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AFGSC commander speaks on competitive edge, long-term strategic competition

Gen. Tim Ray, Air Force Global Strike Command commander, discusses “Global Strike – The Critical Competitive Edge” during the Air Force Association Air, Space and Cyber Conference in National Harbor, Md., Sept. 17, 2019. From engaging speakers and panels focused on airpower, space, and cyber developments, to the technology exposition featuring the latest technology, equipment, and solutions for tomorrow’s problems, the conference has something for everyone. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jeremy L. Mosier)

Gen. Tim Ray, Air Force Global Strike Command commander, discusses “Global Strike – The Critical Competitive Edge” during the Air Force Association Air, Space and Cyber Conference in National Harbor, Md., Sept. 17, 2019. From engaging speakers and panels focused on airpower, space, and cyber developments, to the technology exposition featuring the latest technology, equipment, and solutions for tomorrow’s problems, the conference has something for everyone. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jeremy L. Mosier)

Gen. Timothy Ray, Air Force Global Strike Command commander, discusses “Global Strike – The Critical Competitive Edge” during the Air Force Association Air, Space and Cyber Conference in National Harbor, Md., Sept. 17, 2019. The ASC Conference is a professional development seminar that offers the opportunity for Department of Defense personnel to participate in forums, speeches and workshops. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jeremy L. Mosier)

Gen. Timothy Ray, Air Force Global Strike Command commander, discusses “Global Strike – The Critical Competitive Edge” during the Air Force Association Air, Space and Cyber Conference in National Harbor, Md., Sept. 17, 2019. The ASC Conference is a professional development seminar that offers the opportunity for Department of Defense personnel to participate in forums, speeches and workshops. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jeremy L. Mosier)

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. --

Gen. Tim Ray, Air Force Global Strike commander, gave a keynote speech addressing global strike and the critical competitive edge it presents here, Sep. 16.

Starting with the shift in our nation’s defensive posture as a result of the 2018 National Defense Strategy, Ray highlighted the reemergence of long-term strategic competition and great power competition. Key to this discussion, is the role that the Air Force plays and the capabilities that ties into the competitive edge.

“It’s an incredibly different dynamic for us to have long-term strategic competition,” Ray said. “We have been in a competition in the Middle East and we’ve done some great work, but ladies and gentlemen, nothing in that campaign has ever been an existential threat. Nothing in that endeavor has ever created any doubts in our minds about our ability to be world leaders.”             

According to Ray, that ability to deliver world peace ties in to providing deterrence options to the nation’s leadership.

“I’m not in the deterrence business,” Ray added. “Deterrence belongs to the president of the United States, to the secretary of defense, the secretary of state, and it belongs to the chairman, to the (combatant commands). I’m in the war fighting business.”

That same war fighting mentality has been applied to the Airmen who maintain two-thirds of the nation’s nuclear triad.

“The (nuclear) triad...is the cornerstone," Ray said. "It's the cornerstone for everything that happens in the free world. When I think of our triad... we have promised the extended deterrence of all of our allies in Europe and in the Pacific. So whatever we do to our triad does not live in a vacuum.”

Ray stated the challenge presented to AFGSC is to maintain capability that no other nation can do in the short term, until new bombers and intercontinental ballistic missiles arrive.