Lt. Gen. Darryl Roberson, who oversees the Air Force’s training and education, said that “air power is critical to the way America fights. We don’t fight without air power.”
In its early stages battling ISIS in Iraq and Syria, the United States relied on air power. The Air Force provides surveillance and intelligence to help U.S. forces worldwide, he said at a Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce Eggs & Issues event at the RSA Activity Center. “We’re there to back them up in case things go bad.”
His comments about air power are important because he is the commander of Air Education and Training Command at Randolph Air Force Base in Texas. Air University (AU) Commander and President Lt. Gen. Steven Kwast reports to Roberson.
“Here at AU is where the future of air power starts,” Roberson said about the facility at Maxwell Air Force Base and Gunter Annex in Montgomery. “The future of our Air Force and DoD (Department of Defense) is critically dependent on air power.” But he said that the Air Force, because of fewer resources and reduced capabilities, has to innovate and “come up with different concepts of operations – different ways of producing air power in a way that could be effectual quickly around the world. What is happening right now intellectually at Air University is fundamental to the success of our Air Force in the future.”
He said that the Air Force sends its “best and brightest” to Maxwell. “ … only the top get to come to Air University – both at our schools as well as our talented leadership,” Roberson said.
“Air University is absolutely critical to the success of not only our Air Force, but in my opinion (the country).”
He praised the local business and political leaders for their support of Maxwell and Gunter Annex and said he was “extremely excited” about the many partnerships and new initiatives.
Air University is the “education piece” in the Air Education and Training Command, Roberson said. He said that the Cyber College at Maxwell “is a big deal. “There are people all over the country that are taking notice of what is happening right here with this partnership on Cyber College and Maxwell,” Roberson said. “I think you’re going to set a trend that other cities and other parts of our country are going to be coming in and learn and see so they can bring it back to their cities.”
The general complimented Air University on “tremendous innovation” working with young airmen. “We need to make sure that we’re constantly striving to stay focused on developing our youngest airmen and what we can learn from them and Air University right here is doing some tremendous things with the latest technologies and ways of interacting with our airmen,” Roberson said.
He stressed that airmen will be provided educational opportunities throughout their career as Kwast and his team work on a continual education program.