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The Air Force revolts?

...in a polite, 'Murican way? Or are they being fired...

The Air Force's civilian and uniformed leaders are being booted out of the Pentagon, according to Inside Defense and Air Force Times. Chief of Staff Gen. T. Michael "Buzz" Moseley has resigned, and Secretary Michael W. Wynne is next.

The move isn't exactly a shocker. For months, the Air Force's leadership has been on the brink of open conflict with Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England. In the halls of the Air Force's chiefs, the talk has been largely about the threats posed by China and a resurgent Russia. Gates wanted the service to actually focus on the wars at hand, in Iraq and Afghanistan. "For much of the past year I’ve been trying to concentrate the minds and energies of the defense establishment on the current needs and current conflicts," he told the Heritage Foundation. "In short, to ensure that all parts of the Defense Department are, in fact, at war."

Big news. More at Wired.

Significant event, to have the two top leaders of an Armed Service resign their positions over an issue of policy.


Update... looks like Chuck may have hit it on the head in the comments. Politely fired.

Other aspects notwithstanding, it still shows a remarkable level of turmoil over roles, missions, and the future path of DoD vice the current demands on DoD that bring us to this pass.

Dusty, the retired A10 driver, has some more observations here.

13 Comments

Oh chit!
 
Does anyone know if Mosely was a protégé of McPeak? Or if he shared any of McPeak's major policy views and opinions of the current administration?
 
Lots of trouble with the nukes. Some e-mails that suggested undue influence in awarding a contract. Total inability to follow the directive to increase availability of drones in combat. All adds up to "time for a change".
 
I'm all for focusing on the task at hand, but wouldn't it be prudent for the Air Force (and Navy) to keep an eye on China and Russia?
 
The Navy is always keeping an eye on China. WestPac cruises aren't just for S&G and those Marines in Okinawa aren't there to police the local populace.
 
Unfortunately, those Marines on Oki aren't much of a deterent to PRC *if* something busts open over ROC. Just not gonna scare nobody and they're not going to get there in time to really help. What's needed is a serious threat to the amphibs PLAN will need to move invasion forces (read as airpower); anti-mine capability for ports upon which Taiwan is entirely dependent upon to function and, more importantly, eat(to bad we've got a pathetic amw capability right now, huh?); something to keep the western section of the main island capable of flying aircraft to defend the place and something to allow ports to be established of the western, mountainous as all get out, side of the island. All else is fluff. I get SecDef Gates' point. It makes sense to focus on what's already on one's plate. But, if one is seriously in the belief that a flare up over Formosa is going to happen we need either the F-22 or more F-15, and something capable of performing air-to-surface warfare at sea with a high op-tempo. I'd tend to agree that this isn't likely to happen anytime soon. But, we do need to be serious about it at some point.
 
Some thoughts to ponder: 1. The fuses that went to Taiwan were in the hands of the Defense Logistics Agency, not the AF. 2. The Thunderbird scandal was brought about by a subordinate general who was disciplined for that. Gen. Moseley knew the owners (since they were retired AF officers) and did talk to them. Whether he influenced the bidding process is not clear. 3. The nukes flying to Barkesdale was inexcusable! However, McPeak is the one who reorganized the AF in the 90s and that reorganization (IMHO) led to that FUBAR. SAC no longer exists and that is why they (the bomber wings) lost their way. Throughout the Viet Nam War and the 1st Gulf War, SAC was able to join a conventional fight and do a damn fine job without being under the day-to-day command of the fighter mafia. However, that wasn’t good enough for McPeak. He had to fix what wasn’t broken and now our Nuke arsenal is (for the first time in history) in the spot-light in a bad way. I have no personal loyalty to SAC (I spent all my active duty time in either TAC/ACC or USAFE); but I worked Nukes in USAFE and we always had our own procedures, but if a question came up, we would always defer to the guy who just came over from SAC. SAC was the Nuclear Oracle which we all listened to. Now, those who know me, know that I don’t go out of my way to stand up for officers, especially general officers up there in their ivory towers. However, I have to call a spade a spade and I think this whole firing has a lot more to do about the C-17 numbers, the F-22 number and the F-35 numbers than what the official news release says. The Thunderbird scandal gave Gates the ammunition he needed. That is my humble (and admittedly biased) humble opinion.
 
It wasn't the nukes. My AF buds here say that Mosely really isn't well-liked by the rank and file for his decision-making process (e.g., AF uniforms that look like Marine dress) and that this was the result of the past year's worth of management miscalculations. The nuke thing is a "polite" cover to make it official without waving dirty laundry.
 
