Finding the Right Mix

The Air Force’s proposed cut of 900 Reservists in Fiscal 2013 is just “the tip of the iceberg” and actually could lead to much more significant losses in experience, said Air Force Reserve Chief Lt. Gen. Charles Stenner. “The personnel...

SASC Passes Defense Policy Bill

The Senate Armed Services Committee on May 24 completed its mark-up of the Senate's version of the Fiscal 2013 defense authorization bill. The committee's mark-up provides $631.4 billion for national defense programs, some $200 million less than President Obama's request, according to a SASC release. This includes $498 million more than the Pentagon's $525.3 billion request for its base budget; $301 million less than the Defense Department's $88.5 billion request for overseas contingency operations, including the war in Afghanistan; and $431 million less than the $17.8 billion request for Energy Department national security programs. "With unanimous approval of this bill, the Armed Services Committee has continued its bipartisan tradition of strong support for national security, and for our troops and their families," said Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), SASC chairman. He added, "The committee has approved a bill that maintains a strong, flexible national defense, and also exercises careful stewardship of taxpayer dollars, remaining within the topline of the President's budget request." The next step is for the full Senate to take up the bill. The House authorized $635.2 billion in its version of next fiscal year's defense authorization bill that it passed on May 18.

SASC Wants Commission to Study Air Force Makeup

The Senate Armed Services Committee's mark-up of the Pentagon's Fiscal 2013 budget request would preclude the Air Force from divesting, retiring, or transferring aircraft assigned to the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve during next fiscal year. Instead, the committee would establish an eight-member "National Commission on the Structure of the Air Force" to study the appropriate makeup of the service, states the SASC's May 24 release on the completion of the mark-up. The President will appoint four commission members; lawmakers will pick the other four. The SASC wants the commission to report to Congress by March 31, 2013, in time to inform lawmakers mulling the President's Fiscal 2014 budget request. The committee said it went against the Air Force leadership's proposed force structure adjustments because it "was unhappy with the lack of analysis and justification" that caused these planned reductions to "fall more heavily on the Air National Guard," according to the release. The SASC added $1.4 billion to the Air Force's budget to cover the costs of having to retain this force structure next fiscal year. House defense appropriators also did not support the force structure reductions. (See also HASC Moves Against Proposed Cuts to Reserve Components.)

Bracing for a Challenging Future

As the United States moves into austere fiscal times, one of the biggest challenges for the US military will be determining how to maintain a balanced force of Active Duty and National Guard elements, said Gen. Craig McKinley, National Guard...

First Air Guard F-35 Pilots Prepare to Fly

Lt. Col. Randal Efferson and Maj. Jay Spohn, two Florida Air National Guardsmen, are the first two Air Guard pilots assigned to the 33rd Operations Group at Eglin AFB, Fla., who will fly the F-35 strike fighter, according to base...

Turning the Page at Dyess

For the first time in more than 3,000 days, the 317th Airlift Group at Dyess AFB, Tex., does not have a C-130H transport deployed in support of US military operations worldwide, according to base officials. That streak, stretching back to...

Engine Overhaul Could Save Billions of Dollars

The Air Force and Navy could save more than $2 billion by modifying CFM International’s CFM56-2 (F108) engine that powers KC-135 tankers, RC-135 reconnaissance aircraft, and Navy E-6B Mercury command and control airplanes, according to Navy officials. The modifications are...

Think Tank Calls for Pentagon Reform

Echoing former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s calls for military reform prior to 9/11, a new Center for a New American Security study urges the Department of Defense to transform itself in order to sustain American pre-eminence in the world. In...