A Loveable Marriage

The reserve components’ views toward associations have changed dramatically in the last few years because of the need to minimize costs while maximizing capabilities, said their leaders on Thursday. “We have progressed from the days of forced marriages out of BRAC 2005 to associations that all components want to do,” said Lt. Gen. Bud Wyatt, Air National Guard director, during a panel discussion at AFA’s Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Fla. His Air Force Reserve counterpart, Lt. Gen. Charles Stenner, said the Air Force has learned many lessons since BRAC 2005 that it will utilize as it morphs its associations in an effort to find the right mix. He cited the standup of the F-22 active duty-Reserve association at JB Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, as a perfect example. Because that team started as an association, clashing cultures never became an issue, he said. “What we are doing now is relooking at what we have done, which we did not get right in every case,” said Stenner, during the same panel discussion. “We need to use the strengths of those cultures and get on with business.” The Air Force leadership has said it intends to boost the number of associations between the active duty force and reserve components from 100 to at least 115.