The Air Force Could Retire These 8 Fighter Planes and Bombers

Get ready for a new A-10 Thunderbolt budget fight.

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein wants to fund new initiatives in connectivity, space, combat power projection, and logistics starting in 2021 — to the tune of $30 billion on top of what it is already using. One way to do that, says Todd Harrison, a defense budget analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, is to retire $30 billion worth of legacy aircraft.

That is, get rid of the old stuff to make room for the new.

While getting rid of these aircraft isn’t the only way to make room for the new initiatives and save $30 billion, it is the fastest route to get there, and many of the retirements make sense. Some of the planes’ missions are obsolete, some of the airframes are currently being updated with newer models, and at least one can’t even fly its primary mission due to treaty obligations.


Air Force leaders on space deterrence: ?At some point, we?ve got to hit back?

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., and WASHINGTON ? Deterrence was the watchword among U.S. Air Force leadership during last week?s Space Symposium, and officials stated in strong terms that the United States is prepared to enact a show of force to prove its ability to respond to threats in space.

?There may come a point where we demonstrate some capabilities so that our adversaries understand that they will not be able to deny us the use of space without consequences,? Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson told reporters during a Wednesday roundtable.


Goldfein’s Multi-Domain Vision

Two years after Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein named it as one of his top three focus areas at AFA?s 2016 Air, Space & Cyber Conference, the service has now matured its thinking on multi-domain operations, or MDO. Goldfein said in an August interview with Air Force Magazine that he is confident USAF is heading in the right direction when it comes to communicating and fighting across air, sea, land, space, and cyberspace.

Goldfein said when he first took the helm as USAF?s top uniformed officer he asked himself where the service ?needed to be in 2030.?

The Air Force, he determined, no longer has the luxury of being able to take its time developing new capabilities. Peer adversaries have studied US military operations, are quickly improving their capabilities, and ?contest our dominance in all domains.? USAF must move fast to ensure it stays ahead of these adversaries, and ?if deterrence fails, we must be ready to win in a peer-to-peer conflict,? he added.


Goldfein Says Light Attack Experiment is Chiefly an International Initiative

The Light Attack aircraft initiative would save USAF money, but should be viewed mainly as an international partnership concept, Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein said.

Interviewed in his Pentagon office last week, Goldfein said the Light Attack experiment is most valuable as a way to partner with allies. It would provide a means to operate together and share information, he said.

?When we started? the Light Attack experiment, Goldfein said, the idea was to create a long-term response to ?violent extremism,? and do it in a way that allied air forces with limited resources could still contribute to the effort.

Two Years On, Goldfein Says Operations Show F-35 a Game-Changer

As the Air Force wraps up its second year of operational service with the F-35, Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein says he ?could not be happier? with the aircraft, and that it is living up to its billing as a ?game-changer.??

Speaking with Air Force Magazine in his Pentagon office, Goldfein said the F-35 provides its pilot with all the information about the battlespace?even before takeoff?that an F-16 pilot like himself would only have seen after a mission, debriefed with data provided by range instrumentation and command and control aircraft.

Ending the pilot exodus: Air Force rolls out new bonuses, incentives ? will it work this time?

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. ? Nearly two years after top Air Force leaders began sounding the alarm on a worrying shortfall of pilots, the key elements of a solution are finally falling into place.


Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Dave Goldfein, in exclusive interviews with Air Force Times, emphasized that many factors have led to the roughly 2,000-pilot shortfall that the brass warns could ?break the force? ? especially as commercial airlines are in the midst of one of their heaviest and longest hiring waves in decades.


Because of that, he said, there will never be a single ?silver bullet? that solves it once and for all.