Defense

January 15, 2014

New secretary testifies to commission on total force

Tags:
SSgt. David Salanitri
Air Force News

Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James answers a question during a hearing of the National Commission on the Structure of the Air Force Jan. 9, 2014, in Arlington, Va. The commission is tasked to submit a report by Feb.1, 2014, to the president of the United States and to the congressional defense committees with a detailed statement of its findings and conclusions.

The Air Force will rely more on its Air National Guard and Reserve components in the future with the aim to preserve more capabilities as the service seeks to reduce its personnel , the services top leader said Jan.9.

In her first testimony as secretary of the Air Force, Deborah Lee James addressed members of the National Commission on the Structure of the Air Force.

The commission will make recommendations on whether, and how, the structure should be modified to best fulfill current and anticipated mission requirements for the Air Force in a manner consistent with available resources.

James, who was formally sworn in as the 23rd secretary Dec. 20, 2013, spoke at length about the future of the total force.

I see our Air Force as a smaller Air Force over time, but a more capable Air Force, James said, emphasizing the importance of developing leaders with experience across the components. I would like to see our Air Force 10 years from now be led by a chief of staff who has had major reserve component experience.

The Air Force needs to do a better job of relying on its Guard and Reserve components, she said. As a result, she feels this evolution will preserve the force and its capabilities.

On the topic of readiness, which service leaders have expressed concerns about since sequestration was implemented; James called into question the option of going to a tiered readiness model.

Im not convinced at all that this form of tiered readiness is workable, James said. In fact, Id say its not workable for the Air Force. We need to be ready right away, and not in a tiered approach.

To maintain readiness, the service is slated to reduce personnel by up to 25,000 during the next five years, along with other cost-saving measures.

Looking to the future size of the Air Force, James noted every component will feel the impacts of force management.

No component is going to be totally sheltered by force shaping and reduction, James said. We want to get the best defense for our nation, particularly when resources are scarce.

In 1993, James held the position of assistant secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs, and while that job prepared her for her commission appearance, she said she hopes the need for the conversation will disappear in the future.

I hope 10 years from now we wont be debating issues like this because it would be second nature, James said. The key thing is to blur the lines between components.

Throughout her testimony, James noted that developing the Air Force is an indefinite task you can never close the book on, but always improve upon.

We will always be in a certain state of evolution, James said. The final chapter on this is not yet written.

The Commission is tasked to submit a report, containing a comprehensive study and recommendations, by Feb. 1, 2014, to the president of the United States and the congressional defense committees.




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


 
 

 

Headlines July 7, 2015

News: F-35 loses dogfight to fighter jet from 1980s – A new report alleges that an F-35A was defeated by the very aircraft it is meant to replace.   Business: South Korea selects Airbus for $1.33 billion tanker contract – European aerospace giant Airbus won a $1.33 billion deal June 30 to supply air refueling...
 
 
U.S. Chamber of Commerce photograph

Boeing, Embraer to collaborate on ecoDemonstrator technology tests

U.S. Chamber of Commerce photograph Frederico Curado, president & CEO of Embraer, and Marc Allen, president of Boeing International, at the Brazil-U.S. Business Summit in Washington, D.C. The event occurred during an offici...
 
 
Untitled-2

Tactical reconnaissance vehicle project eyes hoverbike for defense

The U.S. Army Research Laboratory, or ARL, has been exploring the tactical reconnaissance vehicle, or TRV, concept for nearly nine months and is evaluating the hoverbike technology as a way to get Soldiers away from ground thre...
 

 
Air Force photograph by SSgt. William Banton

Upgraded AWACS platform tested at Northern Edge

Air Force photograph by SSgt. William Banton Maintenance crew members prepare an E-3G Sentry (AWACS) for takeoff during exercise Northern Edge June 25, 2015. Roughly 6,000 airmen, soldiers, sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen ...
 
 
LM-Legion

Lockheed Martin’s Legion Pod™ takes to skies

Lockheed Martin photograph by Randy Crites Lockheed Martin’s Legion Pod recently completed its first flight test, successfully tracking multiple airborne targets while flying on an F-16 in Fort Worth, Texas. Legion Pod was in...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SSgt. Marleah Robertson

First Marine graduates Air Force’s F-35 intelligence course

Air Force photograph by SSgt. Marleah Robertson Marine Corps 1st Lt. Samuel Winsted, an F-35B Lightning II intelligence officer, provides a mock intelligence briefing to two instructors during the F-35 Intelligence Formal Train...
 




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>