Building Better Reservists: While Lt. Gen. James Jackson, the new boss of Air Force Reserve Command, is getting used to his new job—he told audience members (including Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley) at AFA’s Air & Space Conference on Monday afternoon that he is hitting the road a lot lately to visit units across the country and take stock of the force during a time of transition. Although AFRC has its largest presence in Air Mobility Command with some 44,700 Reservists supporting all major mobility missions, it is finding new and emerging opportunities in missions such as homeland defense and global strike, Jackson noted. Force structure and mission changes across the service have opened up new opportunities, too. He highlighted Barksdale AFB, La., where Reservists fly B-52 bombers but can also serve in headquarters assignments at Air Force Global Strike Command and 8th Air Force to further develop their careers, in effect, said Jackson, the base Reservists are a “force development lab.” He also noted a similar environment at Peterson AFB, Colo., where Reservists can gain experience in areas ranging from space operations to homeland defense activities. These opportunities did not exist just a few years ago, explained Jackson.
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.