Balancing Act

Looking to the future of the Total Force, outgoing Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz said there will “continue to be a place” for both the Active Duty force and the reserve components. Airmen in the former category accept a lifestyle that “involves frequent relocations and near-instantaneous demand on one’s availability,” he told the Daily Report during a mid July exit interview. Airmen in the reserve components have “chosen a somewhat different lifestyle” that is more stable, but still offers a chance for volunteerism—something that “has always been our strong suit,” said Schwartz. What’s important is to keep the proper “balance” between the active and reserve components, he counseled. There’s been vigorous debate over Total Force allocations in the Air Force’s proposed Fiscal 2013 budget, but “when emotions subside a bit and we’re able to approach this in a more dispassionate way, we’ll have the opportunity to collectively, collaboratively, collegially adjust our force mix in both traditional . . . and imaginative ways,” said Schwartz. He added, “We will have to continue to make the argument that we cannot have 50 air forces. We are one Air Force. . . . The country is asking us to execute the missions we’ve been assigned with fewer resources. And our view is the way to go about that is by getting smaller and maintaining quality in all three components.”

For more from Schwartz’s exit interview, read:

Schwartz: Back to Talkin’ Blue

Shake it Up

The F-22 and Clout Deficit


New Wrinkle in the Total Force

Acquisition TLC Needed