Air Force

October 18, 2013

Air Force News – October 18, 2013

Shutdown endangers reserve component readiness

Reserve component personnel continue to be affected by the government shutdown, and officials are concerned about readiness.

Within the Defense Department, the reserve components are the Army National Guard, the Air National Guard, the Army Reserve, the Air Force Reserve, the Navy Reserve and the Marine Corps Reserve. The Coast Guard Reserve comes under the Department of Homeland Security.

There are around 850,000 personnel in the selected reserve and they are among those most affected by the partial shutdown. Selected reserves are those units so essential to wartime missions they are required to continue training each month to maintain proficiency. The units also train an additional two weeks a year.

Officially, these weekend drills are called “Inactive Duty Training” and are used to maintain readiness and keep qualifications current, DOD reserve affairs officials said.

“These inactive duty periods are not authorized during the shutdown, unless they are supporting certain critical activities or future deployments,” said one official.

Reserve component personnel training for deployment may continue as required.

Recruiting efforts continue to fill the ranks of the reserve components, but reserve affairs personnel worry about the long-term effect the government shutdown will have on recruiting and retention.

Alaska

The newest strategy in fighter employment will enable combat-ready F-22s to rapidly refuel, rearm and redeploy. The new concept was demonstrated during joint exercises in August. The usual method of deploying fighters is structured around large footprint packages to a select few operating bases. The new rapid response force concept was developed by Lt. Col. Kevin Sutterfield, a Reserve F-22 pilot assigned to the 477th Fighter Group.

Washington

A Fairchild Air Force Base Airman performed an act of heroism May 11 by rescuing a man and his son from possibly drowning at Clear Lake Recreation Area, Cheney. Senior Airman Richard Narvaez, 92nd Comptroller Squadron financial analysis, was presented an Air Force Commendation Medal by Maj. Kevin Watts, 92nd CPTS commander, Sept. 27, for his off-duty actions and act of courage.

Afghanistan

Throughout the month of September, 774th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron aircrews flew 137 sorties transporting 707 passengers, 224 pallets with a total cargo weight of almost 553 tons from forward operating base Sharana. The FOB was officially transferred to the Afghan government Oct 1.

Germany

Leaders of Ghana’s air force visited the NCO academy to better understand how the U.S. Air Force develops its enlisted force. They plan on taking the information back to develop their own professional military education program.




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