Air Education and Training Command boss Gen. William Looney said that AETC has managed to sort out a lot of the confusion surrounding an uptick in the number of airmen filling in-lieu-of requests for ground forces. Looney said: “Now, every person that is tasked, we know who they are. We didn’t always know where our people were.” AETC also has worked out a lot of the equipment issues and confusion over differences in service jargon for tactics and procedures. Looney said, too, that the Air Force is able to assimilate most airmen more quickly—within about two weeks—after they rejoin their unit. Still, Air Force officials earlier this year expressed concern about continued use of ILO airmen outside their primary fields.
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.