The Latest Air Force Vision Thing

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz released on Monday his newest vision document for the service, dubbed Vector 2011, which pays more attention to budget realities than high-tech toys.

"In the coming years, our nation and our Air Force will face a budget environment unlike anything we have encountered in decades," he said. "As elected officials consider what to do about the growing federal debt, pressure will mount to reduce defense spending."

The Air Force will play a role in the solution, "but not by retrenching or continuing business as usual on a reduced scale," Schwartz said. But, he added, "We must make difficult choices to balance near-term operational readiness with longer term needs, and fit all of that into a more affordable package."

Schwartz said the Air Force will work to minimize operation and support costs for its biggest ticket item, the F-35 fighter, whose total costs -- purchase and maintenance -- is now projected at a mind boggling $1 trillion.

I don't think all the combatants in WWII spent such a sum on all their airplanes, but I guess a trillion dollars does not go as far this century.