The Government Accountability Office in a new report has identified a key weakness in the Air Force plan to implement its new mission plan for the Air National Guard: There is no clear strategy to address challenges such as no room in schools to train Air Guardsmen in their new missions and a dearth of bridge missions for those units that have to wait for either new aircraft or training in a different role. And, then there is the matter of how to pay for it all. GAO believes the Air Force has underestimated the cost. There’s also some disagreement between GAO and the Air Force about whether the funds for replacement missions should be identified in BRAC dollars. The GAO believes they should be.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.