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 December 19, 2014

News: SpaceX’s attempt to land rocket on floating barge postponed - It’s set to be one of the most groundbreaking moments in humanity’s six decades of space exploration. Obama signs $1.1 trillion spending bill into law - President Obama signed the $1.1 trillion federal spending measure into law Dec. 16, officially ending any threat of a government...
 
 

News Briefs December 19, 2014

Trial set for ex-Navy engineer in military secrets case A former Navy civilian engineer is scheduled to stand trial next summer on charges of trying to steal aircraft carrier schematics. Media outlets report that 35-year-old Mostafa Awwad of Yorktown, Va., pleaded not guilty Dec. 17 to two counts of attempted exportation of defense articles and...
 
 
Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez

Army to launch cruise missile-detecting aerostat at Aberdeen Proving Ground

Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez The Army plans to launch an aerostat, part of the “Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor,” in late December 2014. The JLENS aerostat will be tethered to the...
 

 
Air Force photograph by SrA. Jordan Castelan

AF delivers Iraqi F-16s for training in US

Air Force photograph by SrA. Jordan Castelan Iraqi air force captain Hama conducts preflight inspections while inside a new to service Iraqi F-16 Fighting Falcon Dec. 17, 2014, located at the nearby Tucson International Airport...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SSgt. Derek VanHorn

Short-notice: A new way to exercise

Air Force photograph by SSgt. Derek VanHorn Airmen from Kadena Air Base, Japan, prepare for an aeromedical evacuation exercise on a KC-135 Stratotanker Dec. 5, 2014, at Misawa Air Base, Japan. The operation was executed in supp...
 
 
Lockheed Martin photograph by Andy Wolfe

Japan, Australia to provide F-35 maintenance sites in Pacific region

Lockheed Martin photograph by Andy Wolfe An F-35C Lightning II joint strike fighter carrier variant prepares to launch from the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz in the Pacific Ocean, Nov. 6, 2014. Japan and Australia will be sharing...
 




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>