Gen Walsh: Dated Air Force on ‘Ragged Edge’ of Being Able to Defend Homeland

Friday on CNN’s “Wolf,” chief of staff of the U.S. Air Force Gen. Mark A. Welsh said the current outdated, thinly manned state of the U.S. Air Force is on the “ragged edge” of being able to defend the homeland.

Walsh said, “I think the Congress have been supportive in giving us the funding to continue this operation. Over time what we need is to modernize our air force. We have to be ready to do this and much more significant military operations.”

Walsh explained modernization of the Air Force was his number one priority.

“We are at a point where our fighter fleet is averaging between 25 and almost 50 years old in the case of the A-10, for example,” Walsh said. “We have other aircraft that have fleets of airplanes over 50 years old. Twelve fleets that can drive around with antique license plates in the state of Virginia over 25 years ago. Air forces have to modernize to stay relevant.”

He added, “The man power has dropped about as low as we can go and do what we’ve been asked to do today. We can’t get smaller unless the nation wants to reconsider how it uses its military.”

“We have a strategy that says we should be able to fight and defeat one opponent, we should be able to deny another aggressor somewhere else in the world for some period of time, and be able to defend the homeland simultaneously, and we’re on the ragged edge of being able to do that.”

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