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/Staff Sgt. Tiffany Lindemann

Team March maintainers refurbish KC-135 Stratotanker in record time

U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Tiffany Lindemann Staff Sgt. Caleb Meyer, an active-duty crew chief, and Staff Sgt. Neftali Rivera, an Air Reserve Technician and crew chief, both from the 752nd Maintenance Squadron, screw in th...
 
 
150822-F-RK887-146

Chief Kacsmaryk Retirement

U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Russell S. McMillan Chief Master Sgt. Michael Kacsmaryk, superintendent, 752nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, March Air Reserve Base, receives a U.S. flag that was flown over the Capitol, duri...
 
 
Courtesy photo from Shayne Meder

March C-17 shares pride with city of Riverside

Courtesy photo from Shayne Meder A crowd of Team March members and local elected officials and citizens gathered for the unveiling of nose art on a 452nd Air Mobility Wing C-17 dubbed “The Spirit of Riverside – Mission Bell...
 

 
U.S. Air Force graphic

Comprehensive Airman Fitness has on-the-go app

U.S. Air Force graphic The Wingman Toolkit, an outreach and communication tool designed to ensure Airmen have quick and easy access to the latest Comprehensive Airman Fitness programs and resources, now has a cell phone app whi...
 
 
CAP

Civil Air Patrol’s California Wing encampment

As the summer season kicks into high gear, the Civil Air Patrol’s California Wing celebrated its annual Cadet Encampment, and the 40th Anniversary of the Cadet Training Group, at Camp San Luis Obispo, California, July 1st thr...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Hailey Haux

AF generals testify for their future positions

U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Hailey Haux Gen. Paul J. Selva, the nominee for vice chairman for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Gen. Darren W. McDew, the nominee for U.S. Transportation Command commander, sit before Congres...
 




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>