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Two newly minted second lieutenants rejoice after the ceremonial hat toss at the end of the Air Force Academy's Class of 2015 graduation, March 28, 2015, at Falcon Stadium. Air Force photo by Liz Copan.

If the United States is going to be successful in future wars it must maintain its technological edge over potential adversaries, ensure USAF is efficient and accountable, and make sure the force is made up of the best America has to offer, USAF Secretary Deborah Lee James told the 2015 Air Force Academy graduating class. The world already has changed significantly since the cadets first entered the academy, said James. Some of the world players have changed and US adversaries have tightened that technology gap. The need for the US Air Force has not diminished, but the budget with which the service has to work is getting smaller, said James. “If there’s one thing that’s clear to me in the year and a half that I've been honored to be Secretary of the Air Force, it’s that when big things happen around the world, the President of the United States calls 1-800-USAF and … we kick into action—big time,” she said.  She said future Air Force leaders must be open to innovative ideas and understand the world is more dynamic than its ever been. “Remember, graduates, ultimately we exist for one reason, and that is to deter and defend and if necessary to fight and win America's wars,” said James. (USAF release) (USAFA release)