I'm a little busy right now (got annual sim training and checkride tomorrow and Saturday) but in the FWIW department, sounds like the Top Two just pegged Bob Gates' fun meter. Such is life. I don't know anything about Wynne but I met Moseley briefly when John Jumper was prepping him at Langley before his assumption of command at 9AF/CENTAF. He's a shrewd and flexible air warrior and air campaign strategist (and his technical expertise is superb) but in the last few years things just haven't been going very well. From Goldy Goldfien's tripping himself up over the T-Birds to the unscheduled nuke tour, all kinds of "stuff" did precisely what the Wired article said it did, i.e., provided "bureaucratic cover" for Gates' move. This is a backhanded slap at Gates in my opinion. Who needs "cover" anyway? Only a wuss does, and I can't say Gates is one, one way or 'tuther. The tussle over UAVs has been going on for awhile. Ironically, Jumper was a solid champion of Predator, aggressively incorporating it into day-to-day USAF battle planning and employment in support of the overall combat effort, to say nothing of his near-single-handed internal bureaucratic crusade for its being armed with Hellfires. It's the overall force management joint windmill that the USAF tilted against, much to Gen. Moseley's misfortune. There is an advantage to central management for procurement/development/sustainment economies of scale but it sounds like the Air Force a) didn't make that case very well; or b) got locked into a turning fight with people more influential on who should be in charge and why; or c) dragged its feet on supporting the mission; or d) buffooned the argument for more operator support, or e) a combination of the above. I hope the reports about Gates saying the "F-22 has no role in the war on terror" was a gross example of taking a quote out of context. (I think/(hope!) it was.) That is correct, of course, but begs the question, "And, therefore, what...?" This is also true for nuclear sub SLBM platforms, all our nukes, all our heavy combat ground units, all our carrier battle groups, and just about everything associated with responding to a strategic threat from a peer or near-peer competitor, whether it be a direct one or one against our allies...and if you really want to include all their possible uses, against an asymmetrical threat as well. However, comma, if Gates felt that these guys were not getting with the overall DoD program, if he felt he was spending more time putting out fires that from his vantage point these guys were unnecessarily starting inside and outside the Five-sided Puzzle Palace, then, well, this makes sense. They may be wrong or Gates may be wrong. in such cases, the SecDef wins. Game. Set. Match. Finally, if I were Buzz Moseley, I would sure as Hell walk out the door with head held high. He's a good man, a fierce fighter and can fly the shite out of an airplane. He has done more good for his country than most, and that includes many senior elected officials--I'm talkin' to YOU Murtha!
 
Yeah, I'm gonna make that comment a post tamarra... unless you do it, Attila.
 
John, as I look at it, there seems to be many questions. Is the standard for ALL IN THE MILITARY CHAIN OF COMMAND? I am talking of our Uniformed Military and their civilian leadership. SECDEF Gates, when you were in SAC in the 60's the whole branch was a much larger force. We were not using Reserve and National Guard Forces as much as we are now for long multiple deployments. These deployments also come with a rapid turn around rate. Yes, I agree with you serious errors have been made. The question becomes, are these the only errors made during these conflicts? Are we going to hold those people responsible to the same standard? Please don't forget, in the "wisdom" of our leaders, SAC was dismantled. The natural question becomes, if you were one of these young people in today's Military IN UNIFORM, where would you be? My answer, I figure, will surprise you. I figure you would be right in the middle of it! Therefore I figure you already understand loyalty runs on a two way street, from the bottom up and from POTUS on down. Grumpy
 
I meant Eastern. Dang. I get all cornfused sometimes.
 
Moseley and Wynne were fired not just because of the moved nuke incidents but because of corrupt and bad leadership. There are airmen, enlisted and officers around the world popping champagne corks now that those two jokers are gone. Wynne and Moseley were up to their eyeballs backing up Darleen Druyun in the Boeing tanker scandal. Moseley, as Vice Chief of Staff, was outright contradicting DoD rules when he testified the way he was before the senate in 2004. Moseley also approved the "PTSD pension" to little Jilly Willy Metzger, the two time military marathon winner who NEVER saw a day of combat but got "retired" with a full pension. Metzger's daddy was a retired full bull and her husband is OSI and we all know how OSI is. Good riddance to bad rubbish. I hope SecDef Gates keeps cleaning house on the Air Force. It needs it.