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Goldfein Names Three One-Stars to Drive Air Force Reform Effort

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Dave Goldfein gives his first "Air Force Update," during the Air Force Association's Air, Space and Cyber Conference in National Harbor, Md., Sept. 20, 2016. (U.S. Air Force photo/Scott M. Ash)
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Dave Goldfein gives his first "Air Force Update," during the Air Force Association's Air, Space and Cyber Conference in National Harbor, Md., Sept. 20, 2016. (U.S. Air Force photo/Scott M. Ash)

New Air Force Chief of Staff David Goldfein named the three one-star generals Tuesday who will have the task of carrying out his ambitious plan for revitalizing the service.

Brig. Gen. Stephen Davis will lead the effort to remake the function and formation of the basic squadron, which Goldfein called the "heartbeat of the Air Force."

Davis, currently the Air Force director of manpower, organization and resources, also sets policy for strategic manpower sourcing, performance management, organizational structure, and manpower data systems. He formerly commanded a Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile wing and the nation's only ICBM flight test squadron.

Check out Military.com's coverage of the AFA's Air, Space & Cyber conference.

Goldfein has yet to give a detailed outline of his vision for remaking the squadron but said earlier this month at a conference of the National Guard Association of the United States that it would probably incorporate a mix of active duty, Guard and Reserve airmen. "I think there's a full-time/part-time mix that we ought to look at in the squadron level," he said.

Brig. Gen. Brian M. Killough will lead the effort to improve how the Air Force develops joint leaders and works jointly with other services as battlefields become more complex. Killough, a career F-15E Strike Eagle weapons officer, currently is director of strategy, concepts and assessments, deputy chief of staff for strategic plans and requirements.

Goldfein also named Brig. Gen. B. Chance "Salty" Saltzman to lead the effort to overhaul command and control systems throughout the service.

Saltzman currently is director of future operations, deputy chief of staff for operations, at Air Force headquarters. He was formerly a Minuteman III launch officer and satellite operator for the National Reconnaissance Office.

Goldfein made the announcement before an overflow audience in his "Air Force Update" address on the second day of the Air Force Association's Air, Space & Cyber Conference at National Harbor in Maryland.

The more than one-hour address by Goldfein, who became the service's 21st chief of staff in July, was mostly autobiographical to introduce himself to airmen eager to learn of his blueprint for reform.

Goldfein noted his Air Force pedigree: His father flew in Vietnam, and his daughter has been on combat missions as an Air Force captain.

He will not be a screamer, Goldfein told the crowd.

"What you need to know about me is that I'm into evolution, not revolution. I'm not coming in with guns blazing," he said. "What you've got to know about me is that I truly believe every airman matters."

In a separate panel discussion with Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James, Goldfein said he expects to receive by January proposals on how to move squadrons forward. James, a former executive at the defense contractor SAIC, said she supports Goldfein's plans for reform.

"The chief's vision is to put the squadrons at the top; they are the central core of the Air Force just as the line organizations are the central core of any business," she said. "And the staff that means have to support the squadrons [as] the headquarters support the line organizations in order to grow and prosper."

-- Editor's note: This story has been updated to correct details of the generals' new duties.

-- Oriana Pawlyk contributed to this report.

-- Richard Sisk can be reached at Richard.Sisk@Military.com.

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