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Frank Kendall: Air Force Needs to ‘Re-Optimize’ for Future Fight Against Russia, China

Frank Kendall


Dept. of the Air Force

Frank Kendall: Air Force Needs to ‘Re-Optimize’ for Future Fight Against Russia, China

Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall is calling for an organizational mindset change to fight wars with near-peer adversaries such as China and Russia.

Kendall, a speaker at a past Potomac Officers Club event and 2023 Wash100 awardee, said in a livestreamed conversation with Air Force Chief Master Sgt. JoAnne Bass that the service will need to “re-optimize” to anticipate great power conflict, adding that addressing China will require more than acquiring weapons and equipment.

He explained that the United States’ optimization to combat such adversaries has slowly eroded after decades of counterinsurgency operations.

According to Kendall, the Air Force should consider whether proper training is in place and whether internal functions are structured in a way that anticipates near-peer conflicts, Air & Space Forces Magazine reported Thursday.

At the recent 2023 Air Force Summit, Kendall shared that the service is also thinking about how to protect ports and communications nodes in a potential war with China. He noted that, in addition to utilizing new technologies, the Air Force is weighing force structure and operating concept changes.

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Tags: Air & Space Forces Magazine China Department of the Air Force Frank Kendall JoAnne Bass near-peer conflict Speaker News