Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Allvin entered the service’s top job in November 2023 with a challenge for airmen: Don’t take your foot off the gas.

Allvin, a career mobility pilot and strategist who previously served as the Air Force’s No. 2 officer, believes airmen stand at an inflection point between how past wars were fought and what tomorrow’s conflicts will demand.

“We have accelerated change, and now must turn this momentum into outcomes,” he said in prepared remarks at a Nov. 17 welcome ceremony. “The time to execute is now.”

To avoid losing on the global stage — and jeopardizing America’s superpower status — the four-star wants to continue a multibillion-dollar modernization of the Air Force arsenal to rival China, crafting more relevant training and agile deployments, and ditching outdated rules that can hinder airmen’s well-being.

As chief of staff, Allvin oversees an approximately $180 billion portfolio and around 689,000 uniformed and civilian employees across the globe. His right-hand man will be Lt. Gen. Jim Slife, a career special operations airman who was confirmed Dec. 19 as the service’s four-star vice chief of staff.

Also newly confirmed are Gen. Kenneth Wilsbach, who will move from running Pacific Air Forces to Air Combat Command, and Lt. Gen. Kevin Schneider, who will take over as PACAF’s top officer, among other nominees for senior roles. They’ll need to ensure the force can juggle myriad conflicts around the world without significant growth, and convince a restive Congress to fund those plans.

“We face a security environment which grows more complex by the day and a pacing competitor which continues to advance at an alarming rate,” Allvin said Nov. 6. “We have a responsibility to lead and advance the integration of the joint force. … We must now follow through.”

Rachel Cohen is the editor of Air Force Times. She joined the publication as its senior reporter in March 2021. Her work has appeared in the Washington Post, the Frederick News-Post (Md.), Air and Space Forces Magazine, Inside Defense, Inside Health Policy and elsewhere.

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