Washington, DC – The Air Force released its plan March 28 to implement force structure changes mandated by the fiscal 2013 National Defense Authorization Act.
The bill authorized the service to complete actions approved in previous years, such as aircraft retirements, and directed execution of Congressionally-approved force structure actions.
Some of these changes were outlined in the Air Force’s Total Force Proposal, developed in coordination with the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve. Others were Congressionally-directed.
“Our Air Force continues efforts to maximize the strength of our Total Force, and we are pleased with the progress that is being made on this front,” said Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley. “This implementation plan illustrates the Air Force’s continued commitment to transparency as it completes the force structure requirements directed and authorized by the NDAA.”
The NDAA directs a reduction of 65 aircraft and approximately 1,400 military billets from the Air National Guard, 57 aircraft from the Air Force Reserve, and 122 aircraft and approximately 6,100 military billets from the active-duty Air Force.
“Working together we can combine the personnel, equipment and readiness necessary to build a total Air Force equal to all the challenges our nation faces,” said Lt. Gen. Stanley Clarke III, director of the Air National Guard.
The Air Force’s implementation plan includes a state-by-state description of changes for each base and the associated timeline. Each major command developed activation, reassignment, re-missioning or divesture options.
“We’ve developed guiding principles to ensure that as we make decisions, we continue to have a strong foundation for what is best for our Air Force,” said Lt. Gen. James Jackson, chief, Air Force Reserve and commander, Air Force Reserve Command. “We must leverage regular and reserve component strengths and align our decisions with a commitment as one total force team.”
Key principles include: ensure personnel readiness, training and retention for transitioning units to remain at the highest level practicable and minimize mission gaps for units transitioning to new or different missions. Each of the components embraces these principles.
The Air Force will apply this collaborative approach to facilitate open communication with key stakeholders on future total force efforts. Recently, the Secretary and Chief of Staff of the Air Force created a Total Force Task Force.