AIR FORCE CHIEF ON CHINA
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton A. Schwartz told defense reporters recently that the service needs a new long-range bomber to penetrate Chinese air defenses.
“I’ll tell you why we need a bomber,” Gen. Schwartz said. “Do you think that the Chinese have established one of the world’s best air defense environments in their eastern provinces just to invest their national treasure?”
Also, Iran has integrated air defenses around “certain locations,” a reference to nuclear sites.
“I would say they’re not doing this for the fun of it,” he said. “They’re doing it because they have a sense of vulnerability. I ask you, what is it that conveys that sense of vulnerability to others?
“One of those things is long-range strike, and that is an asset that the United States of America should not concede. That’s why a long-range strike bomber is relevant and will continue to be relevant.”
Gen. Schwartz said at a Feb. 29 breakfast that the bomber is part of the Pentagon’s new Air Sea Battle Concept that calls for closer coordination between the Navy and Air Force to counter China’s submarines, warships, aircraft, missiles and cyberweapons.
“It is certainly a maritime theater, but I would remind that air and space sort of covers all of the maritime as well, and so global intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance applies without a doubt,” he said.
“Lift. Strike if that’s required. But importantly, I think this is an area where we and the Navy, in part through our Air Sea Battle initiative and other efforts, are collaborating to maximize