What is the value of Gates for the USAF? Not much. The USAF was in great leadership trouble before Gates showed up.
Just one small example would be here. Matter of fact it was publications like the Air Force Times that refused to find out why Metzger was handled the way she was. Proper discipline is the core of any military organization. If the top office can't perform simple military disciplinary action; what else are they screwing up? As it turned out; quite a lot.
Gates prevented any real USAF leadership from being creative. Well if any creative types ever appeared in addition to Deptula. Deptula is now gone. What the USAF ended up with were sycophants.
I don't see that as an improvement.