Defense and service officials testifying May 16 before the Commission on the National Guard and Reserves said that they shared concerns expressed by the commission on the state of readiness of the reserve components and that the pace of operational use of reserve forces has outpaced resourcing. The problem, though, is not just with the reserve components. Jack Bell, DOD’s undersecretary for logistics and materiel readiness, told the commission that Administration officials are “taking proactive steps to mitigate” concerns about the reserves but don’t expect an “overnight” cure. Bell added that it would take a “significant continuing investment” for both the active and reserve components to “reach the necessary materiel readiness levels.” Speaking for the Air Force, senior budget official Maj. Gen. Frank Faykes maintained that USAF doesn’t play favorites in allocating resources to ensure “equal capability and training to all our components.” However, he acknowledged that all decisions are a product of “resource constraints on the Total Air Force.”
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.