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​Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein declared Wednesday that after being forced by budget constraints to find “operational efficiencies,” particularly in manpower and conventional airpower accounts, it is “time to revitalize the squadron as the warfighting core of our Air Force.” In his first “letter to airmen,” Goldfein called the squadron “the beating heart of the Air Force.” The service will “succeed or fail in our missions at the squadron-level because that is where we develop, train, and build Airmen,” he wrote. He noted the squadrons are “the engines of innovation and esprit de corps” and possess “the greatest potential for operational agility.” During 15 years focused on countering violent extremism, Goldfein said, the Air Force had to make “considerable trades” across many of its mission areas and invest in the ISR, Space, Cyber, RPA, and nuclear enterprises. But those trade offs “have had a direct impact on readiness in our warfighting missions,” he said, citing personnel shortages at main US operating bases. The work to reverse that “must begin in our squadrons. Therefore, revitalizing squadrons as the core fighting unit in our Air Force will be the primary focus in my first year as your Chief,” he said. “Fight’s on!” (See also: Tooth Becomes Tail.)