(AFNS) — The Air Force released its plan Mar. 28 to implement force structure changes mandated by the Fiscal Year 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 (Sid) E. 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 F. 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.
TF2 will create an enduring strategic process to determine how to correctly balance the strengths of each component to sustain capabilities required to defend our nation now and into the future.
“Our active, Reserve and Guard components are increasingly integrated –training, deploying and conducting a full range of missions together as one Air Force,” said Donley, “and we’re committed to ensuring that our active and reserve component mix correctly balances the strengths of each component, meeting our strategic requirements and our fiscal demands as well. The FY13 implementation plan gets us on a path toward that end.”