A four-star Air Force general sent a memo Friday to officers under his command that predicts the United States will be at war with China in two years and tells them to prepare by firing «one clip» at a target, and » aim for the head.»

In the memo sent Friday and obtained by NBC News, General Mike Minihan, head of the Air Mobility Command, said: “I hope I am wrong. My gut tells me I’ll fight in 2025.»

The Air Mobility Command has about 50,000 service members and about 500 aircraft and is responsible for transportation and refueling.

Minihan said in the memo that because both Taiwan and the US will have presidential elections in 2024, the US will be «distracted» and Chinese President Xi Jinping will have a chance to make progress in Taiwan.

It lays out its goals for readiness, including creating «a fortified, ready, integrated and agile joint force maneuver team, ready to fight and win within the first island chain.»

The signed memorandum is addressed to all air wing commanders in the Air Mobility Command and other Air Force operational commanders, directing them to brief Minihan on all major efforts to prepare for the fight against China by 28 January. February.

For the month of February, he orders all AMC personnel to “clip a 7-meter target with the full understanding that unrepentant lethality is paramount. Aim for the head.» He also orders all staff to update their records and emergency contacts.

In March, he directs all AMC personnel to «consider their personal issues and whether to schedule a visit with their service base law office to ensure they are legally ready and prepared.»

Footage captured on December 21, 2022 shows a Chinese fighter jet flying close to a US surveillance plane in international airspace over the South China Sea.
Footage captured on December 21, 2022 shows a Chinese fighter jet flying close to a US surveillance plane in international airspace over the South China Sea. US Indo-Pacific Command

Minihan urges them to accept some risk in training. «Run deliberately, not recklessly,» he writes, but then adds: «If you’re comfortable with your approach to training, then you’re not taking enough risk.»

It also provides a window into a capability the United States is considering for a potential conflict with China: commercial drone swarms. He directs KC-135 units to prepare to «deliver 100 standard UAVs of size and type from a single aircraft.»

An AMC spokesperson confirmed in a statement Friday that the memo is real: “This is an authentic internal memo from General Minihan to his subordinate command teams. His order builds on the Air Mobility Command’s pivotal efforts last year to prepare Mobility Air Forces for future conflicts, should deterrence fail.”

In March 2021, Admiral Philip Davidson, then commander of the US Indo-Pacific Command, told a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing that “Taiwan is clearly one of the [China’s] ambitions

“I think the threat manifests itself during this decade, in fact, in the next six years,” Davidson said.

Asked earlier this month if a Chinese invasion of Taiwan was imminent, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said: «What we are seeing recently is very provocative behavior by China’s forces and their attempt to re-establish a new normal.»

«But whether or not that means an invasion is imminent,» Austin said, «I seriously doubt it.»

«So we will continue to watch and we will continue to work with our allies and partners to do everything we can to ensure that we promote peace and stability … in the broader region.»