refuse to print advertising from that source until the violation is corrected. Editorial content is prepared and edited privately, and is provided by the Public Affairs Office of U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard installations. Correspondence and material for publication should be addressed to: Editor, Joint Forces Journal, P.O. Box 13283, Oakland, CA, 94661-0283. Deadline for receiving articles and photos is 3 p.m. Monday for publication on Friday of that week. Joint Forces Journal editorial policy is to use bylines and photo credits where applicable and when submitted.

Air Force Special Ops Must 'Ruthlessly' Cut Legacy Systems, 3-Star General Says

Nov 27, 2020
by Richard Sisk
Air Force Special Operations will have to adapt to major changes in mission and organization while coping with tighter budgets in the new era of great power competition, Lt. Gen. James Slife said Monday.

"One thing that's clear to us is that the future doesn't look a lot like the present to us," Slife, head of Air Force Special Operations Command, said in a virtual discussion with the Center for Strategic and international Studies.

If predictions within the Defense Department for flat or declining budgets in future years come true, "the only conclusion one can come to is we have to stop doing some stuff," he said.

"We have to divest in order to invest" in systems and equipment more suited for generational competition against China and Russia than the conflicts with violent extremist organizations that have dominated missions for Special Forces since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Slife said.

He did not specify which legacy systems would have to be dropped from the AFSOC inventory, but Slife previously has spoken of the need to replace the unarmed U-28A Draco, a modified, single-engine Pilatus PC-12 used by AFSOC for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.

At an Air Force Association air warfare forum in May in Orlando, Florida, Slife said the service needs an "Armed Overwatch" aircraft to replace the U-28As that "can operate from austere regions and provide surveillance and precision fires in support of small disaggregated ground teams."

Without naming them, Slife said he was also looking to other legacy systems "that may not necessarily be relevant to the future."

"We have to look ruthlessly at what we have been doing and what we're going to be required to do and make the trade to position ourselves for the future," he said.

In future, AFSOC will be tied more closely to the main Air Force than it has been under Special Operations Command in the counter-terror wars since 9/11, Slife added.

In the mission role reversal that took place after the 9/11 attacks, special operators saw a shift from supporting their parent services to being supported by the conventional branches, he explained.

"We need to return to being a supporting force to the larger joint enterprise and, for me, that means the U.S. Air Force. That's probably the area that's attracting more of my attention than anything else right now," Slife said.

* * * * *

Photo caption: U.S. Air Force Special Tactics Operators conduct helocast training from the ramp of an MH-47G Chinook from the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, at Hurlburt Field, Florida. (Air Force photo by Maj. Jeff Slinker)


Coast Guard Repatriates 110 Haitians Aboard an Overloaded Boat

TRAVEL & ENTERTAINMENT: Oakland Zoo Backs New Initiative Aimed at Ending Zoonotic Disease Threats

Navy’s Littoral Combat Ships Will Be on the Front Lines in the Pacific

Navy Super Hornet Launches from 'Ski Jump' to Prove it Can Fly Off Foreign Carriers

TRAVEL & ENTERTAINMENT: "Immersive Van Gogh" Extends through September 6, 2021

The Army Is Pursuing a Device That Can Turn Battlefield Ditch Water into Lifesaving IV Fluid

Air Force Planning Hangar Construction for Future B-21 Stealth Bombers

TRAVEL & ENTERTAINMENT: TheatreWorks Silicon Valley Offers Three World Premiere Livestream Performances by Hershey Felder

The Marine Corps Has Started Fielding 30,000 Rifle Suppressors to Combat Units