The lead-off panelist, Brig. Gen. Schuyler Bissell, Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff, Intelligence, provided statistical information on present and forecast engineer and technical training in the United States and the western world vis-à-vis the USSR. He pointed out that the central orchestration of Soviet scientific and technical manpower has produced a larger number of educated people, the sheer quantity of which has allowed them to make significant technical advances. The large Soviet resource pool of the 1990s will represent a formidable challenge to US superiority in science arid technology, even if major changes occur in Soviet educational philosophy.
The next panelist, former Air Force Systems Command Commander Gen. Alton D. Slay, USAF (Ret.), discussed the implications of the situation presented by General Bissell for United States productivity and security interests, particularly US ability to retain industrial and aerospace leadership into the future.
Dr. Norman Hackerman, President, Rice University, and Dr. Wilbur L. Meier, Jr., Dean, College of Engineering, Pennsylvania State University, spoke on how civilian educators view this situation and what is being done, can be done, and should be done throughout academia and specialized technical institutions to address this problem.
Lt. Gen. Andrew P. Iosue, Deputy Chief of Staff for Manpower and Personnel, concluded the panel discussions by examining how the shortage of both engineers and technicians affects the military (especially the Air Force), and what our services are doing and plan to do about it.
Moderator Callahan summarized the presentations on the engineer and technician shortages as follows:
Audience participation followed the symposium. Several current projects on the subject of the symposium were presented by individuals who are involved. In addition, challenging questions were posed to the panel.
Audience interest was so great that the question-and-answer period had to be terminated forty minutes beyond the scheduled two-hour time allotted for the entire program. The entire symposium was recorded. The proceedings will be transcribed, edited, coordinated with the panelists, printed, and then distributed nationally.
Daily Report: Read the day's top news on the US Air Force, airpower, and national security issues.
Tweets by @AirForceMag