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Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall Calls for Fast-tracking Modernization of Air and Space Forces

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Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall Calls for Fast-tracking Modernization of Air and Space Forces

Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall said speeding up ongoing efforts to modernize the Air and Space forces is badly needed amid the aggressive stance recently taken by both China and Russia. He explained that while the two services’ transformation programs have met with some success, recent world events have demonstrated the need to pick up the pace, AF .mil reported Monday.

Speaking at an Air Force Association event, Kendall said that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has demonstrated that “aggression by major powers against lesser powers does occur.” Attacks can happen quickly and violently, making it imperative that the United States hurriedly develop capabilities to defeat threats from combative nations, he added.

The secretary, however, emphasized that the bigger threat to U.S. interests today comes from China. He noted that the Chinese have built a large arsenal of conventional precision munitions specifically designed to target America’s relatively small number of high-value targets. 

The important but vulnerable targets include aircraft carriers, forward bases and satellites, as well as command and control nodes and logistics centers, he added.

Kendall, a three-time Wash100 awardee and a speaker at the Potomac Officers Club’s upcoming 2022 Air Force Summit, emphasized that for the U.S. to maintain its historical advantage, the Air and Space Forces must change and refocus. 

He said that the path to keeping America’s lead is spelled out in his seven operational imperatives, which are touted as a blueprint for rapidly changing the hardware, policies and cultures of both military services to better position them to meet contemporary threats head-on.

Kendall said that topping the list of imperatives is rapidly advancing the United States’ space combat capabilities. He pointed out that space, once considered a “benign environment,” is turning out to be a hotly contested environment and the probable setting for future battles.

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