Defense

May 29, 2012

Guard, Reserve leaders discuss budget issues

by Amaani Lyle
American Forces Press Service

The military’s reserve components remain ready and capable despite budget cuts and their transition from a strategic to operational force, senior National Guard and Reserve officials told the Senate Appropriations Committee’s defense subcommittee May 23.

As the drawdown continues in Afghanistan, the Guard and Reserve will maintain deployment-ready units undeterred by force structure changes such as the Air National Guard’s end strength reduction by 5,100 billets and aircraft inventory reduction by 134 aircraft, Gen. Craig R. McKinley, the National Guard Bureau chief, told the senators.

For example, McKinley said, the Air National Guard’s partnership with more than 60 foreign countries has strengthened the component’s military capacity and competence.

Lt. Gen. Harry M. Wyatt III, the Air National Guard director, said 22 partner nations have provided 11,000 troops to Afghanistan, and 40 partner nations have provided more than 31,000 personnel in support of U.N. peacekeeping operations. Last year, Guard Airmen filled about 54,000 requests for manpower, he added, noting that 91 percent of those requests were fulfilled with volunteers.

Wyatt said the Air National Guard’s budget request priorities were to align force size and composition to be flexible, agile and ready with a focus on new missions, such as the MC-12 Liberty and remotely piloted aircraft. He added that other high priorities included maintaining a combat-ready force able to quickly surge and integrate seamlessly in joint operations while rearranging units impacted by the base closure and realignment process and recent programming changes.

“I am highly confident that the authorized Marine Corps (Reserve) end strength of 39,600 is appropriate for providing us with the personnel required to support the total force during active component build-down,” he said.

In the future, the Air Force Reserve may face personnel challenges, with a projected reduction of 900 personnel that Lt. Gen. Charles E. Stenner Jr., the Air Force Reserve chief, described as the “tip of the iceberg.”

“Our Reserve is losing trained personnel and taking on new missions,” he said. “The personnel losses are in specialties that are still essential to the total force and at the same time don’t easily transfer to newly assigned mission areas.”

Stenner noted that an aircraft maintainer with 17 years of experience cannot become a cyber warrior with 17 years of experience overnight. “With that perspective, the Air Force is actually losing the capability of 5,000 to 6,000 experienced and trained personnel, and that loss could seriously affect the strategic reserve posture,” he told the senators.

McKinley told the senators the reserve components have evolved from being a strategic reserve to an operational force over the last decade of war, and that should be the way of the future.

“During a time of constrained budgets, we should continue to be used as an operational force to ensure the nation is getting the most defense capability at the lowest cost,” McKinley said, adding that more than 50 percent of Guardsmen have combat experience.




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


 
 

 

President proclaims Memorial Day as ‘Day of Prayer’

President Barack Obama May 22 saluted the service and sacrifices of America’s military members–past and present–and proclaimed Memorial Day, May 25, 2015, “as a day of prayer for permanent peace, and I designate the hour beginning in each locality at 11 a.m. of that day as a time during which people may unite in prayer....
 
 

Air Force leaders’ Memorial Day message

Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III send the following Memorial Day message to the Airmen of the Air Force and their families: To the Airmen of the United States Air Force and their Families: On Memorial Day, Americans pause in solemn remembrance...
 
 

Headlines May 22, 2015

News: Second Marine killed in Hawaii Osprey crash identified - Marine Corps officials have identified the second Marine to die as a result of the May 17 MV-22B Osprey crash as Lance Cpl. Matthew J. Determan of Maricopa, Ariz.   Business: Israel defense exports plunge to seven-year low - Israeli defense sales last year plunged to their...
 

 

News Briefs May 22, 2015

Ukrainian officer hit with third charge in Russia A third charge has been filed against a Ukrainian military officer who has been behind bars in Moscow for nearly a year over the deaths of two Russian journalists in Ukraine. Nadezhda Savchenko, who worked as a spotter for Ukrainian troops fighting separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine,...
 
 
Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez

Smart-mortar will help Soldiers more effectively hit targets

Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez Nick Baldwin and Evan Young, researchers with the Armament Research Development and Engineering Center at Picatinny Arsenal, Pennsylvania, discuss the 120mm Guided Enhanced Fragmentation Mortar ...
 
 

Air Force assigns new chief scientist

The Air Force announced the service’s new chief scientist to serve as a science and technology adviser to the secretary of the Air Force and the chief of staff of the Air Force, May 21. Dr. Greg Zacharias will be the 35th chief scientist and is ready to “dive in” to his new role. “I...
 




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=""> <strike> <strong>