COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — Defense Secretary Robert Gates is urging the Air Force to balance its legacy of combat fighters with the surveillance, space, transport and even cyber missions that will dominate future wars.
Gates tells cadets at the U.S. Air Force Academy that there's a pressing need for American air supremacy. But he says air-to-air combat and bombing must not dominate the Air Force culture anymore.
Gates has had an often tumultuous relationship with the Air Force. And in his speech Friday, he touched on that even as he praised the airmen for their roles in Iraq and Afghanistan.
It probably was Gates' last address to cadets. He plans to leave office later this year.
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