Outgoing Air Force Chief of Staff General Norton Schwartz, who retires in August, spoke to reporters during his last press conference at the Pentagon. He served in the position for four years, and has nearly 40 years of military service. He’ll be succeeded by General Mark Welsh who’s nomination has to be voted on by the full Senate.
Schwartz answered questions about the ongoing effort to a fix mysterious oxygen depletion problem that caused some F-22 pilots to feel dizzy and experience other symptoms of hypoxia. He said the suits pilots wear, including the hoses and valves that bring them oxygen will be modified. The problems have grounded and restricted the use of the jets for months.
He said he leaves the Air Force as it faces operating with fewer resources amid an increasingly complex geo-political and security environment. His successor will also have to address the lack of trust between the Air Force’s top leadership and members of Congress.
Francis Rose is the host of In Depth, which airs weekdays from 4-7 p.m. on 1500 AM in the Washington, DC metro area and online everywhere. Francis has covered all three branches of the federal government as a broadcast journalist since 1998. He joined Federal News Radio in 2006, and launched In Depth in 2008 as a daily show focused on connecting federal executives to the information they need to do their jobs better.