By Army Staff Sgt. Michael J. Carden
American Forces Press Service
Feb. 11, 2009 - Though the United States has the most technologically advanced armed forces in the world, the individual knowledge and skills U.S. special operators bring to the table are the keys to success against persistent conflicts enduring around the globe, the Air Force chief of staff said here today. Air Force Gen. Norton A. Schwartz told an audience attending the 20th Annual Special Operations/Low-Intensity Conflict symposium here that the Air Force is committed to innovation in its efforts to be successful in today's evolving warfare.
"No amount of technological sophistication will ever substitute for our [individual servicemembers], and that is especially true in this business of special operations," Schwartz said. "All of us at every level in every service share a sacred duty to bring our best thinkers together on this hybrid, new form of conflict."
The rigors of common warfare and the challenge of persistent conflict are enduring and must be collaborative to reach success, Schwartz said. He stressed that leaders and individuals must ready to deal with the complexities of enduring missions in Afghanistan as well as persistent support of nation-building.
Schwartz lauded the special operations community for its successes around the world and for paving the way for conventional forces to be successful in today's changing battlefield.
Conditions for lasting endeavors require "remarkable cooperation and collaborative ability" among all leaders and military specialties, Schwartz said. Persistent conflicts require leaders to learn and share their innovations continuously, the general added.
"My commitment to [the special operations community] is that Air Force leaders are listening," he said. "We will continue to listen and innovate together. We will shape our training and our developmental efforts through the ranks to meet the challenges that we face."