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SecAF visits Colorado Springs, highlights budget priorities

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. - Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley is greeted by Col. Jeffrey Flewelling, 21st Space Wing vice commander, Jan. 27, 2012, at Peterson AFB. While in the Colorado Springs and Denver area Jan. 26-27, Donley welcomed President Barack Obama to Buckley Air Force Base, met with civic and military leaders, and visited the Space Foundation. (U.S. Air Force photo/Duncan Wood)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. - Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley is greeted by Col. Jeffrey Flewelling, 21st Space Wing vice commander, Jan. 27, 2012, at Peterson AFB. While in the Colorado Springs and Denver area Jan. 26-27, Donley welcomed President Barack Obama to Buckley Air Force Base, met with civic and military leaders, and visited the Space Foundation. (U.S. Air Force photo/Duncan Wood)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley received a warm welcome from the local community here Jan. 27 during remarks at the Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce to approximately 40 local community, military and business leaders.

Donley said his trip to Colorado Springs provided a chance to visit with local leaders and highlight the strategic priorities and choices made by the Air Force and Department of Defense for fiscal 2013 and beyond.

"We will reduce our force structure," he said. "We will prioritize readiness, and we intend to preserve our investments in key programs that are crucial to future Air Force capability."

Donley explained that the Air Force has made difficult choices by sacrificing size to ensure a high-quality force in support of new strategic guidance.

"This is hard, but it is manageable," he said.

The secretary stressed that taking care of Airmen is a top priority. He said that it is not the hardware or equipment of the services that make mission success possible, but rather it is the people.

Donley explained that all the branches of military service are essential and make up a ready and capable force.

"It is the Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors and Marines that make all this work," he said. "We have become a stronger joint force over the last ten years, since 9/11, and stronger as a joint team than we have ever been."

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