New Air National Guard commander Lt. Gen. Craig McKinley said that a philosophical difference over economics has spelled the end of an experiment that placed young active duty airmen in a community with experienced Air Guardsmen to learn F-16 maintenance. The Burlington, Vt., Total Force experiment was “working magnificently,” McKinley said Tuesday at AFA’s Air & Space Conference in Washington. However, he noted, “we’re starting to have a clash between an active component that uses a business-case model of efficiency” and a Guard that integrates into the community. In actuality, he said, the Burlington test will be coming to an end, a casualty of USAF’s manpower cuts. McKinley said, “I’ve been told that we can’t continue the experiment.”
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.