On April 11, the Atlantic Council Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security hosted a discussion with the Commander of the United States Air Force’s Air Combat Command (ACC), General Gilmary Michael Hostage, III.

General Hostage discussed the future structure, capabilities, and missions of the United States Air Force in a rapidly evolving strategic environment. He focused in particular on how new US budgetary realities, advancing capabilities of competitor nations, and the emergence of new technologies will impact the future of the United States Air Force and the mission of Air Combat Command. The discussion also included how the United States could maintain air dominance in the face of these challenges, and the opportunities that exist for Air Combat Command in this environment.

As commander of the Air Combat Command, General Hostage is responsible for organizing, training, equipping, and maintaining combat-ready forces for rapid deployment and employment while ensuring strategic air defense forces are ready to meet the challenges of peacetime air sovereignty and wartime defense. ACC operates more than a thousand aircraft, twenty-two wings, thirteen bases, and more than three hundred operating locations worldwide with 79,000 active-duty and civilian personnel.

Prior to assuming his current position, General Hostage was commander, US Air Forces Central Command, Southwest Asia. As the air component commander for US Central Command, the general was responsible for developing contingency plans and conducting air operations in a twenty-nation area of responsibility covering Central and Southwest Asia. General Hostage is a graduate of the US Air Force Fighter Weapons School, and a command pilot with more than 4,000 flying hours. He has flown combat missions in multiple aircraft, logging more than 600 combat hours in operations Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Southern Watch, Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, and New Dawn.