Air Force Reserve Command leaders intend to conduct a second reduction in force for reservists with the 939th Refueling Wing at Portland, Ore., to shut down the unit by June 2008 instead of the original closure date of September 2010. Maj. Gen. Allan Poulin, AFRC’s second in command, praised the outstanding track record of the 939th, but said that AFRC needed to advance the closure plan to “take better care of our people” by easing their transition to new jobs. The condensed timeframe means that 244 traditional Reservists, 47 air reserve technicians, and 48 civilian employees can begin looking for new jobs now. Meanwhile, the other Reserve unit at Portland, the 304th Rescue Squadron, will continue operations there.
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.