Emphasizing the Air Force Vision
By 2nd Lt. Jason Sanchez, 144th Fighter Wing
/ Published January 31, 2016
FRESNO AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Calif -- In January 2013 in order to outline its areas of need and focus, the Air Force released a vision document entitled, "The World's Greatest Air Force--Powered by Airmen, Fueled by Innovation: A Vision for the United States Air Force."
Air Force wing commanders from all over the United States met earlier this month in Washington, D.C., where the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, General Mark Welsh, reaffirmed the importance of the vision.
Col. Reed Drake, Vice Commander of the 144th Fighter Wing, described one of the ideas that stood out to him: "Airmen must speak up. They are creative and find solutions to difficult problems. As the Chief states, 'the person closest to the problem is often the one with the best solution.' Leaders must listen to their innovative ideas."
In 2013 when General Welsh first introduced the vision document to Airmen, he stated, "I believe this short document captures what today's Air Force is all about and where I think we ought to focus for tomorrow." The vision covers the source of power of the Air Force, the mission, the need for innovation, and a charge to Airmen.
Airmen: the Power of the Air Force
The vision states, "One of our Air Force's greatest strengths is its ability to recruit, develop, and retain innovative patriots with strong character, a belief in respect for others, and a commitment to high standards." Education and training are seen as the foundation to capitalize on the talents of Airmen, as well as, supporting and reinvigorating the fighting spirit of Airmen.
Mission: Fly, Fight, and Win
To accomplish our five core missions of (1) air and space superiority; (2) intelligence, surveillance, and recognizance; (3) rapid global mobility; (4) global strike; and (5) command and control, we must make choices to overcome fiscal challenges and to ensure our airpower advantage. One step to strengthen our contributions includes the objective that the Air Force will "integrate and organize our Active, Reserve, and Guard forces to leverage the unique strengths and perspectives of each to seamlessly execute Air Force missions," as stated in the vision.
Innovation: "Over, Not Through"
Innovation is supported by the idea that we fly over enemy defenses to achieve victory, rather than fight our way through them. New innovative ideas are key. The vision states, "Now, more than ever, we need bold leaders at every level who encourage innovation, embrace new thinking, and take prudent risks to achieve mission success. Every Airman should constantly look for smarter ways to do business. The person closest to the problem is often the one with the best solution. Leaders should empower Airmen to think creatively, find new solutions, and make decisions."
A Charge to Airmen
The importance of each Airman's role is emphasized in the vision. The vision affirms, "Every Airman, regardless of specialty, must understand and be able to explain how they contribute to producing unparalleled airpower for our Nation." Airmen are encouraged to share their stories and to be the Airman that makes a difference every day.
The vision document has been followed by two additional guiding documents which offer more details and direction: "Global Vigilance, Global Reach, Global Power for America" describes who we are as a force and how each Airman contributes to our missions; and "America's Air Force: A Call to the Future" defines Air Force needs and the challenges that the we face as a force.
For more information, the vision document can be found on the Air Force Portal. Search for "A Vision for the United States Air Force" to locate the archived document of the Air Force vision.