Tue, Nov 29, 2011
Looking For Balance Between Active Duty, Reserves
Air Force senior leaders are looking at ways to balance the
ratio of regular and Reserve Component Airmen to create the most
effective and efficient combat capability in austere budget times.
Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley is leading collaborative
efforts between active, Reserve and Guard leaders to find the right
force composition that will ensure the total force remains healthy
and viable. "Finding the right balance of regular, Reserve and
Guard forces is the key to maintaining future Air Force
capabilities during dramatic period of budget austerity," said Air
Force Chief of Staff Norton Schwartz (pictured).
Of the forces serving on active duty today in the combat air
forces, 58 percent are active-duty Airmen and 42 percent are from
the reserve component - made up of Air Force Reserve and Air
National Guard - according to Donley in a speech to the Air Force
Association in September. The total force leaders are working
together closely to determine the right mix for the active and
reserve components which is economical, sustainable and meets the
nation's and combatant commanders' requirements. "One of our
biggest lessons learned is that we do have access to reserve
component Airmen on short notice," Schwartz said. "They have
stepped up to the plate every time we've called to perform both
daily operations, as well as strategic surges."
Another key link to maintaining the right mix of regular and
reserve component Airmen is to make it easier to move in and out of
active-duty status so our Airmen can serve our country, retain
successful careers and still save taxpayers' money, Schwartz said.
"Our Reserve and Guard programs are exceptionally efficient and
cost-effective," he said. "Twenty years of combat have taught us
that we rely on Reserve Airmen to answer the call of service when
our nation needs them."
At a recent meeting at Bolling Air Force Base, MD, Donley conferred
with Schwartz as well as Undersecretary of the Air Force Erin
Conaton, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Manpower and
Reserve Affairs Daniel Ginsberg, Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Gen.
Phillip M. Breedlove, Gen. Craig R. McKinley Jr., the chief of the
National Guard Bureau; Lt. Gen. Charles E. Stenner Jr., the chief
of the Air Force Reserve; and Lt. Gen. Harry M. Wyatt III, the
director of the Air National Guard.
"We need to capitalize on the incredible synergy we gain from
reserve and regular Air Force Airmen working as one team," Schwartz
said. "With the proper balance, I know we can create the strategic
depth and an immediate-response force that is efficient, effective
and has a combat capability second to none."
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