A Guardsman for the JCS?: Resurrecting a battle fought and lost eight years ago, two Senators plan to introduce legislation that would make the chief of the National Guard Bureau a four-star general with a seat on the Joint Chiefs of Staff. It is not a new idea. The same move—led by Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska)—ran to ground in 1998 during the last bout of trouble between the Army Guard and the active Army. (Read our 1998 article “Guard Controversies.”) The latest initiative—led by Sen. Christopher Bond (R-Mo.) and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.)—again focuses primarily on Army troubles, but it also follows on the heels of Air National Guard discontent over the Air Force’s BRAC 2005 decisions and, more recently, plans to cut ANG end strength.
Three B-1B Lancers from the 7th Bomb Wing flew over the Indo-Pacific alongside F-16s from the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force as part of a joint large force exercise. The mission began and ended in the continental U.S. The bombers flew 31 hours and landed Jan. 11.