USAF Chief Of Staff Gen. Welsh Lays Out Air Staff Reorganization

USAF Chief Of Staff, Gen. Mark Welsh Lays Out Air Staff Reorganization

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Aaron Metha has an online article in this morning Air Force Times with the title above. Mr. Metha notes that Gen. Welsh announced yesterday (Thursday, Feb. 20) that the USAF was splitting both Operations and Plans Requirements (A3/A5), and Strategic Plans and Programs (A8). The new A3 Operations Directorate will stand alone, while the planning staffs will form a new A5/A8 Directorate. The current budget responsibilities from A8 will be merged with the Service’s financial management arm (FM). Gen. Welsh said the changes reflected the overall look at how the Air Force plans strategy and operations.

“As part of that reorganization, we’re looking at taking our A3/A5 that exists today, and our A8, and we’re taking the operations and plan functions of A3/A5 and we’re going to make the A3 an operator again,” said Gen. Welsh at the Air Force Association’s annual Air Warfare Symposium held this week in Orlando, Florida.

“We’re going to move the strategic planning strategy, and long-range resource planning into the A5/A8. And, we’re going to take the sausage-making part of A8 out and put it into the FM. So, all those people who do the grinding and entering stuff into the databases and keeping the numbers right, and doing the accounting — are now all going to be working for the same boss. This allows the A5/A8 to think about the strategy side of the house. Maybe we can actually get to a place where we can build a strategy and a plan that can inform the resource work that we’re doing. That’s the goal,” he emphasized.

Mr. Metha notes that this reorganization “brings the Air Force more in line with the directorates of the Joint Chiefs; and may also be a first step towards reducing headquarters staff — something Secretary of Defense Hagel has made a priority across the Pentagon.”

Left unsaid, was how Gen. Welsh views the employment, use, and procurement of UAVs and autonomous systems, the Air Force role and responsibilities with respect to cyber space, and the impact of social media and wisdom of the crowds on the future. V/R, RCP

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