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February 18, 2010—Prevailing in today’s fight—the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq—remains the Air Force’s “number one priority,” Air Force Secretary Michael Donley said Thursday at AFA’s Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando.

He said several trends have emerged from those two contingencies, as well as the US military’s activities in the Horn of Africa, that have driven the service’s pursuit of robust air mobility, intelligence-surveillance-reconnaissance, command and control, and partnership-building capacity. 

First, he said. air mobility’s ability to project US power at great distances “has been critical” to the success of those endeavors since day one and is “on display again” during the troop surge in Afghanistan.

Second, today’s conflicts require close integration with ground forces to find, fix, and hold at risk dynamic and elusive high-value targets.

And third, working with partner air forces with different competencies is an essential element in counterinsurgency, stability, and counterterrorist operations.

With those areas of emphasis, the Air Force “can maximize” its contributions to the joint and coalition team, said Donley.