Saturday, February 08, 2014

Congressional report recommends more reservists, less AFRC structure

2/7/2014 - WASHINGTON -- The National Commission on the Structure of the Air Force issued its report to the president and Congress Jan. 31.

The report calls for moving more Air Force manpower into the reserve components but "disestablishing" Air Force Reserve Command and its three numbered air forces.

"Many of the commission's recommendations are valid," said Lt. Gen. James F. Jackson, chief of the Air Force Reserve and commander of Air Force Reserve Command. "However, AFRC provides me the ability to execute my key statutory obligation to manage Air Force Reserve resources. Without AFRC's structure, the Regular Air Force would have to recreate and duplicate what we use today."

The commission's report calls for creating integrated wings with active-duty and reserve Airmen serving together at the squadron, group and wing levels.

"In practice, the Air Force Reserve is integrated with the active component today," Jackson said. "However, each component maintains separate administrative chain of command to comply with law and service policy. This ensures readiness and the effective force management of component personnel."

The commission, established by Congress in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013, studied how the Air Force structure should be modified to best fulfill current and anticipated mission requirements for the Air Force in a manner consistent with available resources.

Jackson said that Air Force leadership has been receptive to his concerns.

"Both the secretary and the chief of staff have asked for my thoughts on the commission's report," said Jackson. "I couldn't be more pleased with the support the Air Force Reserve receives from Air Force leadership."

The commission traveled to 19 different locations and interviewed reservists, guardsmen, and active- duty Airmen.

"Providing adequate operational support funding to increase volunteer opportunities for reservists, increasing associations between Reserve and active Air Force units, and reducing the number of Reserve duty statuses without reducing the overall compensation of reservists are all positive recommendations that require further analysis to ensure they can be implemented correctly," said Jackson, who testified before the commission on four separate occasions.

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