Air Force

May 9, 2014

Air Force secretary reports on total force balance

Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III testify on the Air Force’s structure before the Senate Arms Services Committee in Washington, D.C., April 29, 2014. James and Welsh said the Air Force’s future will more fully incorporate personnel from the Air Force Reserve and the Air National Guard.

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James outlined April 30 the service’s progress in leveraging the talent and capabilities of the Air National Guard and the Air Force Reserve within the total force concept.

James, along with Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III, testified at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.

A tiger team of three generals from each reserve component conducted a comprehensive review of mission requirements, recommended ideas for improving collaboration and sought avenues to balance total force capabilities, James told the senators.

“We laid in force structure changes to take advantage of the Guard and Reserve’s strength,” James said. “For example, in the area of (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance), we’ve increased reserve components’ presence in the MQ-1 (Predator) and (MQ-9 Reaper) fleets of remotely piloted aircraft, so we’re going from 17 percent to 24 percent representation in that arena.”

In the cyber arena, James said, three new Air Force Reserve units will reflect an increase in that capability in fiscal year 2016.

Meanwhile, James said the Air Force will decrease its active component end-strength by 17 percent while decreasing the Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard end-strength by 3 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively, by fiscal 2015.

“In the future, we hope to garner enough savings by moving capability and capacity to the reserve component so that future end-strength cuts may not be necessary,” she said.

The secretary also reported better projection and budgeting of Guard and Reserve man-day use, with a 70-percent increase in planned man-years over the next two years.

James told the senators that Air Force leaders agree with 86 percent of the suggestions put forth by the National Commission on the Structure of the Air Force, established by Congress as part of the fiscal 2013 defense spending bill. However, she added, they differ with the commission’s recommendation that Air Force Reserve Command be disestablished.

“We’re all for integration, and of course, that is the basis of that recommendation,” James said. “But we feel … in fiscal year 2015, we don’t have a good alternative way to manage and provide for … 70,000 members of the Air Force Reserve, so we would disagree with that proposition, at least for (fiscal 2015).”

James reported that the Total Force Continuum, another group of generals, will lead the charge for myriad initiatives, one being facilitating an Airman’s ability to serve in the active force, the Air National Guard and the Air Force Reserve in the course of a career.

To facilitate a new total force personnel and pay system in support of the continuum of service, the secretary said, the Air Force has integrated force support squadrons at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo.; March Air Reserve Base, Calif.; and Pease Air National Guard Base, N.H.

“One unit is essentially serving all of the three different components in the geographic area with respect to personnel systems,” she explained.

James noted an uptick in shared active and reserve-component squadrons, or Air Force associations, from 102 to 124, a 22 percent increase in recent years.

“It’s a form of integration, and we’re kicking it up a notch and doing more of these in the future,” she said.

To retain talent across the total force, the secretary said, the Air Force has reduced the active-duty service commitment payback in the Palace Chase Service Commitment Waiver Program from three reserve years for every year of active commitment down to one.

Palace Chase is the name of the Air Force program in which an active-duty Airman transfers to the reserve component. The program also expanded to include rated officers, James said.

“Bottom line there is we’re making it easier and more attractive to people to enter the Guard and Reserve,” she added.

James also reported seeking authority from the Defense Department to implement aviator retention pay to traditional reservists.

“As an aviator leaves active duty (for) the Guard and Reserve, I want to be able to (offer) that incentive pay,” she said.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo/Megan Crusher

Air Force JROTC cadets graduate Summer Leadership School

U.S. Air Force photo/Megan Crusher Air Force JROTC cadets from Rancho Verde High School in Moreno Valley and Arlington High School in Riverside, graduate from a two week Summer Leadership School, held at March Air Reserve Base,...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Russell S. McMillan

Airmen attend second annual Norton-March reunion

U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Russell S. McMillan Senior Master Sgt. Paul Mitt, detachment chief, 163rd Reconnaissance Wing, answers questions about the MQ-9 Reaper at March Air Reserve Base on June 20. Members of the Nort...
 
 
Halle-Berry

Halle Berry Connects With the U.S. Military

Halle Berry stars in the Science-Fiction show “Extant,” which just began its second season. Finding out someone values and appreciates what you do can keep you floating at cloud level for weeks, especially when the someone ...
 

 
Courtesy photo

Charles “Chuck” Flood, Satellite Services, Inc., passed away unexpectedly, June 17, 2015

Courtesy photo Chuck Flood: March 16, 1963 – June 17, 2015 Flood had been employed by SSI since February, 2005. He had been the fire truck mechanic, responsible for over 15 fire fighting vehicles at Edwards Air Force Base and...
 
 
Watchara Phomicinda — LA Daily News staff  photographer

March honor guard gives final honors to America’s veterans

(Final in a two-part series on honor guard, reprinted with permission) Watchara Phomicinda — LA Daily News staff photographer Brittarose Morgan, 77, right, wife of the late Airman First Class Roland Morgan with daughter, Kym ...
 
 
HBI-photo

Fitness at a glance – It’s all about timing!

Ever notice how your anxiety tends to increase around your fitness assessment time (FA)? It is amazing that in 20 minutes (or less) your FA is over, but your anxiety level has cumulatively increased over the 30-90 days (or more...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>